Gifford Youth Orchestra Receives grant

news release

The Gifford Youth Orchestra (GYO), established by Dr. Crystal Bujol, received a scholarship grant from the nationally recognized Mocking Bird Foundation in December 2020.

The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to music education for America’s youth. Each year, the Foundation awards grants to dozens of music education programs, and funds those grants through a combination of fundraising, publishing, and the curation of, one of the earliest Internet fan communities.

In December, The Mockingbird Foundation announced sixteen new grants totaling $111,771 in support of music education. From an initial 983 applicants who requested more than $5.5 million, far beyond the Foundation’s resources. Due to such high demand, Mockingbird’s two-tiered online application process remains one of the most competitive in the nation. Through the efforts of Dr. Elaine Word, Grants Writer and Vice-Chairman of the GYO, the youth orchestra was one of the selected sixteen.

“We are very honored to be one of 16 applicants chosen to receive a grant from the Mockingbird Foundation,” said Dr. Word. “We could not sustain or grow our program without the support of our Grantors and Donors.  Thank you Mockingbird.”

The Mockingbird Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit founded in 1996 by fans of the musical band Phish, raises funds through the music of Phish in booksrecordingsart, donations, and special events, including poster exhibitions, poker tournaments, and golf tournaments. In its 25 years of supporting music education for children, over 450 organizations in all 50 states have received over $1.7 million in grant funding.

Established in 2003 by Dr. Bujol at the prompting of Gifford resident Annie Powell, GYO’s mission is to provide education and training in various cultural and performing arts for the youth of Gifford and neighboring communities and fulfilling its intention statement: More Violins, Less Violence, Better Tomorrows!

GYO’s major fundraising event is being planned as a virtual event taking place on March 14, 2021. 

For more information on GYO and how to donate, go to

The Gifford Florida Youth Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Florida corporation not affiliated with or a division of any other corporation. They are a Community Resource for children, primarily in Gifford, as well as other neighbouring communities in Indian River County.

One comment

  1. Good job, Dr. Word! Thank you for 17 years of service on the GYO Board and on the Grant Writing Team. Your contributions through the years have been the backbone of our stability, success, and service!

    Dr. Crystal Bujol

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