A mentoring session conducted by the Lee County Pace Center for Girls netted the organization a new friend and donor. Now, that new friend is sponsoring a fund-raising event to help the center expand into a renovated building.
Members of the Fort Myers and Cape Coral chapters of Modern Woodmen of America are hoping to raise more than $20,000 for Pace's Dream Big Campaign through the holiday themed event that runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Westin Cape Coral Resort. The best part of the association with Pace is that up to $10,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by the Modern Woodmen's home office through its Matching Fund Program.
"I'm a firm believer that if you can get to people when they are young you can impact their lives positively," said Woodmen representative Jarrett Glosson. "They get counseling and direction that the girls might not be getting at home and it gives them a fighting chance."
Those attending the fund-raiser will enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails as they browse items for sale through a silent auction, Pace Christmas ornaments, sealed letters written by Pace girls and two sizes of brick pavers ($150 and $250) to be inscribed and installed at the new facility.
"The sealed letters is kind of a personal token that people can take home with them," said Sally Kee, Pace special projects coordinator. "It's all holiday themed and we'll have a tree all decorated with ornaments."
Pace Center for Girls recently purchased the Richard Milburn Academy building on Evans Avenue and Lee Memorial Health System donated the land on which it sits. Renovations on the building are scheduled to begin later this month.
"It is supposed to be finished so we can move in in March," said Kee. "It is double the size, 15,000 square feet, of the facility we have now and we are at our maximum capacity of 45 girls, so we can expand our capacity to serve more girls up to a maximum of 60."
Pace already has raised $700,000 of the funds needed to complete the project. The Woodmen fund-raiser will go toward the remaining $400,000 needed. Pace has picked out a name for its new facility, too, the Pace Center for Girls L. Gail Markham Building in honor of its co-founding board chairperson.
For more information on Pace Center for Girls, Lee County, visit their website at www.pacecenter.org.