Before he tips off his career as University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball coach, Corliss Williamson will tip off a much broader campaign.

Williamson, a former standout at Russellville High, the Arkansas Razorbacks and in the NBA, will be the guest speaker at the Tip-Off Fundraiser for Conway K-Life, which will be from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 12 at Ruth Doyle Elementary School.

K-Life is a interdenominational, faith-based,  mentoring, discipleship and fellowship program from high school youth and their families. There is also a new Super-K program for fifth- and sixth-graders and a junior program for grades 7-8.

The organization has two fundraisers and year. A spring golf tournament this year attracted professional golfer Bryce Molder of Conway, a former K-Life participant himself.

Jeanie Brewster, a K-Life board member, said Williamson’s participation was the result of his experience in community faith-based groups in his youth.

"Corliss has a job as a basketball coach but he also wants to be involved with youth in this community in teaching them values and goals," Brewster said. "We have the honor to get Corliss in his first major speaking engagement and think that’s an important statement about what he feels about this community."

Brewster said the event has an informational aspect as well as serving as a fundraising banquet with a silent auctiom. The public is welcome, particularly youth and people involved with all churches in the area.

"It is just as important as raising funds to get information out about our organization, so this is a chance for parents and grandparents who want to get their youth involved, or those who already have young people involved, to learn more about what we do and the impact we have on the community," Brewster said.

The program emphasizes small group dynamics, divided by age groups and gender. Trained college students mentor and teach the high school students through Bible study, mission trips, ski trips and a variety of monthly events that emphasize relationships and fellowship. Included in the regular activities are a karoake coffeehouse, a "Fifth Quarter" fellowship of food and games for youth, grades 9-12, after Conway High football games and a voluntary, student-led "Meet at the Flagpole" prayer event at local schools.

Brewster said about 350 students are currently involved in the program, which is headquartered at the K-Life House, 1800 Hillman Street. All donations and funds raised from the event will stay with the local organization, she said. In addition to many student and parent volunteers, K-Life has three fulltime youth coordinators, including area director Anderson Wilkins, assistant director Kyle Williamson and women’s staff coordinator Ashley Stocker.

Tickets are $25 per person and are available online at www.conwayklife.com, at the Log Cabin Democrat (a presenting sponsor) or at the door.

Further information or sponsorship opportunities can be obtained at conwayklife.com or by calling the K-Life House at 329-4929.