Youth Guidance Luau raises funds for local children in need

news release

Aloha! Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy held its 44th Annual Tropical Night Luau Friday night, October 8th, at the Boulevard Village and Tennis Club in Vero Beach.

Known by many as “Vero Beach’s Best Party of the Year,” this event did not disappoint. Guests were adorned with Hawaiian leis as they arrived, and many were dressed in tropical attire. The Luau included an open bar, tropical buffet, dancing, meet-and-greet with the Youth Guidance kids, and an exciting live auction with spectacular prizes.

LaKia Patterson, YG Group Leader and YG Students: Mariah’Ka, Genese, Naudiah, with Jenna Manfredi, YG Mentor Resource Manager

“The Luau is our biggest fundraiser – it was a fun-filled evening, and it was great to see our guests dancing and enjoying themselves,” said Executive Director, Phil Barnes.

Each year, proceeds from the Luau support one-on-one and group mentoring programs at Youth Guidance for children with limited resources in Indian River County. The organization serves approximately 200 children and young adults ages 5-24 each year. Thanks to our generous donors, all programs are made available free of charge, and the children receive a healthy dinner every night.

Barnes expressed to the crowd Youth Guidance’s strategic focus is to provide local children access to life skills and vocational training.

“We want to encourage college for our children, but we also want them to know there are other options to a meaningful career,” Barnes said. “There is local and national demand within the tradesector and our goal is to introduce our students to these opportunities.”

In October 2021, Youth Guidance will launch an eight-month pre-apprenticeship program that will provide young adults ages 16-24 with six professional certifications and experience within five different trades: Welding, plumbing, electric, carpentry, and HVAC.

Other programs include afterschool tutoring, cooking, bicycle repair, boat mechanics, sewing, money management, sports & recreation, summer camp, and more.

Youth Guidance provides mentoring services to children ages 5-24 with limited resources in Indian River County. With the help of our sponsors and direction from our trained staff, mentors and volunteers, these children experience a path toward a brighter future.

For more information, on Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy programs, visit

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