Raise Your Spirits, Help the Hungry

Father Greg Boyle inspires in "G-Dog"

If you plan to attend the screening of the documentary film “G-Dog” this Saturday night (October 13) at the Sun Valley Opera House, prepare to laugh, cry and be moved. The film profiles Father Greg Boyle (G-Dog) who created Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; a man who has helped turn around countless lives for at-risk youth. You will meet two of Father Boyle’s success stories, as well as Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. Lastly, you will make an impact locally, as 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds will support the work of the Hunger Coalition. Not bad for a Saturday night in slack and a $10 entry fee.

Father Boyle’s program rehabilitates, trains and employs 12,000 former gang members a year. Two program graduates, who now work with Boyle, will join Mock to answer questions after the screening. Hector Verdugo is Associate Director of Homeboy Industries and Shirley Torres is Director of Reentry Services. Both met Father Boyle when they were young and in trouble, and with his help, turned their lives around. Verdugo, who is Father Boyle’s right-hand man, also stars in the film. The two will be guests in Sun Valley and plan to get out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Freida Mock hard at work

Documentary filmmaker Mock likes to delve into tough subjects, to stir the proverbial pot, to inspire and provoke thought. This part-time Sun Valley resident is thrilled to bring Father Boyle’s story to a local audience. “It is a very hopeful film,” Mock said in a phone interview. “It is a wonderful combination of funny and deep, light and deadly serious.” But G-Dog’s joy and optimism pervade the story. Mock said it is appropriate for older children and leaves audiences on their feet. She said the film will be shown here on a top quality audio-visual equipment, providing a great movie-going experience.

Filmmaker Mock with her stars

The Hunger Coalition is thrilled to be the beneficiary of this screening. “October is Hunger Awareness Month and each year we try to do an event that gets people out on the town having fun but talking about hunger in the Valley,” said Naomi Spence, program director for the organization. Every dollar from ticket sales goes directly to benefit the Hunger Coalition whose mission is not unlike Homeboy Industries. “We are focused on empowering people,” Spence explained, “in supporting them through their journey to get back on their feet. By the time people come to us, they have surrendered to the crisis. Like Father Boyle’s organization, we strive to help people return a place where they are once again sustainable.” Gathering on a lovely fall night in Sun Valley is a terrific opportunity to raise awareness and get the community together.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets to a VIP pre-party at the Boiler Room, including dinner, cocktails and a chance to mingle with Mock and the cast, are available for $50. General admission is $10. The Resort is also running slack dinner specials at Resort restaurants – an affordable way to grab a great meal before the show.

Tickets are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Wood River Motors in Hailey and at the door, based on availability.