Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Justin Gambino

Christian musician set to kick off SYC’s “Run the Race”

This Saturday’s Stillwater Youth Center “Run the Race” event will be kicked off in a special way this year.
On Friday night, Christian singer Justin Gambino will give a free concert at the SYC, as well as perform at the Saturday event in Heritage Park.

Gambino was the lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter of the alternative/hard rock band Shattered Silence. He is currently on a solo tour.
The 31-year-old Texas native was homeschooled and was playing the guitar and singing by age 15. He started college in 2004, but withdrew to serve in the United States Navy for eight years. His military service included one tour of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Seabee in NMCB (Naval Mobile Construction Battalion).
While deciding whether to continue his military service, he was offered a record deal in 2013. He lists some of his musical influences as Switchfoot, John Mayer, Jeremy Camp and the Dave Matthews Band.
The SYC met Gambino at Hills Alive summer concert music festival held last month in Rapid City, S.D. Gambino and SYC Youth Director Justin Wayland hit it off, said SYC Director of Ministry Joanie Matovich. Both men are married to women named Ashlee.
 “He actually called Justin Wayland and asked if he could come,” said Matovich on how Gambino’s free Friday concert in Columbus came to be.
“It just happened that he was touring in the Northwest and will be on his way to Gillette, Wyo., on Sunday,” said Matovich.
Hills Alive is an annual free outdoor music festival sponsored by two radio stations, churches and businesses in the Rapid City area that brings more than two dozen Christian bands from all over the country together. The festival celebrated its 32nd anniversary this summer.
Gambino is kicking off his “Where I Belong Tour” but still likes to play smaller venues for family and friends, free of charge. Gambino will also be at Heritage Park Saturday at 11 a.m. as part of the “Run the Race” event.  The public is invited to come and listen to Gambino in the park Saturday, free of admission.
This annual event features the 5K run/walk with a new scenic route, 100-yard dash, family medley relay, business challenge, church challenge and family challenge.
The action will be followed with the Super Summer Saturday, featuring “Breakfast Burritos in the Park,” an obstacle course/water slide, face painting, free brunch and more. The events are as follows:
All are invited to compete in the Church Challenge, which will be won by the church that has the most number of members come and participate on its team. Last year’s winner was St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Columbus, and they will be working hard to defend their ongoing title. The winner gets a plaque to hang in their church until next year’s race.
Beat last year’s biggest family and each of the family members will receive an official “Biggest Family” certificate. Enter for both immediate and extended families.  Last year’s winner of this category was the Ackerman Family from Billings and the extended family winner was the Patterson family.
The business with the most participants will receive an official “Team Player” plaque, with the business name engraved on it. Employees, their families and patrons qualify for this category. Last year’s winner was the Crossfit Palladium/Stillwater Gym.
 The SYC ministry strives to do the following: “Reach non-believing students, to connect them with other Christians, to help them grow in their faith, and to challenge the growing to discover their ministry and honor God with their life.”