Crowning Connections: Touring Ground Zero in Myrtle Beach

Crowning Connections Podcast recorded live from Ground Zero in downtown Myrtle Beach! Each Spring, Monarch Roofing joins other local businesses and groups to fundraise for Ground Zero. This is a fun-filled afternoon, lakeside in Market Commons, on Saturday, April 30th. Everyone is invited to come cheer everyone along. In preparation, Rob Clemons wanted to take Stephanie Sebring’s tour of the Ground Zero building and share more of the ministry with all. Listen in!

Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1829238/10459237

Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gJ88QM4ZBYw

Rob Clemons
Hi, this is Rob Clemons with Crowning Connections. I’m here today at the Ground Zero facilities; very excited. I’m here with Stephanie Sebring. And we’re here to talk a little bit about the fact that we got the Dragon Boat races coming up this a couple of weekends from now. And we’re definitely a participant we’re excited to get out there and, and do some hard work with our team and enjoy it. But I wanted to get back to Ground Zero and talk about what’s this all about? And why are we doing this in the first place? So Stephanie, welcome to the show.

Stephanie Sebring
Thank you so much. So Ground Zero is a teen ministry, we focus on middle school and high school students and the Ground or I’m sorry, the Dragon Boat Festival is our largest fundraiser of the year, so it supports our general ministry budget all year long.

Rob Clemons
It’s beautiful what you guys have done this great facility and they were able to raise some money for the kids and all these good things. So if you would, let’s take a tour of your building will show the people what to expect.

Stephanie Sebring
Absolutely come on in. So when you walk in, you enter right away to our coffee shop. This is a place where when we have outreach events and while we have other civic and non civic rentals. We opened up our coffee shop and we provide our middle school and high schoolers with a free coffee drink, as well as well as free food upstairs at Top Notch which we’ll get to.

Rob Clemons
Now, that’s really cool. So when you feed a high schoolers and younger coffee and caffeine, how do they do with this? Is it like just a party automatically?

Stephanie Sebring
Why we do it at the beginning of the evening so that when we send them home, they’re pretty cafed up. Parents get to deal with that.

Rob Clemons
That’s awesome. So if I were to get order like a double shot of caffeine right now, would that be a doable thing?

Stephanie Sebring
It’s called espresso and you would definitely be able to get that.

Rob Clemons
Oh, yeah. Well, my people anybody who knows me knows I feed off of caffeine. You know, at least three or four cups a day will be about right if I’m trying to keep it nice and calm, right.

Stephanie Sebring
That’s a good ratio.

Rob Clemons
Super cool in here. I love it. Okay, so cool. What else?

Stephanie Sebring
We’re gonna go on upstairs.

Rob Clemons
By the way, I love the little seating area here. This is a giant. Is this what I think it is? It looks like a giant game of Jenga.

Stephanie Sebring
It is.

Rob Clemons
Now, do we have time to play a full game here? I’m talking to the staff. No. Okay. All right. We don’t have a time for a full game. But how good are you at this by the way?

Stephanie Sebring
I have played with teenagers. I have not played with adults. But there is physics to this, of course.

Rob Clemons
All right. All right. Well, you know, I’ve shown that I can do it right. Like wouldn’t be funny if the whole thing toppled down the first time I tried that one block. Yeah, with just one block, that will be like a record of some sorts. All right.

Stephanie Sebring
So this is our greenroom. And we have about 30 to 40 volunteers that help us when we have outreach events. So we’ve also got eyes on every place in the building where teenagers can be. That’s for their safety. Our volunteers come in and put their items in a locker. This space that is currently holding the Dragon Boat Festival trophy…

Rob Clemons
Wait, hold on, hold on. All right now we can’t just stop there. This will be hopefully the Monarch Roofing trophy. That’s what we’re really hoping for: Fastest Time of the Day.

Stephanie Sebring
Fastest time of the day.

Rob Clemons
My people are training right now. Like even as we’re here. They’re in a boat or somewhere rowing? Probably not. They’re probably working on roofs, but either way.

Stephanie Sebring
Yeah, so this is where we keep all of the food for our volunteers. They check in, they get their credentials, their clipboard and their walkie talkie. We have about a 15 to 20 minute gathering, where our president I’ll share what’s going on for the evening. And what if anything is different about tonight than any other night because we change things a lot. Yeah, we identify something isn’t working, we switch it up. So this is the volunteer greenroom.

Rob Clemons
Very, very cool. And by the way, I mean, I think it brings great comfort to anybody who you know if your kid was going here, for example, to know that, you know their monitor basically everywhere. Right? That’s that’s pretty cool. Very nice.

Stephanie Sebring
So as you know, this used to be the old Rivoli theater. So upstairs, our projection rooms and other spaces that used to be utilized for the production of movies. This used to be a coat closet and our missions teams that come from leader checks all summer long, converted it into what we now use as a staff kitchen.

Rob Clemons
Man, this is a nice little efficient kitchen in here too. And I like the fact there’s a Keurig up here. So just in case you didn’t get your coffee downstairs, you’re gonna get it up here. Now, what is this stuff? And this is this have some significance is it.

Stephanie Sebring
So we plan based on a school year we aren’t we run on a fiscal year from a budgetary standpoint, but this is our fifth or our school calendar. So it shares every date on here is a Wednesday night because that’s when we do our outreach. kind of talks about what the focus is going to be because when we have these outreach events, we sit the kids down for about a 15 minute video As it talks about things that are relevant in their lives and what the Bible has to say about it.

Rob Clemons
Wow, that’s very cool. And it looks like you guys are busy. That’s the takeaway here. Right. And Stephanie makes it happen. So I think that’s, that’s a beautiful thing.

Stephanie Sebring
Well, it’s definitely a team effort for sure. So this is our workroom. And this is where we have a lot of the meetings and the planning. And one of the projects that we’d actually like to do is to blow out this wall, because you’re standing above the lobby now. So there’s additional office space that we would love to put above the lobby.

Rob Clemons
Okay. Well, the headspace No, no. Do you get volunteers to help with those kinds of projects? Or? Yeah, okay.

Stephanie Sebring
Lots of inkind lots of donation.

Rob Clemons
Well, I mean, and that’s something that I’d like people to know. You know, ultimately, you know, the Home Builders Association people and people like that that are out there, you know, maybe looking to get some charity work, and it’s not a bad idea. So we got what’s this a death by distraction, anything urgent, that pulls you away from something that is important. That’s Death by distraction? Yeah, I like the fact that you guys have these cool little sayings around the rim now who can’t you came up with all this stuff? Is this that is our president sky. Yeah. Yeah. Scott’s a very you know, he’s a he’s a by the books guy. It sounds like he’s, you

Stephanie Sebring
know, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy working here. Because very focused and very intention on what we’re doing. It’s awesome. Yeah, very nice. Very cool. So offices are upstairs. Currently, we have five staff. So just five people pull off this whole festival. Wow. Yeah. It’s that’s amazing. whelming. So this is the office area. Hello, Rachel.

Rob Clemons
Hi, Rachel. Good to see you. How’s it going? So is Rachel the friendly voice that greets everybody as they come in? You got a nice smile to you seem like you enjoy it here. Yeah. Over five years, and I love it. Now. These your dogs. I just need to because those are kind of cute. Yeah. I actually

Savannah
won one when we were on our trip last year, our retreat. And this one, I found it.

Rob Clemons
You found it at Disney. So I guess that happens out at Disney. That’s cool. Very cool. Very nice to meet you.

Stephanie Sebring
Thank you. So lots of office space. This is Laurie. She’s currently downstairs. She’s our operations director. Holden has gotten Kimberly son, he’s 21. But he is our ministry director. He’s actually getting ready to leave for the Coast Guard full time. So we’ll be having an open position.

Rob Clemons
That’s so cool. I was gonna ask you about that. That’s so beautiful. If you can get a shot of that on the wall did that looks like somebody maybe made that for forum or something?

Stephanie Sebring
Kimberly got that as a gift. Yeah, nice when you graduated, very cool. This is my space here. So this area over here is where we produce all of our videos. So Carly is our outreach director. But she also, by default, has been put in charge of filming and taking care of all of

Rob Clemons
this real operation here. It looks like a little fortune 500 company you’re on. Oh, wait. So you see Oh, okay. All right. Now, I full disclosure, I’ve gotten a chance to go through here before and this is actually probably my favorite room in the building has its food, it will you know, food is always gonna get to me. And plus, there must be some coffee around here or something. But what I thought when I came in here is this has that vibe of like a like a 50s diner or something. And that’s kind of the vibe I got from here. But so cool the way you guys did the stuff on the wall and everything. So tell me what is this room used for typically, I mean, obviously kids come up here, but what kind of things do you do in here.

Stephanie Sebring
So this our cafeteria, top notch, the definition of nosh is to eat with enthusiasm. So again, we’re intentional and enthusiastic about everything that we do nice. So when the kids eat, we want them to eat in an area where it can be contained and cleaned up because as good as they are. Everyone has spills. But we wanted to also give them some familiarity of where they’re transitioning from the end of their school day to ground zero.

Rob Clemons
And plus, if you’re eating with enthusiasm, I mean that probably it sounds messy. It can be like not just eating but with enthusiasm. Well, I love the fact you guys had a very you know like I said it’s kind of an old school feel but it’s got a lot of modern stuff and and I didn’t know the definition of washing is this like in the dictionary or is this like a look okay, yeah, washing? I’m gonna go home and not tonight. No washing Exactly. Let’s go. And I see you have a Nintendo Switch on the wall.

Stephanie Sebring
So many digital games. Now would I be able to compete

Rob Clemons
with my staff on this later to enforce that I am still the video game King, this company only

Stephanie Sebring
if you’re willing to be beaten. I guarantee you some of your staff that’s there down.

Rob Clemons
Oh, yeah. No, you’re right. You’re right on this but but that’s really really great.

Stephanie Sebring
Awesome. So this is our patio out here we have and kind of we consider it to be an additional eating space. This was actually built in the whole building was renovated from 2011 to 2014. So it took three years and almost $2 million plus because I’ve made so many changes to the building since it’s been open in 2014. So this facility will hold about 1000 people standing only. So we do rent the facility out to civic and non civic groups. There is an application process that they have to go through with me. And if it’s approved, then we’ll go ahead and have different events here. We’ve hosted a lot.

Rob Clemons
I mean, I’ll tell you, we talked about maybe even us renting this house in time great place for a team building, gathering or just maybe a team party of some sort. Very cool. Now now, do you have some before pictures of this building before all this, this renovation happened? I love to see that. So yeah,

Stephanie Sebring
absolutely. I’ll put you in touch with Scott.

Rob Clemons
He can share all that with you. And then we there’s ping pong down here.

Stephanie Sebring
Not only is there a ping pong, this is almost like competitive ping pong. So really serious about ping pong?

Rob Clemons
I’ll bet you I can see Stephanie, you are you one of those people to stand on, like 20 feet away from the table and just whipping the ball back and stuff.

Stephanie Sebring
If I were I probably wouldn’t be here.

Rob Clemons
Do an Olympic ping pong or something, right? Well, this is cool. It looks like a whole production like you go into the theater or something. So yeah. And

Stephanie Sebring
we have tried to maintain some of the integrity of the original theater. So we have some of the old seats in there. Cool. Cool. So let’s go downstairs and kind of show you the main room. All right.

Rob Clemons
And by the way, could I go ahead and get some chicken wings while I’m here? Okay. No, not not that kind of hours. Okay, gotcha. We’ll come back later.

Stephanie Sebring
So as I mentioned, because we’re a facility that is a concert venue, we have a very high tech, AV sound and light system. So our production booth is manned by not only our employees, but also by the students that we train in order to operate these things. Currently, Savannah.

Rob Clemons
So this is where all the like the magic happens. Really, these guys are like the brains of this whole thing. Yes. Okay, very much. Gotcha, gotcha. What’s your favorite part of the job here?

Savannah
I love being able to manipulate all the graphics in the video.

Rob Clemons
That’s a good part. Yeah, gotcha, gotcha. Now, is it true that, like, I can basically learn how to do this right now and do better than you got? No, I’m kidding. No, I’m sure you guys would run circles around me. That’s very cool. That’s awesome. Well, good to meet you guys.

Stephanie Sebring
So the biggest game, the biggest draw of the evening is usually nine square in the air. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with that game. Okay, there’s nine people, each person stands in a square, and they try to defend their square. So if you can’t defend your square, you get thrown out, you got to circle back around and get in line to defend your square again, well, is to get in the middle and keep that middle square defended.

Rob Clemons
So I would love to see that happening in person. Maybe we can come back later on when this is actually going down.

Stephanie Sebring
Yeah.

Rob Clemons
Cool. Cool. Yeah. That’s great. Yeah.

Stephanie Sebring
So then we end the night with everyone seated. And again, we share a little bit of video time with them. We have Carly and Holden, who I mentioned earlier, sitting on stage, just kind of talking back and forth about some things that are really important that the kids are going through.

Rob Clemons
Gotcha.

Stephanie Sebring
So our goal is really just to give them hope. We try to transform their futures by cultivating their faith. So giving them some different messaging. One of the things that the captain said to me today was, “you know, we’re trying to recruit some more people, but they think they’ve got to be trained, and they think they have to be really strong.” And I said, you know, that presents a real unique opportunity for us to talk about the fact that it’s not strength and muscling through. It’s being willing to get on the boat, and being very in sync with the people that you’re in front of, and not smacking the person in the head behind you with the paddle. But seriously being in alignment with one another and being willing to get in the boat and row beside someone. So if you’re in sync, that’s going to get you across the finish line a whole lot faster. And that’s what we try to teach the kids is: You don’t have to be the best, you don’t have to be the greatest, you don’t have to step over top of people to fulfill your purpose in life. You just have to be willing to join in and walk side by side with the people that you have in your life every single day.

Rob Clemons
And maybe put in a little hard work put in a little harder. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s funny when you go to the you know, because we’ve done this a few years in a row with monarch roofing. And when you go out there, you can see the boats that are moving really fast. And they’re always the ones that are in sync. And it’s not the biggest, strongest guys either. It’s the ones who are really in sync with each other. So that’s really cool. What are the age ranges of the of the kids that are out here?

Middle school and high school. Sometimes that age is different.

Stephanie Sebring
Yeah, right.

Rob Clemons
Middle School and high school. So that would put what’s what’s the youngest would be here? Okay, like 12 years old. Okay. Was there ever a story that you experienced with any particular kid? I’m sure you got a lot of them so it may be too hard to But was there any one story that just was would inspire you that you’re just like, wow, saw this person come from this level, this level? Or does that happen every day every day.

Stephanie Sebring
It does happen a lot, but they’re in such small quantities and one of the more outward facing names Change to protect the innocent. A gentleman by the name of John high school student had always been acting up here during our video time. It’s this the quiet time, and just always acting up in our policy is we’ll walk you out and have you sit at the front until your parent comes if you can’t maintain, you know, some level of decorum in here. Sure. Well, a couple couple times this had happened in the third week that it happened. Our president had walked out with two bottles of water and two cookies, sat out on the curb with this young man and just said, you know, hey, what’s going on? You know, is there a reason you can’t sit still is there a reason you agitated? Most kids? Sometimes they don’t even talk to you. But this individual showed Scott something on his phone. And it was an Orange County School website where anonymously, kids can post things. And the post that he was showing Scott was about him. And it was saying something negative. So you know, all of the anger, all the frustration that Scott was feeling, because this person wasn’t being able to, you know, maintain some decorum and a group setting literally just melted well, and you come side by side with these kids, and you learn what they’re dealing with. And ever since then, he’s been a totally changed kid. I saw him come and open his arms wanting to give Scott a hug one night, and I’m like, see, those are small changes. Awesome. And it is awesome, because now that person knows there’s someone here who’s really invested and they really care about him. And he can pull Scott aside at any time and talk about anything. And I would bet that that’s probably not something he’s got outside of Ground Zero. Absolutely, to have a safe place to come.

Rob Clemons
It’s amazing. It’s about trust, right? So you start with a place like this, you bring him in, bring him around some other kids their age, but sometimes is that one little reach out? It makes all the difference, right? Very cool. Yeah. Well, so it did do we catch everything while we’re here? I see a stage left. That’s pretty neat.

Stephanie Sebring
And that’s our merch store. Okay, and there is a lot backstage. We have actually an artist greenroom similar to the volunteer greenroom, but it’s an actual full apartment with showers, laundry facilities, everything for our artists, or any anyone else who comes to speak, to stay with their family, so that they can kind of get out of the limelight, but you know, just kind of prepare to to perform.

Rob Clemons
That’s awesome. Can we look at the merchandise or is that like, okay, I guess I think it’d be really cool. Because the last time I was here, it kind of blew me away. I felt like I was at Disney World a little bit. And you know, and I’m sure the kids must feel like that.

Stephanie Sebring
They do. So this is our merch store. And we use this for two purposes.

Rob Clemons
Yeah, I mean, like, that’s so cool.

Stephanie Sebring
These are all of the guitars, some of them. And the artists signed the guitars and they were here from our Summer Concert Series.

Rob Clemons
Man, this is really exciting. So we’re, you know, we were actually just talking about guitars earlier, because this year, we’re sponsoring the Country Music Festival, the Carolina Country. And we were talking about guitars and all this. Guys, see, here’s our inspiration. I was trying to tell him I want to do electric guitar, but they said no, you gotta go acoustic. It’s country music, right? Yeah, well, you know, I’d see. So I lose.

Stephanie Sebring
In addition to being able to sell merchandise from here, what we use this for is when we have a first time guests come to our outreach event, they come back here to stage left, they fill out all their information, we take their photograph, this is part of our check in and our safety and security procedure. So we know who’s in the building. We know when they’re leaving. So then the tokens that you see one is for free coffee one is for free food.

Rob Clemons
Oh my god. That’s kind of cool.

Stephanie Sebring
Yeah.

Rob Clemons
Check that out. Free coffee. That’s that’s like world class right there. I like it.

Stephanie Sebring
Well, and it’s always free to them. But first time guests, we want to give them that extra feel of “Here you go.”

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Stephanie Sebring
And then we can communicate with them what events we have coming. So April 20th, we actually have a really cool “Your Year” night. So we will have the streets blocked off. There are 30 different employers that are gonna be coming here to give the kids an opportunity to think ahead, talk about what’s next, you know, what’s after high school, and then present some potential employment opportunities. That’s

Rob Clemons
That’s great. Have you got that all filled up? I mean, are all the employees spoken for the employers?

Stephanie Sebring
You would have to talk to Holden and I could put you in touch?

Rob Clemons
Well, that’s that’s a great, great tip. I mean, we’d love to take part in that. If there’s any room left. You know, that sounds like you’ve done a good job filling it up, for sure. Right? Well, this is great. I mean, I love like some of the gear that they have here if you guys can kind of pin in on this. Just neat stuff all around. So I’m sure that’s great. Beautiful.

Stephanie Sebring
We’re in the process of restocking with some new designs. And so we’re kind of depleting the inventory that we have and we’re working with another supplier to get all this stuff situated.

Rob Clemons
That’s so cool. So tell us what if you’re maybe a parent out there, somebody that’s looking and thinking I might want to get my kid involved with this, what would be the first steps for them?

Stephanie Sebring
Just show up. Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30. And parents are not allowed in the building. So if you want your child to attend and you’re curious about all of this, we welcome you to come in outside of those hours. Maybe come and drop them off a little early. We’ll give you a tour and let you introduce yourself to the staff and maybe talk to you a little bit about maybe, whatever concerns you have. But yeah, just show up because there’s no requirement other than to be aged 12 to 18.

Rob Clemons
And so cool. So so let’s go back over those dates again. So you said April 20th. That’s the big event out here you to block off the street, have some employers kind of give these kids who had good jumpstart in life. I love that. That’s amazing. And then any Wednesday night.

Stephanie Sebring
Any Wednesday night.

Rob Clemons
At 630?

Stephanie Sebring
6:30 to 8:30.

Rob Clemons
All right, sounds good. Well, this has been amazing, Stephanie, I appreciate it. You guys do a great thing at Ground Zero. I welcome anybody that’s out there and interested. Come on out, get out to the place. Come see us out at the Dragon Boat Races.

Stephanie Sebring
We’re so thankful for your sponsorship. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Rob Clemons
It’s always great. Well, Stephanie, good to see you, as always.

Stephanie Sebring
Thank you.

Rob Clemons
And this is Rob Clemons signing out with Crowning Connections. We’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1829238/10459237

Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gJ88QM4ZBYw

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