PACE Center for Girls of Lee County offers year round counseling and academic services for girls, ages 12-18, who are facing challenges such as foster care, domestic violence, abuse and neglect, death of a parent, substance abuse, and/or family history of incarceration. At the request of community leaders and elected officials, PACE Lee was established in 2007 and since opening its doors has helped nearly 600 girls find success in school, generate a positive relationship with their families and peers, and become productive members of our community.
PACE Center for Girls of Lee County hosted its seventh annual luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 14 raising donations and pledges totaling $112,000 for daily operations and $35,000 towards a capital campaign match by David & Cheryl Copham . At the “Plant Seeds with PACE” garden themed event, PACE Lee's executive director, Meg M. Geltner, expressed the growth PACE Lee will embrace once settled into their newly purchased building. The building was recently named the PACE Center for Girls L. Gail Markham Building to honor Ms. Markham’s seven-year leadership as the founding Board Chair of PACE Lee. Members of PACE’s Believing in Girls (BIG) Giving Society were recognized, Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto was honored as Senator of the Year by PACE, Inc., and State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen conducted an ASK for the BIG Society along with Diana Willis of Jason’s deli.
Two of the most moving moments in the program, however, were from PACE Girls themselves. Aaliyah DeBose, a PACE Alumna, shared her story of struggle & success. Her speech can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u0n3idR4zE
A current PACE student, Loammi Ribeiro captured the room and brought them to tears with her a cappella performance of "PACE is Home." You can view her performance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35cVjOcq-4k
Thank you to our Sponsors:
Connie & Ed Lizak
The Grande Dames Tea 2014 raised over $37,000 for the PACE Center of Lee County.
Honored on this day were three of our community's most revered women; Barbara Brown, Sarah Sciple & Margaret Sirianni. To learn more about the Grande Dames Tea, click the Grande Dames Tea tab at the top of the webpage.
PACE Center for Girls of Lee County hosted its sixth annual luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 raising donations and pledges totaling $110,760 for daily operations and $32,010 towards a capital campaign for a new facility. At the “Carried Away with PACE” hot air balloon themed event, PACE Lee's new executive director, Janie K. Smalley, Ed.D., was announced, members of PACE’s Believing in Girls (BIG) Giving Society were recognized and Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto was honored as Senator of the Year by representatives from PACE, Inc.’s state office headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
The most moving part of the program, however, was a parent testimonial by John Agnew, attorney at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., who previously enrolled his oldest daughter in PACE. "Nothing is worse than knowing your child is in pain and being helpless to quickly make it better," revealed Agnew.
In the wake of recent high-profile abuse scandals, three United Way partner agencies, Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc., Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County are teaming up to present the first annual “Speak Up! Breaking the Silence of Abuse” from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets, $35 each or $250 for a reserved table for eight, may be purchased online at www.actabuse.com or by calling (239) 939-2553.
Sponsored by Fort Myers Police Department, The News-Press Media Group, Florida Weekly and WINK News, the event will feature Victor Rivas Rivers whose uplifting message has inspired and motivated audiences around the country to help break the silence of abuse. Mr. Rivers, New York Times best-selling author of “A Private Family Matter”, is the Spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an acclaimed actor, former Miami Dolphin football player, and Florida State University alumni. In addition to Mr. Rivers’ issue-focused keynote address, guests will enjoy a breakfast buffet and book signing. Resources to advocate against abuse and referrals for help will also be available.
With a projected attendance of over 400 guests, Speak Up! will attract community leaders, as well as attorneys, law enforcement, elected officials, educators, health care and human service professionals, media and the general public. Continuing education credits are available to nurses, social workers and mental health counselors (provider #50-16 Exp. 11/1/13) and through the Lee County Bar Association (CLE provider #0224280). Sponsorship opportunities are available at levels ranging from $500 to $10,000.
For tickets and more information about Speak Up!, visit www.actabuse.com or call (239) 939-2553.