DREAM BIG RAISES $263,000+ FOR PACE
Over 350 community leaders and guests attended the Dream BIG Luncheon benefiting PACE Center for Girls of Lee County on Nov. 1 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Under the leadership of co-chairs Heather Fitzenhagen DeBoest and Margaret Depew, two initiatives were presented to attendees resulting in donations and pledges totaling $64,000 for annual operations and $199,000 towards a capital campaign to open a new school. The funds raised for capital will be applied towards a $250,000 challenge gift from the Kleist Family Foundation.
“Eleanore Kleist and her family have pledged a very generous lead gift of $250,000, but they’ve called on our community to match their support,” explains Gail Markham, PACE Lee board chair, “It was thrilling to have so many friends step-up so we can meet the challenge and move forward with getting our PACE girls into a new building. These girls deserve it!”
“The luncheon was an inspiring launch of our capital campaign, yet we still have a long way to go,” said Depew. The capital campaign goal to open a new PACE Center in Lee County is $3 million.
The event, emceed by Kellie Burns of NBC-2, also featured a visionary speech by Judge James Seals, Circuit Court Juvenile Dependency Judge, testimonials from a PACE graduate and current students, a surprise video message for the PACE girls from American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon, recognition of major contributors and the unveiling of PACE’s new logo.
Dream BIG sponsors included Lee Memorial Health System, Condo & HOA Law Group, LLC, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Palm Printing, CDM, Lykes Insurance, Inc., Ruth Messmer Florist, Caloosa Tent & Rental and Irresistible Confections.
PACE Center for Girls is a non-residential juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention program targeting the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18, 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. PACE Lee is funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice, School District of Lee County, Lee County Human Services, United Way of Lee County, grants and corporate and private donations. To help or learn more, visit www.pacecenter.org/lee or call 239-425-2366.