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Answer Man: Supernight to take a year off

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Answer Man, I heard that Supernight is canceled. How can that be? It's been going on for years. Both my kids and my grandkids have gone to it. — Margaret

Yes, it's true. Supernight , an overnight event sponsored by Rochester Area Youth for Christ for 33 years, is going on hiatus in 2018, Executive Director Gary Kadansky said, with plans of returning next year.

Supernight was held last year at the Rochester Athletic Club, the Rochester Recreation Center, Bowlocity and Colonial Lanes. However, the RAC recently changed its policy about hosting overnight events, leaving Kadansky searching for another venue.

"We've known for a while that the Athletic Club wasn't going to be available. For some of the other places, it took a while before we got an official no. We were getting into January, and it wasn't secure. Then there was a timeline that it just wasn't enough time to put the pieces together," Kadansky said. The event had been scheduled for March 2-3.

Four locations are necessary because it's a huge undertaking, typically drawing about 800 teenagers, with nearly 80 percent from outside of Rochester. Supernight has about 70 volunteers to stage and shuttle teens to four locations.

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"We were preparing to bring in climbing walls, Archery Tag, KnockerBall, and some of the things we've done with Supernight," Kadansky said. "We needed to have a large enough facility, and a high school gym wouldn't allow us to do all what we want to do. It has to be that right combination of facility, location and size."

Supernight is remembered by most teens as a night of wholesome fun, but Kadansky includes a program with a meaningful message.

"We tell them that before the night of fun, we want you to think about this in your life," he said. "We encourage you, and here's a basic piece of the Gospel message — that God loves you, he cares for you and he wants the best for you."

While Supernight might be Youth for Christ's best-known event, the ministry also sponsors other activities:

One Heart, One Voice , a teen gospel choir that welcomes all singers without audition.

Straight from the Heart , a Sunday morning radio show Kadansky has hosted on KROC for 29 years.

Bible quizzing , a Scripture-memorization program done in a game show format.

Campus Impact Ministry , where Kadansky spends most of his time visiting students at schools throughout the region.

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" Search Institute and other studies have shown the importance of having adults involved with kids," said Kadansky, who has been on staff with Youth for Christ since 1989. "We come alongside of kids during their lunch time and just connect with them at school and try to be an encouragement."

Meanwhile, Kadansky will continue planning for next year's Supernight.

"We'll just have to re-load, re-plan and give it another shot," Kadansky said. "But for this year, we know Supernight's not going to happen."

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