Tides of Change raises more than $180k for PACE Center for Girls, Lee

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Community supports academics, counseling and career preparation

Through the overwhelming support of its sponsors, community partners and supporters, PACE Center for Girls, Lee raised an astounding $180,981 from its Tides of Change event on Nov. 3 at MarineMax in Fort Myers. The proceeds will support the year-round academics, counseling, and career preparation services for girls, ages 11-18, in Lee County.

While at PACE, girls earn academic credits to bring them back on track with their district peers. They learn positive coping skills to help them find success in school, at home and in their communities. Girls also benefit from career exploration and vocational services, preparing them for future economic independence.

This new coastal-themed fundraiser wrapped up PACE’s year of celebrations. This year has been in honor of its 10 years of service in Lee County. The event sold out weeks in advance. The shore-side dinner and dancing event featured a Docktail Hour “yacht crawl” tour of MarineMax’s luxurious yachts. There was artistic cuisine by Crave Culinare, raffles, and live auction. The keynote address was by a former PACE student. She overcame her risk factors and found her voice during her time at the PACE Center for Girls, Lee. 

PACE Lee Executive Director Meg M. Geltner said, “Believing in girls is our mandate, and we are overwhelmed to know how the greater community has embraced our mission. The generous spirit of giving that was present in the room reflects the PACE love that fills our hearts.”

Geltner also expresses gratitude on behalf of the organization, its board of directors and the event committee to the event’s sponsors: Fort Myers Police Department, Scott and Mary Fischer of Six Bends Harley-Davidson, Gary Tasman of Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property SWFL, Enterprise Holdings, Publix Super Market Charities, Bill Smith Inc., Chico’s FAS, David and Cheryl Copham, Lee Health, EverBank, Wittenborn Plastic Surgery and Markham, Norton, Mostellar & Wright, P.A. Other event sponsors include: Crave Culinaire by Chef Brian Roland, MarineMax Fort Myers, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Ruth Messmer Florist, New Beginnings Events, Wicked Dolphin, Florida Hydronic Solutions Inc., Ada’s Natural Market, Red Door Photography, Blue Dahlia Salon, and Jason’s Deli, with Media Sponsors The News-Press Media Group, Florida Weekly, CONRIC PR & Marketing, and Living Local.

The event chairs were Cheryl Komnick, Noelle Casagrande and Marc Collins.

About PACE Center for Girls, Lee

PACE Center for Girls is a Florida-based nonprofit organization. It is the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation. The non-residential program targets the unique needs of girls, ages 11 to 18. The girls in the program are facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades. In the past year, the Lee County program provided 117 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy, resulting in 95 percent of girls in the program having no involvement with juvenile justice within one year of leaving PACE, 96 percent improving their academic performance and 93 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance use, unemployment and long-term economic dependency.

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