VERO BEACH - On Jan. 26, the Gifford Youth Achievement Center held its Snow Ball at Oak Harbor.

Guests enjoyed sparkling champagne, high energy music by Ladies of Soul, and stunning winter-themed décor.

The mission of GYAC was the center of attention. There are about 60 children on a wait list for space at GYAC each term. The after school programs GYAC offers are often the difference between a child’s success or failure in school.

To answer this need, the GYAC Board of Directors decided to expand its facilities to include a new building with eight multi-use classrooms, including a computer lab.

To fund the new building, GYAC Executive Director Angelia Perry told the gala attendees about a capital campaign which had already raised more than $4.5 million, including two $1 million gifts that enabled GYAC to immediately begin construction.

Ms. Perry announced that the campaign was entering its a public phase that will engage the community to raise the balance of funds needed to complete construction costs, pay for the operating expenses to expand the program for the next three years, and to secure endowment funds that will help sustain the long term costs of the program.

Ms. Perry announced the Honorary Chair of the capital campaign is Scott Alexander, president of Northern Trust Bank and a longtime board member and supporter of GYAC.

“Tonight, I am proud to officially announce the Gifford Youth Achievement Center Dreamweaver’s Campaign,” said Mr. Alexander. “We have set a $5 million goal to support the cost of construction, furnishings, new technology, expanded staffing and operating expenses to deliver the programs within the new facility."

Mr. Alexander said they also would be seeking $2 million to increase the GYAC endowment, and praised the two anonymous million-dollar donors.

“These are the largest single gifts ever given to GYAC since our initial founding” said Mr. Alexander. “It’s wonderful that so many philanthropists are recognizing the credibility of our work.”

Members of the campaign leadership team include Adam Bolinger, Roz Cline, Todd Fennell, Bill Glavin, Lisa Holmes, Barry Reardon, Norm Rickard, Joan Woodhouse, and GYAC staff Angelia Perry, Freddie Woolfork and Peggy Gibbs.

The Dreamweaver’s Campaign co-chairs are Lisa Holmes, Trudie Rainone, and Mary McKinney.

The plan is for building construction to be complete by April 26, when there will be a grand ribbon cutting.

Gifford Youth Achievement Center is located at 4875 43rd Ave., Vero Beach. For more information, visit www.GYAC.net or call (772) 794-1005.

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