9/15/2009 1:04:00 PM Yes I Can is this weekend The Great Adventure begins Sunday
Chelsea Anderson (left) and Doris Ann Mertz hold up tickets for this weekend's Yes I Can event at Lost Canyon. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the American Flyer coffee shop and the Williams Recreation Center.
WILLIAMS - The 2009 Yes I Can event at Lost Canyon is shaping up to be an exciting time for youth in the community. Adults, as well, both those planning for the event and those who plan to attend, are energized when it comes to the Yes I Can affair. Free tickets for this Sunday's program, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., are still available but going fast, organizers said. A barbecue will be held following the event at the rec center. The 2009 Yes I Can, called "The Great Adventure," will host a number of nationally known speakers.
Yes I Can Secretary Doris Ann Mertz said the committee has been working hard to make this year's event original and fun, as well as different, for those who attended last year.
"It's still a motivational program, but with different speakers. This year we've added in a comedian," Mertz said. "Jay Schroeder, he's the former Redskins quarterback. He's supposed to have a really inspirational message. Ray Perkins, he's our other guest speaker, he played for the Cowboys and Cardinals. He's done an event here before. It was a school-based event. He's really good. He's got a good message."
While free to the public, tickets have to be picked up in advance, Mertz said.
"Tickets can be picked up at American Flyer or at the rec center. You just have to sign up and grab a ticket and that will get you in. There will be door prizes. Once you turn your ticket in you get a raffle ticket at the door. There will be a party at the rec center afterwards with hot dogs and stuff," Mertz said. "We really want to get the word out this week, because we would hate for some of the kids to hear about it after the fact."
A number of tickets are still available for those who wish to attend the Yes I Can event.
"I know there's still a lot available, but some of the youth groups from the surrounding areas haven't picked up their tickets yet, so we want our kids to go ahead and get theirs while they are still there," Mertz said. "Some groups from Lake Havasu are coming. I know it's been promoted at Flag Middle School and over at Parks. I think we should get some from Prescott. There's a group that comes over and stays at Canyon Chapel Church. They do work in our community sometimes, helping people for kind of like a little mission project. They're coming back over here since they're familiar with the area and they want to attend the event."
According to Bud Parenteau with the Yes I Can organization, donations are still being sought to help pay for the popular event.
"Anybody that saw this event in May of last year knows what this event does
for the kids in the community," Parenteau said, adding that Sept. 21 Diamondback raffle tickets are currently being offered for sale as well. Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $20 or eight for $50. A total of 200 raffle tickets are being sold for the Sept. 21 game against the Giants.
For more information donating to Yes I Can and the Great Adventure, call (928) 600-0131 or write to Yes I Can Inc. at P.O. Box 153, Williams, Ariz. 86046. The group can be found online at www.yesicaninc.org.
Council donates $500
Members of Williams City Council voted to approve a donation in the amount of $500 to this year's event during their regular meeting Sept. 10. A number of council members offered to personally donate money to the event on behalf of the city, however.
"We are giving considerably less money this year than we did last year," said Williams Mayor John Moore. "That's simply because we don't have the money."
Williams city officials paid for a number of tickets for the 2008 Yes I Can event, something they could not do this year due to the current state of the local economy.
Williams Assistant City Manager Joe Duffy said the city's budget continues to get tighter month after month.
"At some point we need to just pull in the reigns and not spend money," Duffy said.