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Food for the body was served with food for the mind Saturday morning thanks to a coalition of groups trying to give hope to at-risk youths.

A free meal of bacon, eggs and home fries was probably the main lure for about 70 kids who came to True Bethel Church for a breakfast sponsored by Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder (MADDADS), Fathers Armed Together to Help Educate, Restore and Save Our Children (FATHERS) and other groups.

But the sponsoring agencies hoped that in between bites, some of their message was heard.

"The problem is some of our kids don't want to dream," said Dorian Gaskin, vice president of FATHERS.

MADDADS local President Dwayne Ferguson said the groups, which have similar goals revolving around providing opportunity and hope for youths who may feel they have little of either, got together "to do what we need to do to save our kids' lives."

"Old men have dreams, young men have visions," Ferguson said, adding that by putting the two together, "it can become a miracle."

That's one of the reasons Gaskin has become a surrogate father to a number of youths, including Bruce Wilson, a 13-year-old eighth-grader who said he had "never seen my dad."

Bruce has dreams. They keep changing, but the latest one was inspired by the television show "The Apprentice."

"When I go to college, I want to major in business," he said, adding that he has been on the honor roll since third grade.

Once a goal is in place, Gaskin said, the organizations will do all they can to make it happen.

"We're not going to make empty promises," he said. "That's what it boils down to."

e-mail: jbonfatti@buffnews.com