Category Archives: Philanthropy

C & G News: Group assists young adults who age out of foster care

C&G NewspapersMay 30, 2013 — For many, the plight of foster children is something unseen, handled by the state while those fortunate enough to have families go about their lives.

But what happens when those in foster care age out of the system and suddenly find themselves out of sight, out of mind for the state, as well?

There are more than 14,000 children in foster care through Michigan’s Department of Human Services. More than 40 percent of that number is in the tri-county area, the majority in Wayne County.

Looming over each of their heads is the date they no longer receive assistance from the state, usually around age 21. That’s when they will be left to fend for themselves, with no family to turn to for guidance or support.

Life after high school is a source of great anxiety for these children, who already suffer acute feelings of abandonment. Any sense of stability is fleeting as they move from one place to another. And their caseworkers don’t always have the time to drive them to school or make sure they have the right supplies, much less play the role of a parent.

Recognizing the difficulty of this situation, the Park West Foundation formed in 2006 with the express purpose of aiding such individuals. Since then, it has assisted more than 500 young adults with matters of finance, clothing, housing, education and employment. Their focus was originally women, but now they also assist men aging out of foster care.

They also collaborate with a number of organizations to provide support services, such as crisis response, prevention and intervention; family preservation and life skills; teen parenting; and even worship opportunities through Life Directions, a program that provides exposure to different views of spirituality.

Without groups like the Park West Foundation, “Some would age out straight to the streets, and they’re the most likely to get in trouble and wind up in prison, since no one is caring for them or watching for them,” said Saba Gebrai, director of the Park West Foundation. “There is no stability or career path, no parents explaining what to do…”

Read the full article (pdf)

For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

May is National Foster Care Month

WJR, Paul W. Smith, Park West GalleryDid you know? May is designated as National Foster Care Month. The annual campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of youth in the foster care system and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved. Today, the campaign spotlights the importance of permanency for the more than 380,000 children under 18 in foster care.

Saba Gebrai, director of the Park West Foundation, recently spoke to WJR Radio’s “The Big Story” to address the issues of foster care in metro Detroit. The Park West Foundation was established in 2006 by Albert and Mitsie Scaglione, the founders of the Park West Gallery.

Click the player to listen:

For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

Park West Foundation Director on WXYZ-TV Channel 7′s “Spotlight on the News”

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Now in its 48th season, Channel 7′s “Spotlight on the News” is Michigan’s longest running weekly news and public affairs program. Saba Gebrai, Director of the Park West Foundation, was featured on last Sunday’s program. Gebrai spoke to host Chuck Stokes about steps being taken to improve the success rate for foster care youth in Southeast Michigan.

Watch: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/political/spotlight_on_the_news/spotlight-on-the-news-race-for-the-cure–adoption#ixzz2SWECVmFy

For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

19th Annual Gala Art Auction Raises Funds for FCCA Foundation

The 19th annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Gala was held on March 13, 2013 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Dozens of the cruise industry’s top executives, CEOs and presidents were all attendance at this premier social event, held during the week of Cruise Shipping Miami.

The Gala’s festivities included a silent art auction composed of a magnificent collection donated by Park West Gallery. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the Gala and art auction will benefit the nonprofit FCCA Foundation. Created in 1993, the Foundation funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America.

For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

Michigan Chronicle: Park West Foundation Helps Youth Transition Out of Foster Care

The Michigan Chronicle logo, Park West GalleryPark West Foundation Helps Youth Transition Out of Foster Care

March 15, 2013 — Since 2006, the nonprofit Park West Foundation has helped more than 350 young women and men in the foster care system transition into the “real world.”

According to Program Director Saba Gebrai, the organization partners with the Department of Human Services and contracted agencies that are directly serving young people in foster care, as well as those who are aging out.

Among the services the Park West Foundation provides are helping these youth with housing, transportation, jobs, and clothing. It also provides them with tuition assistance for college.

Gebrai said the foundation was established by Albert and Mitsie Scaglione, the founders of the Park West Gallery in Southfield…

Continue to the full article (pdf)

For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

Park West Gallery Founders Raise “Bail” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Lock-Up Fundraiser

Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock-Up fundraiser

Park West Gallery CEO Albert Scaglione and his wife Mitsie earn their stripes as community leaders by donating to the fight against neuromuscular diseases

Park West Gallery founders Albert and Mitsie Scaglione have been accused, and are set to be convicted, of having big hearts. In participation with the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) annual Lock-Up fundraiser, the Scagliones are raising “bail” in support of the fight against neuromuscular diseases. They hope to inspire others to donate to this worthy cause.

On Wednesday, January 30, Mitsie Scaglione will be handcuffed and “locked up” in MDA’s “Maximum Appreciation” mock jail facility. Family, friends and associates must donate a minimum goal of $2,400 in “bail” money in order to guarantee Mitsie’s release.

Her husband Albert Scaglione, CEO and founder of Park West Gallery, has pledged to match the final dollar amount in donations raised by Mitsie.

“It was an honor to be nominated to participate in such a unique and worthwhile event,” said Mitsie Scaglione. “The annual MDA Lock-Up is just one more way that Albert and I are able to give back to our community and to continue our mission of helping those in need.”

To help raise Mitsie’s “bail” in support of the MDA, please visit http://www.mdalockup.org/2013southfieldmi, click “Support a Jailbird” and type Mitsie Scaglione in the search fields. All donations are tax deductible.

About MDA Lock-Up
The Lock-Up is the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s premier fundraising program. These high-profile events occur all across the country at various times throughout the year. Business and community leaders agree to be “put behind bars for good,” where they utilize use their vendors, co-workers, family and friends to get donations that will go toward their “bail.” Each Jailbird has weeks to raise their donations. That way, on the day of the Lock-Up event, they can enjoy the Lock-Up experience by networking with other business leaders and meeting with the individuals and families that they’re helping in their community. All funds raised by the MDA Lock-Up assist the Association in providing lifesaving research, a nationwide network of medical clinics and accessible summer camp experiences to individuals and families affected by neuromuscular diseases.

For more information, please visit www.mda.org/lockup.

Park West Foundation Co-Sponsors “Jump Shot Your Future” for Past and Present Foster Care Youth

jump shot your futureThe Park West Foundation – Blue Babies and the Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative – ESP teamed up to sponsor “Jump Shot Your Future,” a youth-led and supported program for 14-25 year old men and women who were or still are in foster care. The event was held on Sunday, January 20 from 3 pm – 7 pm at the 5e Gallery, 2661 Michigan Avenue in Detroit.

“This very special event included presentations by a number of participating organizations on what resources and services they have available for those young people who were or still are in foster care,” said Saba Gebrai, Program Director of the Park West Foundation. “The day’s agenda also featured a panel of former foster care youth who discussed their college experiences and the challenges they faced and overcame to graduate.” Participants also enjoyed inspiring messages from local poet Mic Write, as well as refreshments and music, along with all of the helpful resources at the event.

Gebrai also said Michigan Department of Human Services Director, Maura Corrigan, believes “Jump Shot Your Future” will help increase access and success for Michigan’s foster care youth who have a desire to pursue a post-secondary education.

The organizations represented at Sunday’s conference included: Ferris State University, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan Educational Trust, Tuition Incentive Program, Educational Training Voucher Program, Focus Hope Learn & Earn Program, Fostering Success Michigan, Youth in Transition, Michigan Opportunities Initiative-Educational Success Program, Wayne County Educational Planners and Detroit College Promise.

Former and current foster care residents also learned how they can qualify for a $5,000 annual scholarship from the Educational Training Voucher Program. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI) a grant of $387,849 to be used Feb. 1, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2015 to support improving outcomes for Michigan youth aging out of the foster care system. The Kellogg grant will specifically support the Education Success Program (ESP) by matching funds that youth save for education expenses. This match will be leveraged with additional MYOI dollars to provide a total three-to-one match for all participants. Funds matched by ESP could go toward tuition, application fees, books, computers, printers, software, study abroad, university activities or campus housing. ESP also supports financial literacy and independent living skills by providing trainings around health, education, employment, housing, and community engagement.

MYOI’s Director of Development, Khadija Walker-Fobbs, says this grant is crucial in supporting the needs of MYOI youth. “We are so excited to work with the Kellogg Foundation on this program. ESP will give youth aging out of foster care the opportunity for post-secondary education that they have never had,” she says. “Only three percent of young people from foster care will earn a college degree and a mere 58% will graduate high school by age 19, compared to 87% nationally. This program will help provide the supports and guidance these young people need to have a successful future.”

Additional event sponsors included the North American International Auto Show, Park West Gallery, Detroit Pistons, ECS Partnership McDonald’s and Big Family of Michigan.

The Park West Foundation (www.parkwestfoundation.org) was formed in 2006 by Albert and Mitsie Scaglione, founders and owners of Park West Gallery, to provide a range of services for children and families in the form of foster care, family preservation, family life education, counseling, teen parent services, residential placement and adoption.

For media inquiries and additional information about the Park West Foundation, please contact Saba Gebrai at sgebrai@aol.com or Khadija Walker-Fobbs at (248) 921-8282 or kfobbs@myoifund.org.

My TV20 Detroit: Local Artist Tim Yanke Helps Kids

Park West Gallery abstract artist Tim Yanke is painting with preschoolers in Pontiac to help raise funds for the community group Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA)’s Head Start which helps families in need. Yanke and the kids are creating paintings that will be auctioned off later this month at Park West Gallery in Southfield.

Here’s MyTV20 Detroit with more on this story:

To purchase tickets and for more information about “Four Seasons, 504 Reasons,” visit www.OLHSAYanke.EventBrite.com or call (248)-209-2623.
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For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

Fine art by Tim Yanke is available through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwestgallery-yanke.com.