Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Invest in Youth

For a Better Community

Chris Leyerle & Coach Lorenzo Romar at the 2011 YES Invest in Youth breakfast
~ Back from visiting family and a much-needed vacation late last night. This morning I went to the Invest in Youth breakfast held by Youth Eastside Services (YES) at the Bellevue Hyatt.

What a great event for a great organization that does great work in our community:
YES is one of the largest providers of youth and family counseling and substance abuse services in the Puget Sound Region. Our staff are trained and experienced in working with youth and offer a depth of expertise that is hard to surpass. They use proven evidenced-based and best-practice approaches to help youth become healthy, confident and self-reliant and families to become strong, supportive and loving. We offer comprehensive mental health and substance abuse counseling, prevention and education programs, as well as wrap-around services to help families with basic needs when necessary. Our services are available in multiple locations around the Eastside and we enjoy partnerships with many agencies. Since 1968, Youth Eastside Services has been a lifeline for kids and families in East King County, helping to save lives — 24,000 of them, each and every year.
The keynote speaker was UW men's head basketball coach Lorenzo Romar, who gave a very heartfelt and very personal account of his own youth and the challenges faced by his family and him growing up. He then drew the parallels between his experience, the experience of some of the young men he coaches, and the experience of many people in our community.

My wife was a table captain again this year, and we're both pleased to support YES--they make a real difference. This is their only fund-raiser off the year, and, even though 800 people attended, I am sure they could use more support. If you can, please send them a little something, or volunteer some time. There are too few organizations of their caliber making so great a difference, and the need remains great.

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