New and returning high-school teens and adults interested in participating in the 2017 Appalachia Service Project should plan to attend one of two upcoming kick-off rallies at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.

Jesse Lee ASPs 2017 rallies will be held on Thurs., Feb. 23 and Tues., Feb. 28 at the church, 207 Main St.  You only need to attend one. Both are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Martin Hall, in the lower level of the churchs main sanctuary building.

Details will be presented about participating in this years trip, set for July 1-9.  Parents of new youth can get their questions answered in separate informational sessions during the Feb. 23 and 28 rallies.

Appalachia Service Project is a national Christian volunteer ministry that sends volunteers on weeklong mission trips to make homes warmer, safer and drierin West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. This is Jesse Lee ASPs 34th year. Last summer, a record-tying 183 local students and adults worked to restore the homes (and hope) of folks in three counties in eastern Kentucky.

Jesse Lee ASP is open to anyone who will have completed their freshman year of high school by the time of the summer mission trip. Adults are encouraged to volunteer both those who have teens coming along and those who dont. You dont have to be a member of Jesse Lee or any church, you dont have to live in Ridgefield, and you dont need to be an expert with a hammer to volunteer. Basic construction skills and safety rules are taught prior to going on ASP.

You dont have to pre-register to attend a rally, and youre not obligated to go on the mission trip by attending. However, youth and adults who intend to participate are strongly encouraged to fill out and bring forms available now on the website: www.jesseleeasp.org. At the rallies, participants will be able to sign up for the required training sessions and fund-raising car washes this spring but only if they are fully registered.

Plus, the sooner you register, the less you pay. Registration at a rally is $230. Pay at the first orientation meetings (March 23 or 28), its $250, with the cost rising to $275 after that.

For more information about ASP and this years dates, and to download required forms, go online to www.jesseleeasp.org.