WICKLIFFE, Ohio – Father Bob Stec considers himself “The FEST” coordinator, but to volunteers on-site of the annual Christian music and family fun FESTival aimed at celebrating “faith & family” this Sunday, Father Bob is much more than that. He’s an inspiration.

The daylong event is also celebrating its 14th successful year at the 28700 Euclid Ave. address of the Center for Pastoral Leadership. Many of the volunteers, like 21-year-old Amanda Farinelli, spend their entire summer gearing up for the huge family event, seeing it finally come close to a realization as a 100-foot stage was erected this week to showcase a handful of nationally acclaimed Christian recording artists.

“I have dedicated my entire summer to working for The FEST and I’ve really grown to love it. We’re working with great people and I’m just excited to be part of a day that is for family, and is for everybody for free,’ said Farinelli. “It’s inspiring. I mean we have people from all over the area who just come to the event; people from out-of-town all over the Diocese. It really does touch people all around the area and it’s even more powerful that that many people want to also be a part of the event by volunteering, so it’s really inspiring.”

Stec said that he has been blessed with close to 1,400 volunteers who have taken part in the event’s preparation; Its crowd expected to swell to just under 40,000 attendees for the Sunday-only FESTival.

“Why we started this 14 years ago was to try to create an event that just would celebrate community, and give people a sense of hope and inspiration. It really is about faith. It’s all about family. It’s about coming together for a great fun, family day. And wonderfully, it’s all for free,” said Stec.

The success of the event is also a no-brainer for national recording artists like Third Day. The group’s guitarist, Mark Lee, quoted in a Father Bob Stec preview of The FEST press release said, “It is a huge honor to share the stage with other artists we love, such as Colton (Dixon) and Mandisa. Music is such a powerful part of faith. It provides a direct connection to the heart, so you’re able to communicate and reach people in a way that you can’t through any other means.” “We love playing events like The FEST because we are music fans first and foremost.”

Father Bob says this event is not your average family FESTival.

“We have a number of activity hours. We have great activities for the kids; very different than a carnival, or a fair. They are all like craft-based, faith-based activities where they can get a message of good values, of kindness, of compassion, of respect. We have a middle school area that’s good for that age, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. High school youth rally. We have a mom’s relaxation station. We really care about moms so Marc’s has been working with us. we have about 150,000 giveaways, plus things like massages and recipes that they can do a better job of taking care of their family. We have a dad’s den this year. So PNC and the Cleveland Browns are going to come together with Cub Cadet and we’ll have an area where dads can have some good fun and also get good resources to help them be better dads and better men of faith,” said Stec.

The FEST begins at noon, August 3. The day-long event ends with an 8 p.m. mass for the crowd followed by a fireworks display ending at 10 p.m.

WEWS is proud to partner with The FEST’s organizers and others. There will be a booth there for the public to interact with many popular NewsChannel5 employees.

For information call 216-598-7000, or go to www.theFEST.us


Original article can be found at: http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lake/center-for-pastoral-leadership-preps-for-sundays-the-fest