On March 14, Project SOS held an annual benefit, a formal event at One Ocean. All proceeds from the event go to help local teenagers receive critical life skills in their middle schools and high school on the First Coast. These life skills include: setting written goals, establishing six boundaries to protect their goals, practicing six refusal skills, dealing with bullying, establishing healthy relationships, staying out of debt, etc.
Senator Aaron Bean was the auctioneer and was instrumental in helping raise nearly $100,000. Seventy baskets were auctioned off using a high tech cell phone bidding war. Senator Bean auctioned off eight live auction items, including exotic vacation trips and an eight-week old Teddy Bear puppy from Pet World.
The entertainment was nationally acclaimed impressionist, Downtown Harrison, who impersonated Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley as well as other stars. Major sponsors for the event included Mac Papers, St. Johns Financial Services, Acosta Sales and Marketing, Norsk Construction and Design, Precision Turf, LandSouth Construction, Lighthouse Christian Schools, Chet’s Creek Church and the Rick Ray family.
Former student, Zana Humphries, told the audience of 200 guests how Project SOS came to her school when she was suicidal and helped her learn how to cope with overcoming sexual abuse and thoughts of suicide. She was mentored by Project SOS’ Youth Development Coordinator Katrina Rogers, who worked with Humphries through her four years of high school. Rogers helped Humphries become a straight A student and receive a full scholarship to Alabama State University. Humphries is now a pre-med student majoring in Biology and is on the dean’s list at her college. She credits Project SOS with keeping her alive and teaching her how to use her gifts and talents to set goals and use the necessary skills to avoid unhealthy choices to reach her goals.
Project SOS started working with teenagers in 1993, and since then has impacted the lives of over 400,000 students in Northeast Florida. They have helped reduce the teen birth rates by 64%, the juvenile crime by 35% and use of drugs and alcohol by 28%. Project SOS also has a Healthy Relationship Department that works with parents to create a home that is filled with peace and love instead of chaos and anger. Project SOS was awarded BEST PLACE TO WORK by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2014. For more information about Project SOS or to get involved in helping change the culture for the better, visit www.projectsos.com or contact the office at 904-296-9950.