PACE Center for Girls is a Florida-based, nonprofit organization and the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation. The non-residential program targets the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18, facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades. In the past year, the Lee County program provided 103 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy, resulting in 94 percent of girls in the program not being involved with juvenile justice within one year of leaving PACE, 86 percent improving their academic performance and 89 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance use, unemployment and long-term economic dependency.End


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-- Love That Dress!, a fundraising event benefitting PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, begins with a full season of dress collection events, building anticipation for the main event on Wednesday, August 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. This will be the ninth annual event.Love That Dress!9, sponsored by White House Black Market, is the ultimate feel-good shopping spree of the year, where more than 600 fashionistas will enjoy shopping an incredible inventory, a silent auction area with over $35,000 worth of items and packages, music, food and fun.  This year's event chair is Deanna Hansen of Banana Branch Harvesting with co-chairs Shelley Starner, assistant general manager of Miromar Outlets, and Jennifer Pfenninger, director of sales at Embassy Suites in Estero."We are so pleased to have Deanna leading this event," says Board of Directors Chair Diana Willis. "Her extensive experience in community events, combined with her passion for the PACE mission, makes her an ideal choice for this role."The main event will take place at the Embassy Suites, located at 10450 Corkscrew Commons Drive in Estero. In the months leading up to the event, members of the Southwest Florida community are asked to donate new and gently "loved" dresses and accessories at one or more of the four collection parties and convenient drop-off locations across the county. Collection parties hosted by generous local businesses and organizations are a valuable way to connect with community members and sample the local fare, all while collecting inventory, raising funds, and generating awareness for the main event. In total, four collection events will be held throughout the summer.Fundraising efforts kick off with the 8annual Spada-thon collection event to be held at the SPADA Salon & Day Spa in Fort Myers on Tuesday, May 23, from 4-8 p.m. Admission to Spada-thon is $10. Attendees are also asked to bring one or more gently "loved" dresses or accessories. At the event, guests will enjoy $20 wet haircuts, $15 mini-manicures, $15 chair massages, discounted Botox services, fashion vendors, and more. Photographer Megan DiPiero will also be offering $50 kids photography sessions. Call (239) 482-1858 or visit www.SpadaSpa.com for reservations.Additional events will include the 3annual Sunset at Summerlin Jake's hosted by Summerlin Jake's Seafood and Steaks on Tuesday, June 13; the Funky Fashion Show presented by IBERIABANK and hosted by the Cape Coral Yacht Club on Monday, June 21; and the season finale River District Collection Event at Goodwill Boutique on First and the Red Door Photography studio in Downtown Fort Myers on Thursday, July 20.This year's goal is to generate an inventory of more than 4,000 dresses and raise $125,000. All proceeds generated by the Love That Dress! events benefit PACE Center for Girls of Lee County.Anyone interested in participating in a collection event in support of Love That Dress!9 may contact Allyson Ross, development manager of special projects for PACE Lee, at Allyson.Ross@PACECenter.org. For more information about the event, call 239-470-7548 or visit http://www.pacecenter.org/ locations/lee PACE Center for Girls is a Florida-based, nonprofit organization and the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation. The non-residential program targets the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18, facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades. In the past year, the Lee County program provided 103 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy, resulting in 94 percent of girls in the program not being involved with juvenile justice within one year of leaving PACE, 86 percent improving their academic performance and 89 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance use, unemployment and long-term economic dependency.

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