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Overtown Children & Youth Coalition celebrates a $600,000 gift from Allegany Franciscan Ministries

overtown-childrenOvertown Children & Youth Coalition celebrates a $600,000 gift from Allegany Franciscan Ministries

Funds to empower and educate Overtown children and youth

MIAMI,FL – The Overtown Children and Youth Coalition and Allegany Franciscan Ministries (AFM) had a joint press conference on Aug. 17, 2016 at Gibson Park, in Miami, Fla. to formally announce a $600,000 gift to the organization.  This is the largest grant given in the history of the AFM community investment plan. The celebration began with prayer and a welcome followed by the purpose of the Allegany Common Good Initiative and the Overtown Common Good Initiative Council. Miguel Milanes, vice president of Allegany Ministries shared, “Allegany Franciscan Ministries has been a contributor to Overtown organizations throughout the years, and so in February 2016 it was a no-brainer to make Overtown one of our Common Good Initiative neighborhoods. We have committed a one million dollar per year investment in this wonderful and historic community for seven years.”

The Overtown Common Good Initiative Council consists of stakeholders, business owners, and residents. It was created to help make decisions toward the three priorities the community says need the most investment: access to high quality employment; accessible, affordable high quality youth development opportunities; and community voices that inform policies and decisions.

Special guests who graciously agreed to speak included City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, District 4; ClaRence Woods, SEOPW Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director; Stephanie Sylvestre, The Children’s Trust Chief Programs Officer; and Dr. Peter Gorski, Allegany Francis-can Ministries Board Member. Tishria Mindingall, representing School Board Member Dr. Dororthy Bendross-Mindingall, District 2, offered a proclamation declaring this an important day while congratulating the Coalition on the current and future success this creative collective impact will have on Overtown children and youth.

“This year has been an ex-citing year for the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition,” remarks Chair Saliha Nelson. “The collective effort of the members in this coalition has resulted in several exciting an-nouncements.  Earlier this year, we received our 501©3 and be-came one of five Florida Child-ren’s Initiatives. Today, we receive a check from Allegany Franciscan Ministries, and we’ve already been able to leverage those funds to secure another $50,000 to contribute to the work we plan to do for the young people in this neighborhood.” Co-chair Tina Brown closed the ceremony with a special thank you to Allegany Franciscan Ministries and Miguel Milanes, stating, “we invite you to join the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition. The members of this coalition are not only the anchor youth-based institutions in this neighborhood, but also educators, business owners and residents who care.  Let’s continue to pull together and create partnerships that make a difference.”  Membership is free and to learn more, email overtowncyc@gmail.com.

For more information about the OCYC, its board members, mission statement and goals; contact Stephanie van Vark, at Stephanie@stephaniecreates.com.

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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