Teen Challenge’s Lakeside Retreat Center offers local venue
By Denise DuBois
Tucked away in Russell County down a narrow road is Teen Challenge and the Lakeside Retreat and Event Center. The facilities are surrounded by trees and a lake, inviting a serene atmosphere perfect for the ladies’ retreat that was taking place.
Inside one of the event rooms, nearly 70 ladies were having fun, fellowshipping and coming together as a church family. Carol Henschel, a pastor’s wife and Impact Team Planner helped plan the ladies’ retreat. She and her group visited Lakeside last year and decided it was the perfect place to continue their annual retreat.
“You don’t get to know each other unless you have your feet under the same table. Saying ‘Hi’ on Sunday morning doesn’t do it. This is a gathering to get to know the family,” she said. “We’ve been going to southern Georgia for 12 years. We came out here and looked. The staff here was so kind and accommodating. They help you to have a successful event.”
Adam Grundhoefer helps to run the event center. The events held there help support the ministry of Teen Challenge, he said. Teen Challenge is a residential program for girls and young women who have been affected by drug and alcohol dependency, co-dependency, and other life controlling problems.
During the events, some of the girls have the opportunity to work.
“We teach hotel management, culinary and have internships to show how to manage events so when they leave, these women have something to put on their resume,” Grundhoefer said.
One of those women is Laura Riley. Riley, 26, lived a life dependent on drugs, but now helps at Lakeside managing other team members, making sure the facility stays nice and helping during events.
“I enjoy it out here. I want to learn as much as possible. I’m waiting on guidance from God, but I would like to open a restaurant one day or work with adolescent boys and girls who are in the hospital,” she said. “I can receive healing when I help others heal.”
Grundhoefer said he would like to see other women’s groups use the facility. They have 44 hotel-style rooms, an event space, a lake and more.
“We try to target ladies’ retreats because they love it. It’s quiet out here,” he said.
For more information about Lakeside Retreat and Event Center, visit mylakesideevent.com.