The new candy and ice cream shop in Lyons, ScoopS, hosted The Mercy Ministries' (TMM) Mercy University (MU) Graduation for this spring's Faith & Finance graduates Thursday, May 24th!
Mercy staff, volunteers, students, family and friends gathered together amid happy smiles and sugar galore to cheer on the graduates who have completed the eight-week class.
Clint Hutcheson, Director of MU, began by sharing with everyone about how important the work of TMM is to the community. He reminded them that TMM "is a ministry at heart ... every thing we do is to share the love of Christ with our patients and the community around us."
One of the ways TMM is impacting the community is by offering Faith & Finance classes and Work Life classes to the community for just $20 per student, per semester.
"And, I was blessed this year to get a little help [with the classes]," Hutcheson added. "[Volunteers] Valerie Noles [of Altamaha Bank] and Johan Reister [of Plant Hatch] showed up to help me figure out how we could make this program work better together. Both of them brought in ideas and we were able to incorporate them into the class. We had past participants come back and share their stories, and show how their lives had been impacted by the things they had learned. Also, we were able to bring some bankers in to talk with the class. Brent Sammons of Altamaha Bank shared with the class some great information. I'm very thankful.
We also had a lot of great socializing and relationship building happening this semester that enriched the experience for the students, as well as the volunteers," said Hutcheson. This is intentional, as Mercy believes students will do better, longer, when they have developed a sense of family with one another.
"These students come from even our very first class to alumni events," Hutcheson said, "to encourage each other" to continue making better financial choices. It makes everyone at Mercy proud to see students taking the information they've learned and applying it, living happier, healthier lives as a result.
Hutcheson introduced Reister to the group. "Johan was trained to facilitate his first class this semester, teaching the evening class. He did a great job!"
Reister happily shared that one of the class graduates, Cynthia Lopez, couldn't attend the evening's graduation ceremony because she had gotten a job. Plus, class graduate Sarah Johnson has also recently gotten a new job! It was just the kind of news to encourage the other participants who were still job searching as they look forward to the next season of their financially healthier lives. He then handed certificates of completion to Sarah Johnson, Michaela McCoy (of Altamaha Bank who also mentored day class students), Connor Willard, Joshua Brown, Anna Baird and Andrew Channel.
Before concluding, Hutcheson inviting those in the community to attend free 1-hour "60 Minutes With Mercy" Tours at TMM in Lyons. Members of the community can drop-in on one of the already scheduled tours by visiting Mercy's Event Calendar, or by contacting Casey Hutcheson at the number listed on Mercy's Website.
He then turned it over to the owner of ScoopS, Kristin Edkin (Her husband, Ben Edkin of Plant Hatch, was unavailable to attend).
"ScoopS is a franchise, and we're the fourth store opening," said Kristin. "We have a son, Jack, who is one-year-old, and we decided to move here about three years ago because of my husband's job at Plant Hatch. One day I got a craving for a scoop of hard ice cream and couldn't find anywhere in or around Lyons that had it, so I ended up driving thirty miles to get a scoop of ice cream. I had worked for Susan, the lady who started ScoopS, back in 2003, and was just really impressed. A good thing about her ScoopS ice cream is that it comes from a creamery in Atlanta. You can't get it anywhere else. The ice cream comes from Susan, her original recipes. She put a little extra butter fat in all of it, making it extra good. It took them two years to perfect the first of their ice cream flavors. We especially appreciate what Mercy does for the community and are glad you're all here."
YOU CAN FOLLOW SCOOPS ON FACEBOOK @scoopslyons
... and don't forget to book your next event in their party room!
From everyone at TMM, we'd like to say
THANK YOU to ScoopS
for helping us make our graduate's day a sweet one!