The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly increased the needs of families served by the Carmel Youth Assistance Program.
“There are more young people struggling with their mental health, more job needs as parents struggle to meet rising costs, and more young people struggling with school and absenteeism school,” said Melanie Brewer, event chair and ex-officio member of the Carmel Youth Aid Program Board.
The annual Carmel gala, Design Bright Futures, returns as an in-person event to benefit CYAP on April 30 at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. The gala includes a dinner, a dance party, a Bubbles & Bling raffle and a silent auction.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will once again serve as honorary chair of the gala and will be joined by this year’s emcee, former NBA player Scot Pollard.
CYAP, a non-profit organization, supports at-risk youth and their families in Carmel by coordinating prevention services such as tutoring, mentoring, mental health counseling, food and clothing assistance, and financial assistance .
“The Carmel Gala, Design Bright Futures, is the only major fundraiser the Carmel Youth Assistance Program hosts each year,” Brewer said. “It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and we had a virtual event in 2021, which was a success thanks to multiple sponsors and silent auction and raffle participants.”
Brewer said the goal of the gala each year is to increase support and raise more money than the year before.
“We also hope to have even more outreach and participation in the silent auction, which will be available virtually,” she said.
The Boozy Ring Toss is a new addition.
“We’re excited to add this fun carnival game for adults and hopefully get the chance to take home a bottle, should their skills prove effective,” Brewer said.
Bubbles and Bling, a jewelry raffle, will also return. The cost is $25 for a glass of champagne and the chance to win a jewel and a gift card from Metalmark Fine Jewelry.
“Metalmark Fine Jewelry has generously donated each year to make this possible,” Brewer said.
The Brothers Footman, a country, rock, hip-hop and soul band from Indianapolis, will perform at the gala for the first time.
To learn more, visit one.bidpal.net/carmelgala22.