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The Gifford Youth Achievement Center (GYAC) celebrated its donors with an appreciation event hosted by Northern Trust on April 25, 2023. The post pandemic return of the Center’s annual event acknowledged donors who contributed five hundred dollars or more within the last three years.

The joyous gathering was an excellent opportunity for GYAC to celebrate and thank its donors for their kind and generous support in furthering its mission: to create educational, cultural and social opportunities that enhance the lives of the youth and families served.  Invitations were extended to donors, board members, founders, and members of the Freddie Woolfork 1998 Society. Donors were also encouraged to bring a guest with them to share their enthusiasm for GYAC.

The evening began with refreshments and the showing of GYAC’s 25th anniversary video, which highlighted the organization’s legacy and impact in the community since its opening in 1998. Attendees also heard from members of GYAC’s board and staff. Board Chairwoman, Dr. Deborah Taylor-Long, provided opening remarks. Angelia Perry, executive director, gave a word of thanks to celebrate donors for their continuous generosity.

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed delightful music provided by the Gifford Youth Orchestra. Attendees also heard from GYAC students, Landen Chaney and Tyjah Warner. During Landen’s speech, he mentioned one of the reasons why he loves attending GYAC, stating, “They are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” Tyjah also expressed how GYAC has impacted her life by stating, “GYAC taught me how to come out of my shell and be myself.” Hearing from GYAC’s students served as one of the highlights of the evening.

Freddie Woolfork, director of public relations and facilities operations, closed the evening with a thoughtful modern-day parable. An appreciation event provided an exceptional opportunity for GYAC to celebrate its donors. With their support, GYAC can continue “Changing Lives, Changing Futures.”

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