PoCoMo Youth Services is hosting its second-annual Evening of Inspiration Gala on Thursday, Oct. 24 — and changing its name to ACCESS Youth Outreach Services Society.
“The motivation behind the name change was to have a name that better represents the work we do, the expansion of service areas that now include the Langleys [city and township] and to usher in a new era and direction for our organization,” said Jerome Bouvier, executive director of ACCESS.
ACCESS is an award-winning non-profit society providing support and services to youth in the community, and has been since it first opened its doors in 1992.
The gala event raises money for all its programs. The society is hoping for a sold-out crowd of 250 people and to fundraise a needed $15,000.
The money goes towards a non-profit that has helped 3,000 local kids in 2013 so far.
“We usually do more than that,” Bouvier said. “That’s 3,000 contacts a year through both programs and just one bus out in the community. If we had two buses out, we could double that.”
Bouvier says there’s nothing but financial restraint holding the group back from helping more local youth in the Tri-Cities, and he sees the need for services every day.
“Like the last couple weekends we found kids severely intoxicated and distressed,” he said. “So we contacted medical services. If we weren’t out there, well, you can think of the potential harm.”
The gala is a great opportunity to learn about ACCESS and all it offers, according to Bouvier, including first-hand accounts from former youth who benefited from the group.
“It showcases the successes of the services we provide through some of the youth that will be speaking at the event,” he said.
The event offers a gourmet meal, auction items, raffle prizes and live performances by Sarah K and the Mellado youth hip-hop dance group.
The gala takes place at the Red Robinson Show Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24. Tickets are $70, or $525 for a table of eight.
Bouvier also wants anyone interested in volunteering for ACCESS to contact the group at the number below.
Tickets can be purchased online at pocomo.org or phone 604-525-1888.
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