WOW Jam packs them in at New Wine Fellowship

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The cold and rainy conditions that plagued the area Friday did not deter the organizers and participants of New Wine Christian Fellowship’s second annual WOW Jam, but it did move things inside.

“Our plan was to hold this event outside in the parking lot, but obviously the weather did not cooperate,” said New Wine Pastor Neil Bernard. “We’re just thankful we have this wide open indoor space to operate in.”

Bernard explained that WOW, which stands for Winning Our World, is an international organization that travels the globe to mobilize volunteers from local churches and businesses to throw a completely free party for the community.

“It’s just a great opportunity to reach out and bless our residents and give something back,” said Bernard. “It’s just about having a good time.”

Stephen Tavani, president and founder of WOW International said the non-profit organization partners with local churches to help get them active in the community. He coordinates with the church leadership to collect donations and convince local businesses to offer up some time. He said everything that takes place throughout the event is absolutely free.

“The food, the haircuts, the manicures, the raffle giveaways are all free to participants,” said Tavani. “Nothing is conditional, it is all a blessing.”

Tavani said after the LaPlace stop, WOW has scheduled a week’s worth of events in the New Orleans area.

Friday’s event featured an assortment of games for kids, free food and drink, and a wide array of giveaways, including toys, bicycles, sporting goods, televisions, and I-PODs.

Bernard said many of the donations came courtesy of the church congregation, as well as the St. John Sheriff’s Office.