David Garibaldi

YMCA Salute Gala Celebrated Achievers

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I just wrapped up working on a wonderful project – the Salute to YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Gala.

David Garibaldi, known the world over for his amazingly unique stage entertainment, brought his show to our region for the very first time as he created four 6 ft tall masterpieces before a filled Bank of Kentucky Center arena with more about 550 seats sold – at the Salute to YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Gala. The evening was a celebration of the potential of young people when inspired by caring adult role models who are volunteers of the YMCA.

The YMCA Salute Gala honored local professionals who are giving back as volunteers of the YMCA’s college readiness program. Also honored were eight teens selected to receive YMCA scholarships, including Breana Marie Nicholson – who was honored as 2011 YMCA Teen Achiever of the Year. Lisa Martin-Patterson and Olivia Darks were honored as YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Program Community Volunteers of the Year. James T. Cowan, MBA, and Chrystal Davis, were honored as YMCA Adult Achievers of the Year.

One of the largest regional programs of its kind, the YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Program motivates students of color to further their education and goals with help from successful, professional role models. Since its beginning, the Program has served over 6,000 teens, awarded over $200,000 in scholarships, assisted youth with over $4 million dollars in awarded scholarships and engaged more than 4,500 adult volunteers through a network of corporate and community partners.

The Salute Gala also raised essential funding so that the Program can continue to offer this valuable experience to hundreds of area youth, paving their path toward college and a career.

(photos by Mark Bowen)

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