Garage Youth Center Raises More Than $20,000 at Spring Fling

By Digital First Media

On May 20, supporters of The Garage Community and Youth Center gathered at Hartefeld National for a Spring Fling and $10,000 Raffle sponsored by Flagship Credit Acceptance.

The event and raffle combined generated over $20,500 for The Garage. The Garage plans to use the funds for after school programming, which serves over 500 students and includes homework help and tutoring, a daily academic STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activity, mentor program, boys and girls programs, community service opportunities, Nutrition Kitchen, career exploration, post- secondary counseling, and internships.

“We could not do the essential work that we do with at-risk teens without the support of volunteers and financial partners like Flagship, who give selflessly of their time and money to invest in our youth,” said Kristin Proto, Executive Director of The Garage.

The Spring Fling included games for kids, a bouncy house and vendors, like Cristina Tlaseca from Alliance Realty & Associates, who is an alum of The Garage’s program.

The Garage opened up opportunities for me,” said Tlaseca. “As a minority, I was faced with restricted opportunities, but The Garage gave me these great opportunities I never thought were possible. It was a safe haven. I wanted to come out and support this event because The Garage was so beneficial to me. I want to make sure other kids have that same opportunity.”

A Garage student, Evany Herrera, 17, was selected to pull the raffle’s winning tickets. “Thank you, Flagship, for helping The Garage. I love coming here because it is a safe space and I feel welcomed,” Herrera said.

Janet Syphan, HR Communications Specialist at Flagship won the first prize of $10,000. When asked how she would spend the prize, Syphan said “I’m not sure yet, but I know I’m donating the first thousand to The Garage. They do such incredible work.” The second prize of $1,500 went to Jeffrey Perez, Loan Servicing Representative at Flagship. Mary Teresa Maule Alft, from Lincoln University, PA, won the $500 third place prize.

“Events like this exemplify Flagship’s emphasis on serving the communities our customers live and work in,” said Chris Keiser, Flagship Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “We are so happy to be able to contribute to The Garage’s mission and we’re looking forward to our continued partnership and making this an annual event.”

For the past 17 years, The Garage Community and Youth Center has been a key part of the community, providing resources and sense of belonging to area youth who are in need. Through tutoring, mentoring, computer lab access, recreation and special programs, some of our community’s most “at-risk” middle and high school students are finding the necessary support to reach their full potential.