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CLICK HERE to visit the online bidding site for Youth First’s 18th annual Passport to Adventure Auction, which will be held on June 18, 2020 at the DoubleTree Hotel Ballroom in downtown Evansville, IN.

All are welcome to attend this FREE and exciting evening that features a live and silent auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an awards ceremony that honors young people and supporters who have benefited from or advocated for Youth First’s programs and services. Doors open at 4:30pm and the live auction begins at 7:00pm.

CLICK HERE to register to bid, view our auction items, and bid on silent auction items. New items will be added as they are received, so check back often. Online bidding will begin on June 4 and will close at the live auction on June 18.

Youth First’s Passport to Adventure Auction, presented by Edward Jones, was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Evansville on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Guests enjoyed a live and silent auction, program and awards reception. The awards reception was sponsored by Deaconess Health System.

Young people and supporters who have benefitted from or advocated for Youth First’s programs and services were honored.

The Don Mattingly Youth First Award was launched in 2012 to salute young people who share his strengths. Don, an Evansville native, New York Yankees legend, and current Miami Marlins Manager, embodies many winning characteristics, including:

  • A Winning Attitude
  • A Commitment to Self-Improvement
  • A Strong Work Ethic
  • Overcoming Adversity in Life
  • A Commitment to Help Others Succeed

Each year, Youth First Social Workers and staff nominate young people who exhibit these qualities, and a committee of community leaders carefully reviews the applications. This year, the Don Mattingly Youth First Award was presented to middle school student Ian Simmons of St. Joe Catholic School and high school student Brittney Willis of Pike Central High School.

The Carol Lynch Award Honoring Advocates is named for Founding Board Member and past Board Chair Carol Lynch, who has championed the organization since 1998. Joely Yaser, a junior at New Tech Institute, was named this year’s winner. She has been a frequent and impactful spokesperson for Youth First ever since she benefitted from the support of her Youth First Social Worker at Thompkins Middle School.

The Steve Fritz Award Honoring Educators celebrates Youth First Champion and past Youth First Board Chair Steve Fritz, a long-time teacher, coach, administrator, and mentor in the EVSC. This award honors outstanding educators who value and champion Youth First programs and services. Dr. Shane Browder, principal of Plaza Park International Prep Academy, was named the first-ever recipient of this award.

Proceeds from the evening will be used to fund Youth First’s school social work services and prevention programs available to students and their families at no charge across 10 Indiana counties.

A record $342,000 was raised from the Emerald Gala Celebrating Youth First’s 20th Anniversary, held at Tropicana’s Riverfront Pavilion on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Nearly 500 guests enjoyed a live auction, program, formal dinner and dancing. The Emerald Gala, sponsored by Edward Jones, celebrated Youth First’s supporters and impact over the years and set the stage for the organization’s future endeavors. 

The Passport to Adventure Preview and Awards Reception, presented by Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park, was held on Thursday, April 19, 2018. The event was hosted by Hot 96’s Claire Ballard. Guests previewed and placed bids on silent auction items, and young people who have benefitted from Youth First’s programs and services were honored. 

The Don Mattingly Youth Award was presented to middle school student Alicia Phillips of Pike Central Middle School and high school student Michaela McGregor of Signature School. The Carol Lynch Advocate of Youth First Award winner was Ethan Barrera of Harrison High School/Virtual Academy EVSC. Toyota Indiana sponsored the Awards Reception. 

Proceeds will be used to fund Youth First’s school social work services and prevention programs available to students and their families across southwest Indiana at no charge. Youth First would like to thank all of the generous event sponsors, donors, volunteers and attendees for your support of these two 20th anniversary celebrations. 

About Youth First, Inc.: Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First partners with 59 schools across 7 counties to provide 39 Master’s level social workers who assess needs, develop and implement prevention plans, and connect students and their families to community resources. Youth First also offers afterschool programs involving parents and caregivers to strengthen families. For more information about Youth First, please visit www.youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336.

Youth First, Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting on Thursday, February 1st unveiling its 20th anniversary celebrations. The year ahead will include an anniversary edition of the organization’s signature auction, an awards reception, and a celebratory gala. These events will honor the community that has stepped forward to support Youth First over the years and serve as a springboard for the organization’s future endeavors.

Featured speakers at the unveiling included Dr. William Wooten, Youth First founder; Carol Lynch, Youth First Board Member; Jim Back, Edward Jones Financial Planner; and Parri Black, Youth First President & CEO. The Southwest Indiana Chamber marked the occasion with an anniversary ribbon cutting and light refreshments were served.

The organization will highlight the Edward Jones Emerald Gala celebrating Youth First’s 20th anniversary on April 21, 2018, at Tropicana’s Riverfront Pavilion. Limited sponsorships and tickets are available. The gala features an anniversary edition of Youth First’s Passport to Adventure auction as well as a formal dinner, dancing, and other entertainment. This event commemorates Youth First’s 20th anniversary by honoring all of the supporters who continue to protect and heal the hearts of youth and families.

Prior to the gala, Youth First will host an auction preview and awards reception presented by Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park on April 19, 2018, at Tropicana’s Riverfront Pavilion. All are welcome to preview auction items at this reception which will also honor young people who have benefitted from Youth First’s programs and services. This event is open to the public and free to attend. The winners of the Don Mattingly Youth Award and the Carol Lynch Advocate of Youth First Award will be named.

About Youth First, Inc.: Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First partners with 59 schools across 7 counties to provide 39 Master’s level social workers who assess needs, develop and implement prevention plans, and connect students and their families to community resources. Youth First also offers afterschool programs involving parents and caregivers to strengthen families. For more information about Youth First, please visit www.youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336.