Carmel Gala returns April 30 to benefit the Carmel Youth Assistance Program


The Brothers Footman, a country, rock, hip-hop, soul band from Indianapolis, will perform for the first time at the Carmel Gala (Photo courtesy of The Brothers Footman)

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly increased the needs of families served by the Carmel Youth Assistance Program.

“There are more youth struggling with their mental health, more employment needs as parents struggle to keep up with rising costs, and more youth struggling academically and with truancy,” said Melanie Brewer, chair of the event and an ex-officio member of the Carmel Youth Assistance Program Board.

The annual Carmel Gala, Design Bright Futures, returns as an in-person event to benefit CYAP on April 30 at Ritz Charles in Carmel. The gala includes dinner, dancing, a Bubbles & Bling raffle and a silent auction.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will again serve as honorary chair of the gala and will be joined by this year’s emcee, former NBA player Scot Pollard.

CYAP, a nonprofit, supports at-risk youth and their families in Carmel by coordinating prevention services such as tutoring, mentoring, mental health counseling, food and clothing assistance and financial assistance.

“The Carmel Gala, Design Bright Futures, is the only large fundraiser that the Carmel Youth Assistance Program holds each year,” Brewer said. “It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and we had a virtual event in 2021, which was a success thanks to several sponsors and participants in the silent auction and raffle.”

Brewer said the gala’s goal each year is to grow more support and raise more money than the prior year.

“We also hope to have even more awareness and participation in the silent auction, which will be available virtually,” she said.

The Boozy Ring Toss is a new addition.

“We are excited to add this fun carnival game for the adults to enjoy and hopefully have the chance to take a bottle home, if their skills prove to be effective,” Brewer said.

Bubbles and Bling, a jewelry raffle, will return as well. The cost is $25 for a glass of champagne and the possibility of winning a piece of jewelry and a gift card from Metalmark Fine Jewelry.

“Metalmark Fine Jewelry has generously given a donation each year to make this possible,” Brewer said.

The Brothers Footman, a country, rock, hip-hop and soul band from Indianapolis, will perform for the first time at the gala.

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