GYAC’s Chilly Snow Ball Warms Hearts


Although guests enjoyed the sparkling champagne, high energy music by Ladies of Soul and stunning winter-themed décor, the mission of GYAC was first and foremost in everyone’s hearts.

There are approximately 60 children on a wait list who are desperate to find space at GYAC each term. Many parents know that the after-school programs it offers are the difference between their child’s success or failure in both their coming school year and on their way to graduation.

To answer this urgent need, the GYAC Board of Directors made the decision to expand its facilities to include a new building which will have eight more multi-use classrooms including a computer lab.

To fund the new classroom building, GYAC Executive Director Angelia Perry told the gala’s gathered supporters about a capital campaign which had been quietly securing early leadership gifts over the past year.  Already, private donors had raised more than $4.5 million, including two $1 million gifts, that enabled GYAC to immediately begin construction.  

Perry announced that the campaign was entering its a new Public Phase that will engage our entire 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 to sustain the operating costs of the program and building for the longer term. This phase would be the most vital to keep GYAC’s doors open and its future secure.

Perry announced that the Honorary Chair of the Capital Campaign would be Scott Alexander, President of Northern Trust Bank and a longtime board member and supporter of the organization.

“Tonight, I am proud to officially announce the Gifford Youth Achievement Center Dreamweaver’s Campaign,” said 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. "

Alexander said they also would be seeking $2 million to increase its endowment and praised the two anonymous million-dollar donors. “These are the largest single gifts ever given to GYAC since our initial founding” said Alexander. “It’s true what they say…great things happen inside the doors of GYAC and it is wonderful that so many philanthropists are recognizing the credibility of our work.”

Members of the Campaign Leadership team included Adam Bolinger, Roz Cline, Todd Fennell, Bill Glavin, Lisa Holmes, Barry Reardon, Norm Rickard, Joan Woodhouse, as well as staff--Angelia Perry, Freddie Woolfork and Peggy Gibbs.

The Dreamweaver’s Campaign co-chairs will be GYAC Board Member, Lisa Holmes; 2018’s National Philanthropy Day Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year, Trudie Rainone; and community leader, Mary McKinney, who is leading the Gifford community’s involvement in the campaign. Mary and her committee are already about half-way toward a $25,000 goal supported entirely by Gifford residents.

The building expansion construction will be complete by April 26, when there will be a grand ribbon cutting which is open to everyone.

Gifford Youth Achievement Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to increase graduation rates by offering homework assistance, tutors, mentors, pre-college prep, life-skill studies and more.  It also serves as the community base for adult and senior programs, health checks and many beneficial classes.  For more information, please visit[D1]  or call (772) 794-1005.

GYAC Students with Trudie Rainone