By: Teresa Bond-Mason | Category: Special Interest | Issue: February 2018
Youth At Heart’s Grandslam Gala on April 6 will support after school enrichment programs for Tulsa kids.
For the fourth year in a row, Youth At Heart is holding its annual gala to showcase its mission and the incredible people involved with it. The Mirror Mirror Grandslam Gala, being held at the DoubleTree Warren Place on April 6 will celebrate all the work that goes into making Youth At Heart the success it is.
Youth At Heart is a non-profit agency that helps kids who are either left alone or unsupervised after school. It combines sports and education enrichment to assist youth living in Tulsa’s socio-economically challenged neighborhoods. Programs consist of tutoring, character training, youth mentoring, health and fitness training, sports leagues, career exploration, community service and summer camp.
The unique factor about Youth At Heart is that they provide the transportation to and from activities, removing the barrier many kids have from getting help. Students receive one-on-one tutoring for 26 weeks during the school year and the sports programs run year-round.
Some of the valuable lessons learned from many of the activities include group dynamics, health and fitness, engagement and general well-being, just to name a few. Director of Development Marquetta Finley is quick to point out that field trips are also planned for the kids. “We’ve taken them to the Cirque du Soleil and The Tulsa Botanic Garden, but we balance that with community service in the nursing homes and food banks. We want the kids to see what it’s like to be giving members of society.”
One of the best parts of being involved with Youth At Heart is hearing the alumni success stories. “Just the other day, a team member mentioned we got a letter from one of our alumni with a picture of his family letting us know what a difference his involvement in our program made in his life. That’s what it is all about,” says Marquetta.
The Grandslam Gala will not be your typical black-tie ball. Instead, it’s encouraged you wear your favorite sports team jersey and jeans. Several team mascots will be present as well as some surprise sports celebrities. Keith Isbell and Scott Gaffen will emcee the event where there will be a trivia challenge, cheer off and even a tail gate reception. Tickets are available online for $75 a plate.
After school programs provide a solid return on investment. Research shows that for every one dollar invested in a program like Youth At Heart, it saves at least three dollars by increasing kids’ earning potential, improving kids’ performance at school and reducing crime and juvenile delinquency.
Youth At Heart has served more than 40,000 kids for over 40 years and they would love you to be a part of the festivities this year to support Tulsa kids. Put April 6 on your calendar now and plan to join in on the fun.
Teresa Bond-Mason is an Oklahoma native and a graduate from the University of Tulsa with a degree in communication. Teresa has written a wide range of articles from insurance journals to book reviews and of course her latest work for Value News! In her spare time, Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading and scrapbooking.
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