“Helping people shine” is one motto that we can certainly get behind. Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) does exactly that, helping local families and youth to shine day in and day out through their counseling services and outreach programs. Most of you may not realize just how many initiatives WYFCS heads up each year, including counseling, education, resource assistance, advocacy and outreach. More importantly though are the number of ways that you can also help, from volunteering to supporting the number of fundraising events hosted by WYFCS each year, including their upcoming Pirate Party. Why not help WYFCS to help people shine this spring!

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program Director Brigitte Southworth reported last week that, “we have been really busy this spring, there’s a lot going on right now.” For starters, WYFCS recently held a Pancake Breakfast at Malia’s Café. Also on the horizon is the Ocean City Half-Marathon, which WYFCS has been selected once again to be a recipient of. WYFCS staff and volunteers will also be at the race manning water stations and assisting in the after party. The Berlin Youth Club is always busy, providing ample activities in conjunction with the Town of Berlin for area youth. There’s also SAGES, Strengthening Adolescent Girls with Education & Support, an innovative program that helps adolescent girls who are experiencing difficulty or conflict at their homes or schools. Southworth also pointed out that volunteers are always welcome for the CASA Program – volunteers are trained and tasked with getting to know the children in the program and participating in fun activities with them. “We have teachers, retired nurses, business people…really from all walks of life. You don’t need any specific background, we provide the training here,” explained Southworth.

In addition to all of the programs, initiatives and fundraisers currently happening at WYFCS is their biggest annual fundraising event, the Pirate Party. This is the 6th Year for the Annual Pirate Party, to be held once again at Sunset Grille in West Ocean City. Southworth explained that the Pirate Party began as a way to honor Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is held every year during the month of April. However, the Eastern Shore’s fickle weather resulted in a chilly party the first year, so the event was moved to May. This year’s party will be held on May 16th. “Pirates” are local members of the community that volunteer to raise money for the event prior to the party. Currently there are 11 pirates starting their fundraising efforts, but Southworth noted that they are still looking for a few more. Pirates will enjoy a sunset cruise upon the Duckaneer during the party. Also included in the event are Golden Bars; partygoers will have the option to buy a candy bar which includes a label inside indicating your prize. “We sold out of them in just 45 minutes last year. People just love it,” said Southworth. All of the money raised goes towards WYFCS, which is required to match their operating grant dollar for dollar. “This is the biggest fundraiser that we have,” said Southworth. “This community is very, very generous. It really amazes me,” concluded Southworth.

For more information on any of the upcoming events, including the Pirate Party, or for more information on how you can help WYFCS visit their website at gowoyo.org.