It was down to the wire, but the residents of Gainesville made it to the net, scoring big for Summer Heatwave! The crowdfunding goal of $20,336 has been met and more, with more than $24,000 raised! This is a great success for the Gainesville community and the youth that the program serves. The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) and Gainesville Police Department (GPD) would like to thank the supporters for making the campaign successful.
“We are overwhelmed with the response,” said Steven Phillips, the director of the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. “The department is grateful to all the individual donors and groups. We would like to extend a special thanks to the School Board of Alachua County. Their donation helped to close the gap, and demonstrated the value of Summer Heatwave as a program vital to the Gainesville community.”
Summer Heatwave is a partnership between GPD and PRCA and the State Attorney’s Office and is thought to be one of the factors leading to a reduction in local juvenile crime. Operation Respect Yourself Pool Parties, HeatWave Basketball and a Summer Teen Lounge offer a place for engagement between GPD and local youth, with a curriculum adopted by PRCA that encourages positive youth development through a nationally-sponsored program called Character Counts. The additional funding will make it possible to include tennis, golf lessons, free swimming, transportation to activities, special instructors for life skills courses and much more to broaden the appeal to more youth.
“Summer Heatwave has had such a positive impact over the past five years. With the additional funds, the opportunity to double the number of youth participating and expand the area of service will certainly correlate to even lower juvenile crime incidents over the summer months,” says Police Chief Tony Jones.
Summer Heatwave starts Monday, June 16 and continues until Friday, Aug. 8. It will take place primarily at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, located at 1028 NE 14th St. Transportation from Porters, Eastside and Northwood Villas Community Centers will be provided with designated pick-up and drop-off times.
For information about Summer Heatwave, please contact the PRCA administrative office at 352-334-5067 (Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.) or visit http://www.cityofgainesvilleparks.org.
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