The Scarecrow Festival helps teens in need

West Ridge Academy (WRA) will host the 16th-annual Scarecrow Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi October 11-15, 2007.

The Scarecrow Festival is a fundraiser whose proceeds go to the youth in West Ridge Academy.

Donations from the festival are used for residential treatment, clinical therapy and the overall benefit of each individual in the program.

The event consists of games, entertainment, food, performing groups, a hay maze built with more than 2,000 hay bales, a haunted house, face painting and more.

This year, the festival will have a very special guest: former NBA player, Shawn Bradley. He will be hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament.

The origins of the festival are traced back to 1994, when the idea was proposed to have a means of providing funding to help facilitate young, teenage boys; while at the same time, allowing each boy to be exposed to the public, to learn leadership and service skills, and also, to learn how to give back to the community.

Since then, the festival has provided residential and day treatment for all individuals who are admitted into the program, both young men and young women.

Lowell Bennion founded the WRA back in the 1960s. He had a great love for struggling young men and wanted to see them succeed in life.

WRA was first known as Utah Boys Ranch. UBR served the community for more than 40 years.

In 2003, the Utah Girls Town was formed after a proposal that stated a similar institute should be formed for young women.

In 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Authority Jeffery R. Holland dedicated West Ridge Academy, bringing boys and girls together in one institution.
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