Eckerd Youth Alternatives to be Honored
CLEARWATER - On the late Jack Eckerd's birthday, more than 100 friends and family members will join the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for a brief ceremony to honor Eckerd Youth Alternatives 40th anniversary in helping children. Jack passed away in 2004 and Ruth passed away in 2006
Attending will be:
David Dennis, President of Eckerd Youth Alternatives (EYA) Former campers who are now adults who have had their lives forever altered by EYA programs.
More than 100 friends, families and guests. (Attendance could be significantly more, 100 is minimum.)
The event will take place Friday, May 16, 10 a.m., Lakeside, adjacent to the offices of Eckerd Youth Alternatives, 100 North Starcrest Drive (near Belcher and Drew) Clearwater.
Eighty (80) butterflies will be released, representing the 80,000 children EYA has helped since it was created by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968.
In the Tampa Bay area, most associate the Eckerd name with the former Eckerd Drugs, Eckerd College or Ruth Eckerd Hall. But the place where Jack and Ruth Eckerd spent most of their time and energy after Jack got out of the drugstore business was at EYA. They loved to go in the outdoor therapeutic settings and meet with the kids - most were there because they had violated the law. EYA is a national leader in children's services, providing more than 40 programs in nine states that cover everything from prevention to re-entry into the community after a youth has completed a court-ordered placement.
It was recently announced that EYA is negotiating with the Department of Children and Families to take over the care of foster children in Pasco and Pinellas Counties on July 1. DCF and EYA are still negotiating the contract.
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