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In the News: June

In the News: June

By: Daniela Martin  

Investing in Hope  

Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure has recently received a pledge for a donation of $2 million, set towards funding for a Dystonia research project, from Rick and Michelle Staab.   

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions, which force certain parts of the body into abnormal, sometimes painful movements or postures. Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure is a nonprofit foundation established in 2006 to advance research for a cure, discover treatments and promote awareness and education of DYT1 Dystonia. Founded by Rick Staab and his wife Michelle, the foundation was named for their son, Tyler, who was diagnosed in June 2005 with generalized DYT1 dystonia.  

“The Staab family has been tirelessly committed to finding a cure for dystonia. As the parent of a Dystonia patient, and a patient myself, I can’t even comprehend the world without the Staab family creating awareness and advocacy for millions of dystonia patients globally. They have done so much for so many — setting the pace for the rest of us to follow. And now, this significant donation will allow us to advance the cause in research and clinical processes in unbelievably meaningful ways. I am so thankful to know this family and I continue to be inspired by their commitment.” – Michele Streitmatter  

Lookin’ Good, Livin’ Good 

Residents of the City of Alachua recently came together to help embellish the city, planting plants, picking up trash around the entrance of the Mill Creek Sink Nature Preserve and pruning Bradford Pear Trees on Main Street with the help of an Arborist.  

As a part of the annual Great American Cleanup, participating community members broke into groups to handle various beautification projects across town. 

The first cleanup was held in the late 90’s and now, each year, more people attend this event from all over the city. Even children come with their parents, making it a great experience for them to learn volunteer work at a young age and spend time with “The Good Life Community.”  

The Best of PALS  

From June 23rd to the 27th, the Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit will provide a taste of college for high school students at the University of Florida. The premier pre-collegiate program is focused on leadership, business education and social responsibility. Participants will earn service hours and engage in workshops that enhance areas such as leadership skills, creative thinking, emotional intelligence and ethical awareness. They will also receive coaching from college advisors and financial aid representatives. The program will conclude with a graduation ceremony, where students will receive a certificate of completion, honoring their dedication, hard work and growth throughout the summit. 

The Pace of Progress  

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The Pace Center for Girls recently received a $100,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to support career and college preparation. The nonprofit organization has provided girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy for more than thirty-five years. Each year, they serve more than 3,000 girls, with more than 40,000 girls having benefited from their programs since 1985.  

Since 2020, State Farm has provided over $387,500 in funding to the Pace Center for Girls to support their Career and College Preparedness Program. The program is dedicated to providing girls who have faced difficulties with the necessary tools to obtain a high school diploma or GED, learn long-term employability skills and pursue an education past high school, whether at a professional training program, the military, a community college or a four-year college or university. This partnership between Pace Center for Girls and State Farm demonstrates the life-changing power of collaboration in empowering young women through education, career readiness and mental health support.   

Kickin’ It for School  

The students at Choi Kwang Do of North Florida, LLC are helping other students with their skills. The martial arts school, which has been in High Springs for nearly 20 years, recently held its first Kick-a-Thon after students asked their instructor what they could do to help local schools.  

After raising $4,500 in just 30 minutes, the students are now working to distribute the money to 10 schools throughout Greater Gainesville, including Alachua Elementary, High Springs Community School and Fort White Elementary School. Ranging from $100 to $1,000, the donations raised for each school are intended to be used to support various educational initiatives including new classroom supplies, extracurricular activities and special programs. The students hope to hold another Kick-a-Thon in July to help the schools prepare for the new school year. 

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