KEARNEY — Keith Becker wants to change the focus of the Todd Becker Foundation’s annual fundraising event.
“We’ve been so grateful for the great turnout over the years,” Becker said. “Because of that turnout, the last three out of four years, we’ve maxed out or sold out the Younes Center. This year we felt that it was a good time to move the event to a larger venue.”
The event, featuring atheist-turned-Christian author Lee Strobel, will take place 7 p.m. Friday at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $35 each or $30 each for groups of 10 or more.
“Because we’re moving it there to have a little bit more capacity, we’re not going to be doing a meal this year,” Becker said. “Feeding 1,500 plus people has always been a big challenge for us. We’re going to shift the focus off of the meal aspect. The night will begin with a special and powerful time of worship.”
The Todd Becker Foundation’s touring band, along with some members of praise bands from churches in the Kearney area, will set the tone of the event with the theme of “One Lost Sinner.”
Becker acknowledged the death of his brother, Todd Becker, who died in a automobile crash, was an impetus for a foundation that works with young people on the issue of faith. He talks about using the tragedy to reach other teens.
“It’s more than that,” Becker said. “We celebrate the lives that have been reached through the mission of the Todd Becker Foundation.”
Becker plans to share a few behind-the-scenes videos of what happens on the road with members of the foundation.
“We’ll have some testimonies of kids who have been impacted, testimonies of our internship and how that has impacted their lives. I’m going to be sharing what the Todd Becker Foundation has been doing for the last couple of years.”
Members of the foundation present programs in public schools for students in grades nine through 12. More than 50,000 students have seen the programs.
The group presents two programs: One during school hours that highlights decision-making and tells the story of Todd’s death after a night of drinking and driving. The second program, in the evening after school hours, focuses on a Christian message.
“We’re really excited to have Lee Strobel at the event,” Becker said. “Lee will give a powerful and impactful statement that will challenge our supporters to take the Gospel, take the life-changing message of God’s word into a culture that is more and more opposed to the truth of the word of God, more and more opposed to the concept of the creator God.”
Strobel, the award-winning, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, has authored more than 20 books. His book, “The Case for Christ,” was made into a movie in 2017.
“His story, as a former atheist, really fits a lot of what we have been seeing out on the road in these public schools,” Becker said. “Fewer and fewer kids have any concept or belief in God because of the struggles they’re facing in life.”
Becker sees the growth in the annual fundraiser as a confirmation that the Todd Becker Foundation meets a need.
“It’s says that our culture and our community is hungry and supportive of things that point people to the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ,” he said. “I think that’s why we’re seeing so much support across the Midwest for what we do. We are taking the truth of God’s word into public schools and that is not politically correct.”
Becker cites the large number of young people who need hope in their lives.
“I think it is a testimony, not only of our ministry, but to our ministry’s commitment to stand unashamedly on the word of God and proclaim it to a generation that is very much lost and hurting,” he said.