Ocean City Tabernacle Son Club Creator Reunites With Aftercare Kids

first_imgBy MADDY VITALESarah Chamberlain, an Ocean City married mother of four, had a humbling surprise during a holiday celebration at the Tabernacle.She got to see sisters Gabrielle and Jasmine Davis, both of Ocean City, and their children.It had been years since Chamberlain last saw the sisters. They were just kids when she first met them at a program she started at the Ocean City Tabernacle in 2006 called the Son Club.The Son Club is held in the Kull Center. It is an open and free aftercare program for students from kindergarten through eighth grade.During the school year from Monday through Friday, volunteers and staff provide tutoring, snacks, Bible lessons, sports, games, enrichment and life skills classes for local students.Chamberlain, who was involved with youth ministry at the Tabernacle, said in an interview Monday that it began very small, but grew because of how special it was for the children and their families.She reflected on the start of the Son Club and how she and her friend Becky Pineo started a kids group, which expanded to more than 20 children.That is how the Son Club was formed.She spoke of the excitement and humbling feeling she had during the Dec. 19 Christmas party seeing so many Son Club members, past and present.“As I looked over a packed Tabernacle Christmas program auditorium at the beautiful multicultural families of Ocean City, I was choked up to think that it all started with five girls in my back yard with my friend Becky,” she explained.The most special part of the event was seeing the Davis sisters.“The best thing happened, two girls from my original five, who I haven’t seen in many years, walked in the door with their own kids,” she said with emotion.Children get help with their homework from a volunteer at Son Club at the Ocean City Tabernacle in 2019.Chamberlain, a former physical education teacher, said forming the club was so rewarding, but she also had another calling.“I ran the after-school program for four years during which time I gave birth to my oldest, Cate, and then found out I was pregnant with triplets,” she explained. “Needless to say, what I do now is try to keep up with them.”So she turned over her Son Club duties to volunteers and staff members Eric Hitchner, Colleen Dice, Julia Wiggins and Jonathan Gonzalez.Since then, she noted that the team has taken the program “to new heights.”The program has flourished and has helped hundreds of families in the area.Pastor Jay Reimer, the CEO of the Tabernacle, said in a previous interview that the Son Club is beneficial for both parents and their children. He noted that it gives families more quality time together since often homework is done at the after-school program. Kids also get to spend time with their peers and get to unwind from school with athletics.For Chamberlain, the program was about kids coming together for fellowship, lessons, fun and friendship.Today, her children are students at Son Club. Her parents, David and Joanne Knauss, and husband, Todd, are also very active in the Tabernacle ministry.“I am so proud to have been part of this program and ministry to the community of Ocean City,” Chamberlain explained of the Son Club. “But I am equally humbled knowing that first and foremost, God is the one who has sustained it, and that my part was very small compared to the combined efforts of many great leaders at the Tabernacle.”The Ocean City Tabernacle is located at 550 Wesley Ave. For more information call 609-399-1915 or visit www.octabernacle.org. People may also donate to the Son Club on the church website.Son Club founder Sarah Chamberlain, left, with two former Son Club members, sisters Gabrielle and Jasmine Davis and their kids. (Photo courtesy Sarah Chamberlain) This photo is of the first year of the Son Club at the Ocean City Tabernacle in 2006. What began small has grown into a popular aftercare program. (Photo courtesy Sarah Chamberlain)last_img

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