YAP fund-raiser has unexpected surprise

ESCANABA – The 24th annual Golf Scramble benefitting the Delta County Youth Assistance Program (YAP) had an unexpected highlight on Tuesday, Aug. 17, when Steve Barron scored a hole-in-one on the 11th hole at the Gladstone Golf Course. Barron was golfing on a team with his son, Mitch, when he made the shot of a lifetime.

Barron could make very few shots after that, but had no problem carrying the hole-in-one sign around the course with a wide grin for the rest of the day. His family says he has gotten pretty good at making reference to his hole-in-one whenever he can, and who wouldn’t – this was definitely not an everyday occurrence. It was already a day full of generosity in raising funds for needy children in the community, but Barron’s reaction made the giving feel even more joyful.

The Youth Assistance Program is an all volunteer organization which strives to raise funds in order to distribute grants and provide activities to needy school-age children in Delta County, thereby helping to provide for their emotional and well as physical well-being.

YAP raises funds to disperse grants that benefit kids by providing for a variety of needs such as clothing, summer camp, school supplies, field trips, sports equipment, musical instruments, educational incentives, medical needs, and other needs that cannot otherwise be met by other means. YAP also helps distribute donated goods such as winter jackets, snow pants, hats and mittens, backpacks and school supplies.

In December every year, activities are also provided by inviting 90 children to three separate Christmas parties and matching them with volunteers who can share the holiday spirit with them and allow them to experience the joy of both giving and receiving. Students are referred to the party by representatives from all the schools in Delta County.

Need is determined and individual applications are submitted by professionals working with children and are aware of their outstanding needs. These professionals are often teachers, social workers, coaches, counselors, probation officers, school nurses, aides, and other adults who work with kids in educational or therapeutic environments. Direct parent requests are not accepted and grants are limited to $200 per child, per calendar year.

Grant requests are reviewed by board members, a group which totals around 40 members. Approved requesters receive the checks and insure that the funds are spent directly on the children in need. It is also asked that receipts are returned along with thank-you notes from the children that can be shared with donors and teach the children about the gift of gratitude.

For more information about the YAP program, contact Lacy Lauzon, president, at 786-9602. Questions can also be answered by individuals at Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., 786-5930. They have donated office space and support to the organization. Donations can be sent to YAP c/o Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., 812 Ludington Street, Escanaba, MI 49829.