March 22, 2022

SHARE

BY BEAU BECRAFT

Knapheide was built upon a trio of pillars known as the “Three Cs” (Customer First, Collaboration, and Continuous Improvement) and continues to operate under those principles today, a testament to the company’s longevity in the industry. But, a fourth pillar could easily join that trio: “Community.”

At the corner of 6th and State streets in downtown Quincy sits one of Knapheide’s oldest properties still in operation today. Many may not know that this facility also houses Young Life, a Christ-centered ministry that helps kids know Jesus, grow in their faith, and serve Him. The organization serves youth in all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world.

And as it pertains to the unspoken fourth pillar of “community,” Knapheide is proud to provide space for the local chapter of Young Life to carry out its operations and its mission to strengthen our community through fostering positivity and providing resources for our local youth. It’s one of many partnerships Knapheide is proud to hold with community organizations that serve to better our quality of life in Quincy and Adams County.

Curtis Sethaler and wife Laura

Curtis Sethaler serves as the area director of Young Life in Quincy. Before coming on as a full-time staff member, Sethaler served as a volunteer for the organization and has watched with great pride as Young Life has continued to grow and serve countless young people in Quincy and the surrounding area.

“Connecting with kids and building relationships woke me up to what a life of significance could look like rather than simply a life of seeking success,” Sethaler recalls of his journey to Young Life. “I joined the full-time staff in August of 2016, leaving a career in construction to pursue what God had called me to do.”

Many years prior to Sethaler coming onboard, the groundwork for the organization calling 6th and State “home” had already been laid.

“Young Life came to operate out of the 6th street facility in 1999 out of a movement of prayer by then-director Christy Bakker,” Sethaler informs. “Christy’s prayers for a space to start a Young Life program called Mentor Moms (Now YoungLives) were answered when Knap graciously agreed to let Young Life rent an office in the facility.”

The organization set up shop in the upper and lower levels of the southwest corner of the building. Soon enough, the success of Young Life led to an expansion of its services and, subsequently, the need for additional space at the 6th and State building.

“We now have three branches of Young Life represented in the facility growing from the initial launch of Mentor Moms,” Sethaler says. “We now proudly offer Young Life for high school students, WyldLife for junior high students, and YoungLives for our area teen moms. In the coming years, we will be expanding programming again to launch Capernaum, Young Life’s ministry to the unique needs community, and Young Life College, which will serve area collegiate students. We are excited about the opportunities we have to continue to grow our impact, and the space we can operate out of is unique in the Young Life community.”

As a result of the expansion of services offered, Sethaler predicts endless benefits for the area.

“We are building leaders who, having a faith of their own, live out the love of Christ and will step into living lives of significance themselves,” Sethaler offers. “We see the growth in our students not just in faith, but in schoolwork, mental health, community activities, and our favorite, wanting to get involved in Young Life as leaders themselves to give back and hopefully create an experience in Young Life that was as impactful for other students. This growth impacts our community by enriching it with passionate individuals who care for others. In the same way that Young Life and Knapheide care for, love, and support our community, we are seeing our young life friends do the same.”

Sethaler could also see the same values shared by Young Life and himself when he had the opportunity to meet Knap and Bo Knapheide.

“From the first time I met Knapp and Bo, I knew that they valued relationships deeply,” Sethaler recalls. “At Young Life, what we do is build relationships – not just to build our numbers or make our programs look impactful. We build genuine, deep, and meaningful relationships that last for years beyond students’ involvement in our programs. Knapheide and Young Life both value relationships at the highest level.”

Those relationships are what keep Young Life a thriving entity in the community.

Young Life Leader Charity Speaks to members and attendees during a special event at the group’s facility

“Young Life is 100% locally supported,” informs Sethaler. “Our donors are from the area, the businesses that support our events are from the area, and the populations we serve are there. We would not exist without our community and, like Knapheide, we are grateful for the community that has given us the opportunity to exist and serve. We are continually looking for opportunities to develop new partnerships to more cohesively serve this community well.”

Knapheide is proud to play a role in the success of Young Life and the affects their leadership and programs have on the present and future of our community. The appreciation is reciprocated by Sethaler and the Young Life organization.

“We are better together, supporting each other and building into this community,” Sethaler says. “Knapheide has been doing this well for 173 years. At Young Life, we hope to have the same legacy of community impact and service. We are beyond blessed to be a partner organization with Knapheide. As we continue to build on the incredible foundation laid before us, we are excited about how Young Life and Knapheide impact our community, not just right now but for generations to come by investing in our youth.”

Recent Blog Posts