Anchor Fest set for Saturday

Keith Gaines, executive director of The Anchorage.

Keith Gaines, executive director of The Anchorage.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Anchorage, an area substance abuse rehabilitation program for men, is preparing to host its second fundraiser of the year on Saturday -- Anchor Fest.

Anchor Fest, now in its third year, is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at First Free Will Baptist Church at 420 N. Westover Blvd. It is expected to be a night of Christian and inspirational music provided by various area churches.

In addition to music provided by the organization's supporting churches, there will also be a choir composed of a group currently at the Anchorage making an appearance, said Executive Director Keith Gaines.

In previous years, the event has raised $11,000. This year, officials are shooting for $12,000. The funds raised go to offset operating costs for the program, Gaines said.

While the Anchorage needs fundraisers to keep its doors open, this particular event also has the advantage of helping out the churches that have assisted the organization in its time of need.

"It is a good way to (recognize) contributing churches that have helped us," Gaines said.

These churches have helped by providing funds, volunteers, among other things, the executive director said.

The cause of helping the region's men maintain sobriety has the potential to benefit not only the Albany area, but society as a whole, officials say.

"The cost to society for one man with an untreated alcohol addiction is estimated to be $43,000," Gaines said. "That's the approximate cost for them to stay in prison.

"At the Anchorage, Phase I (of the organization's program) costs $1,940. That's a huge amount in savings for every man."

The full Phase I program there lasts four months, which breaks down to $485 a month per man at the Anchorage. There is no charge to clients for Phase I, according to the organization's website.

Gaines said that the Anchor Fest sponsorship base has grown from previous years, and that proceeds to date are over where they were at the same time last year.

"We expect to see a significant increase this year," he said. "The community as a whole has been very supportive (of the Anchorage)."

Indicative of that is a letter recently sent out to 800 donors who had previously given to the organization seeking help from the public, which Gaines said resulted in a tremendous response.

"We are thankful to the community (for support)," he said. "(Anchor Fest) provides folks the opportunity to celebrate the Anchorage and worship God in this venue."

For more information, call the Anchorage at (229) 435-5692. Tickets will be available at the door for $10.