Starkdale Presbyterian Church of Steubenville will again sponsor and host the Abigail's Angels annual fundraiser to be held March 22 beginning at 7 p.m.
This year's event offers a musical performance and inspirational message by Ginny Owens, a three-time Dove Award winner, Gospel Music Association's 2000 New Artist of the Year recipient and multiple ASCAP Award winner, vocalist and pianist.
The event highlights 9-year-old Abigail Kinney's fight for sight, promoting awareness for a rare eye condition called Leber's Congenital Amaurosis.
"Ginny's story aligns perfectly with Abigail's fight," said Lori Kinney, Abigail's mother.
"To find hope, compassion and a better understanding of LCA is a blessing for my daughter," Lori Kinney said.
"And our hope for this fundraiser is that it leads to continued and more advanced research for Abigail and so many others," said the Rev.Pastor Philip Makari, Starkdale's pastor.
"Community strength and continued awareness are the key," added Bobbyjon Bauman, the church's assistant pastor and youth director.
The March 22 Saturday evening performance will include Owens' original songs - "If You Want Me To," "Free" and "I Wanna Be Moved" - as well as hymns such as "Be Thou My Vision" and others.
Tickets and information are available by contacting the church office at (740) 264-5309 or by visiting the church website at www.starkdale.org. Tickets are $10 for adult admission; $5 for students in grades kindergarten through 12; and $20 for limited, premium (artist circle) seats.
During Starkdale's March 23 Sunday services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., Owens will share her "moving testimony" regarding her own loss of sight at age 3 and lead the praise and worship portion of the service from the piano.
Leber's Congenital Amaurosis is a disease that causes the eye's retina to slowly die.
The gene RDH12 is the culprit, but there is hope, according to a news release. "Research is now under way for the development of a gene therapy treatment that will sustain or restore vision for many like Abigail," it notes.
Abigail's Angels support the official 5013C non-profit, "The RDH12 Fund for Sight," and all donations are tax deductible. All monies are used to fund RDH12 research.