Monday night, as temperatures dipped into the upper 30s, Pastor Will Randel, a volunteer for Royal Family Kids Camp, set up a scissor lift 40 feet up in the air in the Waxahachie Chick-fil-A parking lot in an effort to raise awareness and funds for abused and neglected foster children of Dallas and Ellis Counties.

Randel will spend the next five days on the lift, and he said the weather would not stop him from accomplishing his mission.

“One of the main purposes of tonight is to have a lot of fun,” Randel said. “And bring people in the community out to this great event.”

He said the other purpose to let people in the community know that they hold this type of camp right here in Waxahachie.

“We put on a camp every year that benefits foster children who have experienced abuse and neglect here in the metroplex,” he said. “The camp takes place at Southwestern Assemblies of God University every summer. And that’s why we chose to hold this event here in Waxahachie.”

As Randel discussed the reasons for choosing to create awareness in what some might think a “very bizarre manner,” he said it is eye-catching.

“Instead of asking why this way, ask why not this way,” he said. “Who else is going to go up on a scissor lift at Chick-fil-A in Waxahachie for six days. I think it just makes a bold statement and hopefully it will raise awareness in the area.”

Randel also hopes that people will recognize the importance of the cause and give back to their community.

Darren Daugherty serves as an associate professor at SAGU and is also the RFKC director. He said the idea to place Randel on the lift came from his Assistant Camp Director Matt McKay.

“Matt had done something like this before in another city for a different organization,” Daugherty said. “When he came to us with this idea we automatically thought it was perfect.”

He said they approached Chick-fil-A and were completely surprised by the answer, but they were thrilled to partner with the restaurant for the cause.

The majority of the people were in attendance at last night’s event because they wanted to know why Randel was on the lift, but others came to support their high school band’s drum line. McKay said that he wanted to make this a weeklong event and thought it would be great to kick off the week with a drum line competition. The drum lines featured Waxahachie, Midlothian, Trinity Christian and Lancaster. Each drum line was given four rounds to showcase its talent. Although the competition was stiff, with each drum line putting forth its best efforts, Waxahachie walked away with the trophy and the title of best drum line.

Mayor Buck Jordan was also present at the event to issue a proclamation recognizing RFKC and its volunteers for the hard work they do in Ellis County. He urged every one in attendance to become more involved with the organization by encouraging them to give or become a volunteer.

The following is a list of events that will take place all week as the organization continues to raise awareness and funds:

Tuesday, Nov. 13

5-8 p.m. – Family Night: A free event for the whole family. There will be inflatables, carnival games, a photo booth and more.

Thursday, Nov. 15

7-8 p.m. – Comedy Night: Featuring the comedy of John Michael Barajas, Dorie McClemore and more.

Friday, Nov. 16

7-8 p.m. – Concert Night

Saturday, Nov. 17

6-8 p.m. – Landing Party! Join the team of RFKC volunteers as they bring Pastor Will Randel down and celebrate the results of the week.

About RFKC

They are the nation’s leading network of camps for abused, neglected and abandoned children. The organization was founded by Wayne and Diane Tesch. They began the organization because they wanted to see every foster child, ages 6-12 experience positive things in their lives. The organization is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt public charity. To learn more or to make a donation, visit royalfamilykids.org.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.