Raymond Coalition For Youth News

Raymond Coalition for Youth Gala Fundraiser is March 5
By Penny Williams 2-22-16

The Raymond Coalition for Youth (RCFY) brings community resources and partners together to help youth reach their potential and make the community a safer and healthier place, with much of its work funded by a 10-year Drug Free Community federal grant.

In order to make the required grant match, the Coalition is hosting its third annual Gala Fundraiser, with this year’s event held from 6 to 10 p.m. March 5 at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson. The evening features food, dancing, music, raffles and both a live and a silent auction.

Celeste Clark, executive director of the Coalition said, "The Raymond Coalition for Youth is in year six of a 10-year Drug Free Community (DFC) grant. This grant is a very, very competitive grant to receive and we must show that our community supports and is a part of our Coalition. We must show that 12 sectors of the community are actively involved and a part of our efforts to have a collective impact and make a difference."

The sectors are: law enforcement, business, schools, health care, town government, state government, substance misuse prevention partners, youth-serving organization partners, youth, parents, civic groups, and faith-based partners.

During the first five years of the grant, the Coalition had to match the grant dollar for dollar.  "This means that we had to have a documented income match of $125,000," Clark explained. "Each person who is involved or a part of RCFY contributes time, space, and goods. This is referred to as in-kind services and a dollar amount is attached to this and documented to send in with the grant."

But the financial matching aspect of the grant becomes harder as the Coalition moves into years six through 10. In years six and seven the Coalition must match the grant 125 percent, and for years eight, nine and 10, it has to match the grant money 150 percent, whether in actual or in-kind dollars.

"As a nonprofit, RCFY has not received any tax dollars since we started in 2002," said Clark. "A goal of the DFC grant is to establish an effective coalition that the Raymond community embraces and values. By the end of DFC funding, it expects that the community will effectively have in place funding sources to sustain its efforts."

In addition to DFC funding, the Coalition relies on other grants, donations and fundraisers.

Clark said that two years ago, RCFY decided to host the gala fundraiser to raise matching funds for the grant. “This has become the premier fundraiser for RCFY, and community members and supporters are invited to purchase tickets, with all funds going to support the RCFY mission,” she said. “We have solicited support from many businesses and organizations that have contributed prizes and auction items to help support this evening."

She said the gala offers the best opportunity for members of the community - individual and commercial - to support the Coalition.

Clark noted that in the past decade, RCFY has been a part of important changes in the Raymond community and has served as a cheerleader for positive change. "Giving young people positive things to be engaged in helps to reduce youth substance use, Clark said. "This is a positive approach to addressing a difficult subject and an added bonus to our work. Changing community norms, attitudes and perceptions is a bit harder but is something we continue to work on. When our young people are a part of engaging the community and making positive choices, it can have long-term positive results.

"Support for RCFY can be financial with a donation, or by attending our RCFY Gala, or volunteering, or as simple as learning more and talking to your friends and neighbors," Clark added. "The RCFY brings our community together, and its success and longevity rests with the community to support it in all ways, including financially."

Tickets to the gala are $60 each and can be obtained by contacting the Coalition office at 895-4735, ext. 125, emailing info@rcfy.org or purchasing online by visiting rcfy.org and clicking on “purchase gala tickets.”


Christine Bostaph welcomed and thanked everyone
for supporting RCFY at the 2014 Gala





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