The YMCA of San Francisco is pleased to announce a dynamic line-up of youth artists who will emcee the event, present live performances and create original works of art for the annual Y for Youth Luncheon: Y Then, Y Now? on Friday, March 8 at the Yerba Buena Center or the Arts. More than 400 corporate, philanthropic and community leaders will convene at the Yerba Buena Center for the annual luncheon benefiting the youth programs of the YMCA of San Francisco.
The Y has been an active participant in the San Francisco Bay Area for 160 years. In 1853, the Y was born to combat the social issues of the booming City during the Gold Rush days. As the City grew so did the Y. It quickly focused its services to youth by helping them to reach a new future. That legacy continues today. With the theme Y Then, Y Now?, this year’s Y For Youth Luncheon focuses on the importance of the Y 160 years ago and the impact of the Y today.
The luncheon will be emceed by Ramon Gomez, a junior from Gateway High School who is a passionate advocate for San Francisco’s youth. A longtime beneficiary of the YMCA of San Francisco’s programs, Gomez has already accomplished more in his lifetime than most adults. He received career training from the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program and used those skills to become a Youth Commissioner on the San Francisco Youth Justice Committee and a Youth & Government delegate. He aspires to go to college in the Bay Area and study Criminal Justice.
In addition, through a collaboration between Mural Music & Arts Project, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and YMCA of San Francisco, more than 100 San Francisco youth will participate in creating art and performing spoken word and hip hop poetry for the Y for Youth Luncheon: Y Then, Y Now? Ranging in age from 10 to 20 years old, the youth attend several YMCA Urban Services school sites, including International Studies Academy and Starr King Elementary.
A juried selection of artwork created by YMCA youth will be auctioned off at the event. The works will represent the voice of San Francisco youth on issues that matter to them as they navigate difficult circumstances in their own neighborhoods and lives. The pieces will include watercolor paintings by 5th graders at Starr King Elementary, plaster and clay masks by middle school students at International Studies Academy, and graffiti canvases by teens from International Studies Academy and the Shih Yu – Lang Central YMCA.
Proceeds from the Y for Youth Luncheon: Y Then, Y Now? will support the YMCA’s ongoing programming in San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties. From afterschool academic programs to resident camps; from mentoring to crisis counseling; from P.E. classes to cooking classes each day, the YMCA engages with 10,000 youth through programs that promote learning, community connection, and leadership.
“We want all youth to have the same opportunities to grow into responsible and healthy adults,” said Chuck Collins, President and CEO of the YMCA of San Francisco. “For 160 years, we have provided programs and activities for youth that are accessible, affordable and meaningful and help enrich the lives of children and teens. Join us in giving our young neighbors the opportunity to grow into responsible adults.”
For 160 years, the YMCA of San Francisco has strengthened the foundations of the Bay Area community through programs focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of San Francisco operates 14 branches and over 120 program sites throughout Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Each day, more than 10,000 kids are coached, mentored, comforted and given the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life.
Individual tickets for the Y for Youth Luncheon: Y Then, Y Now? start at $500 while sponsorships run $5,000 to $50,000 and are available online at http://www.ymcasf.org/yforyouth,
or by calling (415) 281-6780.
Supporting the Y For Youth luncheon at the Y Champion level is PG&E. Supporting the Y For Youth luncheon at the Y Partner level is Gap and Roxanne and Albert Richards.
“Throughout its 160-year history serving San Francisco, the Y has been a true champion for our city’s youth through its innovative programs and initiatives,” said Karen Austin, senior vice president and chief information officer for PG&E and YMCA of San Francisco board member. “PG&E is proud to celebrate the YMCA’s long history of making a difference in the lives of people in need.”
About the YMCA of San Francisco
The YMCA of San Francisco makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and become healthy. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the San Francisco Bay Area's health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.
At the YMCA of San Francisco strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to improve their lives and their community. For more information, visit http://www.ymcasf.org/