This weekend the The DDFaith Foundation will present the 2nd Annual DDFaith Memorial Gospel Concert on Saturday, January 6th starting at 6pm. This concert is free to the public and will be held at the Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
The DDFaith Foundation will be sharing gospel music presented by the Payne family, Karen Peck and New River, The Lore Family, Simon Thoroughman, and Kyle and Brittany Shaeffer.
Associate Pastor Brian Baer of Rubyville Community Church said, “The concert normally runs about 2 hours or a bit under that.”
He also mentioned that they will have a couple of special surprises of people who will speak as a testimony to what DD meant to them.
He stated, “This will not be ran like a church service, it’ll be a gospel concert.”
Deanna “Dee Dee” Carol (Gahm) Duduit of Lucasville, passed away at age 46 on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Her family and friends have been sharing what faith she had and how she made others feel even as she herself was very ill with cancer.
They started the DDFaith Foundation soon after her passing to give scholarships to local students who, like herself shared her strength and testimony with others.
Assistant Pastor Baer and Pastor Calvin Ray Evans will be at the concert, as Baer will be the emcee and Evans will close the concert with a speaking.
Baer recalled,”Conservatively, we had around 1,000 people attend the concert last year. It was a really really good turn out for the concert and with it being the inaugural event, there was a lot of excitement too.”
They wanted to do it as close to her passing anniversary as possible the first year so, it was in February. This year, with getting the groups and the venue scheduled, it was best to have it this Saturday. They are hoping to get a good turn out this year also.
“You won’t get this good of singing in our area, especially for free,” said Baer. They will have a donation station, in the foyer, taking donations for the DD Faith Foundation, with all the proceeds to benefit scholarships for local high school graduates.
He continued, “The scholarship form they fill out, a lot of it is based on their faith in Christ and a lot of the community efforts of things that Dee Dee had a heart for. You don’t find a lot of scholarships that are faith based and they were able to give out several of these at $1,000 (each) to some of the schools. I was to give out two myself at Northwest. The foundation is trying to give as many schools and students that apply, scholarships. We would love to give out scholarships to each school in the area. Of course, that would just be dependent on what people do and donations that are given. It was successful last year and raised quite a bit of money. The good thing is, that 100% of the money raised will be put right back in to the students.”
They have had people who have donated for this cause that may or may not have attended the concert, like businesses and local people, who want to contribute to this foundation and what it stands for.
Baer remembered Dee Dee, “she was a tremendous inspiration to so many people. She was a pharmacist at Walmart and then later on at her brother’s pharmacy, Gahm’s in Lucasville, so she had developed such a rapport with so many people. Then through her cancer, she was able to witness to so many people about her faith and I was there, when she passed and up until the end, she never wavered in her faith.”
He also mentioned that she was continually encouraging people through saying encouraging words or giving of books, etc., showing what kind of strength she had and that, is the kind of student they are looking for, someone who is humble and truly puts others before themselves. This is actually the third year they gave out scholarships, but the first year they were given solely on donations without a concert being held.
Grace Duduit is the daughter of Blaine and late Dee Dee Duduit and she spoke of what type of candidates they are looking to award the scholarships representing her mother.
They were looking for people who are in the schools who is using their faith in the midst of the circumstances that they are facing,whether it be in their home life or even at school, they’re just using that faith and they’re just a witness to their peers, is what they are looking for, according to Grace Duduit.
She said, “My mother was always involved in school spirit and when I was in school, she was involved in my school (Valley), she not only loved sports and things at school, but she loved whenever there was that one person who maybe didn’t get all the attention, but was taking a stand for God in the school district and was actually trying to make a difference through their faith and that you could actually tell they were relying on their faith.”
”We also have them write an essay on how they use their faith in their school. I have two step-sisters named, Ashley Swavel and Brittany Shaeffer, who are my her father’s children, but part of my family,” said Grace Duduit.
They were both grown and married however when she passed away, but Grace remained at home with their father Blaine.
This concert is sure to bring in a great time of singing and enjoying the music, while taking in donations that will carry on the what DeeDee Duduit stood for through the DDFaith ministry.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928
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