Capital City Youth Services Holds Third Annual Award Banquet

Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) held their third annual Tally Awards at The Moon Night Club Saturday.

The event recognizes businesses in the Tallahassee community based on different categories including deli dining, pest control, and dentistry.  Businesses were chosen through a voting system on Facebook that was open from September to February.

While Tally Awards may seem like a night of recognition, it is ultimately a celebration with purpose.

Jess Tharpe had the honor of planning and regulating the whole night. She currently serves as CCYS’ Outreach and Development Director.

“The event is two-fold,” Tharpe said. “It’s a way to recognize local businesses in Tallahassee who also contribute a lot to our non-profits. It’s also a way for us to do outreach for the organization as well. We get a chance to tell our message and let people know what we’re doing.”

CCYS’ mission is to “promote the healthy development of youth and families.” The organization offers free counseling and outreach services to youth and their families, and emergency shelter services to youth in crisis.

Last year CCYS opened their Transitional Living Program (TLP), an emergency shelter program that homes youth between the ages of 16 and 19 years old. Youth can live at the program for up to 18 months if needed, and all the proceeds collected from Tally Awards went toward this effort.

Between each set of awards, announcements were made for donations being collected through text. The goal of the night was to reach $10,000. 

During the event’s intermission the audience viewed a testimonial video of what the Transitional Living Program has to offer. Kevin Priest, The President and CEO of CCYS, said that it is truly “a dynamic program.”

“These kids don’t necessarily have the support, as far as their family, and things of that nature.” Priest said. “We stay with them. We make sure they actually finish school. We teach them independent living skills. Things like knowing how to go out and shop, and knowing how to maintain a bank account. Very important things for kids that are just starting off on their own.”

According to Priest, the Transitional Living Program impacted 14 young adults last year. While this number may not seem like a lot, the shelter only holds 6 bedrooms, and the staff tries their best to accommodate for who they can.

Elaine Bryant, who serves as Chair of the Board for CCYS, was also at the event and was very optimistic the organization’s new program, and its outcome.

“Funds raised for this program directly impact the lives of young people,” Bryant said. “Many young people who would not have the privilege to actually get off the street. CCYS has a broad array of services that are provided, and this is our main fundraiser, and we’re hopeful that tonight’s event will provide opportunities to continue that support.”

Roughly $5,000 was pledged in donations by the end of the event. An exact figure on confirmed donations will be tallied by the end of next week.

The night closed with a silent auction and a live performance from The Marshall Lucker Band.