By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Samantha Akers says a friend got her interested in YoungLives a few years ago.
"And I have been involved ever since," she said.
So much so that Akers is now the non-denominational outreach ministry's coordinator and is putting the finishing touches on this year's 10th annual Little Ladies Garden Tea and Art Gala, scheduled for 2 p.m. April 21 at the Ambiance, 5225 Koch's Lane.
The tea and art gala help support the YoungLives' teen-mom mentoring program. Funds raised help send teen moms, their babies and mentors to a summer camp in Hillsdale, Mich.
"I feel like I have a connection with these girls," the 26-year-old Akers said.
Makers said she became pregnant at age 19 and worked her way through college. She said she understands better than many the problems that teen moms face.
The tea dates to 2004. That first year raised $2,000. The 2012 version generated $8,000, and Akers hopes to top that figure this time around.
"Seeing Quincy come together for this is incredible for our girls to know they are cared about," Akers said.
The first half hour of the event will be reserved for a silent auction of the artwork presented. The tea portion follows.
The tea is designed for "moms and daughters, granddaughters, nieces or young lady friends."
"Make a special memory with your favorite little lady," Akers said.
The teen moms involved in the YoungLives program will be serving at the tea.
The YoungLives program not only offers mentoring, but also assists young mothers in other areas of learning how to be a responsible parent.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.
Contact Akers at (217) 242-4378 with questions or for more information.