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Atlanta-area Simon Malls Raise Over $100,000 for Simon Youth Foundation Educational Initiatives | Community Spirit

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Atlanta-area Simon Malls Raise Over $100,000 for Simon Youth Foundation Educational Initiatives
Atlanta-area Simon Malls Raise Over $100,000 for Simon Youth Foundation Educational Initiatives


Atlanta-area Simon Malls Raise More Than $100,000 for Simon Youth Foundation in Annual Bowling for Education Event

Generous donations from J.J. Morley, Dixie Electric, Cannon Roofing and others help raise funds to support students’ continuing public education


Nearly 200 bowlers from 50 Atlanta-area companies came out to 300 Atlanta for the third annual “Bowling for Education,” held on Thursday, October 6, 2011 in support of Simon Youth Foundation. This year, more than $100,000 was raised, exceeding the initial fundraising goal of $90,000. The fun-filled evening featured a silent auction with a variety of gifts, a fabulous spread of food and drinks, and, of course, bowling. The silent auction helped to raise almost $4,000 in additional funds for the foundation.

Since the inception of this fundraiser in Atlanta, only three years ago, the Atlanta-area malls, with support of local businesses, have proudly raised more than $270,000 for Simon Youth Foundation. All funds raised during “Bowling for Education” benefit Simon Youth Foundation. The organization’s mission is to help support students considering dropping out of high school by providing them with the set of skills they need to pursue secondary education and career paths. Simon Youth Foundation helps at-risk youth achieve success through Simon Youth Academics as well as scholarships. The foundation provides $20,000 in scholarships to graduating Georgia seniors annually and has awarded more than $200,000 in the last twelve years.

During this year’s fundraiser, special honors and recognition were given to the new president and CEO of Simon Youth Foundation, Dr. Michael Durnil. This is Dr. Durnil’s first year as president and first year in attendance of the “Bowling for Education” event in Atlanta. Though new to the foundation, Dr. Durnil has a background in education and his spirit and dedication to bringing education and opportunity to every Georgia youth are noticeable.

“We are thrilled with the support and enthusiasm from our Simon family in our annual Bowling for Education Event. We are so thankful to all our dedicated contributors who helped Simon Youth Foundation surpass all its financial goals and make this year’s event such a success”, said Shelly Weidner, co-chair of Bowling for Education in Atlanta and Director of Marketing and Business Development for Town Center at Cobb. “The mission of Simon Youth Foundation is to provide continuing education to our future Georgia leaders and the donations made as part of this event helped support these youth.”

The event was made possible with generous contributions from J.J. Morley, Dixie Electric, Cannon Roofing, and other friends of Simon Youth Foundation. Popular items at the silent auction included Tiffany & Co. bracelets, gift baskets provided by The Fresh Market, and tickets and hotel stay for the Enrique Iglesias concert in Atlanta.  “Bowling for Education” is organized and presented by the Atlanta and Carolina-area Simon Malls: Discover Mills, Gwinnett Place, Lenox Square, Northlake Mall, Mall of Georgia, Phipps Plaza, Town Center at Cobb, SouthPark, Haywood Mall and Anderson Mall.

Simon Youth Foundation, established in 1998, operates 23 academies in 13 U.S. states that give at-risk students the same education they would receive in a traditional classroom while offering the flexibility that their individual circumstances require. Recipient of the Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention from the National Dropout Prevention Center, the foundation has helped more than 8,000 students earn their high school diploma and provided more than $9.7 million in college scholarships to 3,200 students in 42 states. The Education Commission of the United States has recognized the foundation with its Corporate Award for sustained and substantial investment in improving public education.