Fun City Youth Academy Wants to Raise $15K for Free Programming

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COLUMBIA -  Fun City Youth Academy is holding its third annual Community Champions Dinner and Silent Auction in efforts to raise $15,000 to give free summer and weekend programs for kids in Columbia. The program is also honoring leaders of the community who often go unrecognized.

The program lost its largest sponsor United Way and now has to raise the money on its own in order to continue the free programming for kids in the area.

Jr. Board President of Fun City George Norman says Fun City's focus is strictly on youth in Columbia.

"We're not national, this is a local Columbia-grown organization that's been around for 44 years," Norman said. "Contributing to the young people that are below poverty level, and most of our kids come from single-parent homes."

Fun City recently partnered with Columbia Public Schools offering its programs through the schools as well. Although the partnership has been beneficial, the program is trying to extend its services outside of Ward 1 and still needs more funding.

"We don't want to stay where we've been for 44 years, we want to reach more kids that might benefit from these services," Norman said.

Some of the community leaders that will be honored include John Kelly, Cindy Mustard, the Rev. David Ballenger, Mary Ratliff and Dr. Sally B. Lyon.

The Community Champions Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Activity Center on 702 Banks St. in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Fun City plans apply for funding with United Way in the upcoming fiscal season.