Carmel Gala, Design Bright Futures: A Party with a Purpose

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February/ March 2023

It’s that time of year again! Where the Carmel community comes together to celebrate life and support Carmel Youth Assistance Program’s vast efforts to positively impact and raise up our city’s at-risk youth at the Carmel Gala, Design Bright Futures 2023.

Carmel Monthly is proud to be a sponsor of this remarkable fundraising event and a longtime supporter of CYAP. And we call on all of the community’s businesses and residents to join us in supporting as sponsors and/or by purchasing tickets to this annual gala that will be at the Ritz Charles in Carmel on Saturday, April 29 with a 5:30 p.m. VIP reception and 6:00 p.m. general reception.

Dust Off Those Dancing Shoes!

Attendees of the Carmel Gala will enjoy a plated dinner and an open bar. In addition to an impactful program by CYAP, emceed by Carmel Fire Department PIO Tim Griffin, the evening will boast an array of fun activities, including a silent auction, raffles, a boozy ring toss, a photo booth and dancing the night away to the music of local favorites — The Bishops.

Carmel Gala 2023

Sharing what is new at the Carmel Gala this year, Melanie Brewer, event chair and ex-officio CYAP board member, said, “We will have some new surprises for our VIP attendees who will have a chance to win some jewelry from Metalmark. They are once again donating and not one but two pieces of jewelry for us to raffle at the event — one for the VIP reception and another for the general reception!”

Carmel Gala 2023

Additionally, Brewer explained that the planning committee is offering price breaks for those who want to come with a friend, spouse or partner and is offering discounted pricing for groups of 8 who want to sit together at a table without the additional marketing perks that a sponsor table offers.

Carmel Gala 2023

“We’re offering ‘Bring a Friend’ tickets, and we’re giving a little price break if you buy two tickets versus one,” Brewer added. “And something new that we’re doing is offering a ‘Table of 8’ package so that you and your friends, neighbors, coworkers can be guaranteed a table together, and it’s $1,200 less than a sponsorship table. We’re hoping to pack the house and get some teachers, PTO parents and other members of our community to come in on a table for a good cause. We want to open [the gala] up to more individuals who don’t necessarily need to be part of an organization in order to attend.”

Carmel Gala 2023

Invest Back into Your Community

If you have been watching or reading the news, there is no shortage of stressors and heartbreaking stories. Often, these leave one pondering: What can be done, and would your efforts really matter?

CYAP early intervention advocate Maggie Figge shared how the success of CYAP can be measured by not only the data presented in CYAP’s annual reports but also by the examples of the youth themselves, who are in the process of healing and growing, and by those who have gone on after high school to achieve incredible success and happiness. And though the needs of this growing population are often daunting, CYAP remains committed to reaching all of its at-risk referrals and their families. But this mission is only possible by the generosity of donors, mentors and volunteers who are willing to give time and/or money to this important, life-changing organization.

A quick look at what CYAP is: It was formed in Fall 2015 to help strengthen youth and families through community involvement. Like other peer Youth Assistance Programs throughout Hamilton County, local volunteers develop and provide access to programs and services that promote positive growth experiences and enhance home and community relationships.

CYAP works in collaboration with the Carmel Clay School District, the City of Carmel and the Hamilton County Superior Court. CYAP is one of six offices serving students and their families in Hamilton County, Indiana.

Carmel Youth Assistance Program Needs Our Help

CYAP provides professional coordination of services and referral services to students and families of the Carmel Clay School District. Casework services to our families are completely confidential. Kids and families are often referred to our services by the schools, police and court officials.

CYAP connects families and youth to various resources, including mentoring, tutoring, mental health supports, food and clothing assistance, financial assistance and much more!

Figge shared some current statistics on the children that are referred to CYAP.

“We had 129 new referrals in 2022,” Figge said. “And of the kids that get referred to youth assistance, 28 percent have experienced trauma, 18 percent of their parents don’t speak English, 77 percent need basic assistance for food, clothing, housing or utility assistance, and 15 percent are homeless. I know that’s not a giant number, but that’s happening here in Carmel … that’s almost one out of five kids.”

The numbers are real, and the needs are growing. Please consider giving your time as a mentor or volunteer, and if you’re in a position to help financially, there is an option to donate online as well as in person at this year’s gala.

Brewer added, “We’re looking for volunteers who would be interested in helping CYAP as tutors. The fact of the matter is that our families can’t afford the weekly fee for tutoring through an agency or one-on-one tutoring, and so we’re looking for people who specifically have [teaching] experience.”

For more information on how to get involved with CYAP, visit

And don’t forget to purchase your tickets and/or tables for this year’s Carmel Gala at!