Town ‘N Country Youth Council celebrates 10 years | Community Spirit
Town 'N Country -- Formed in July 2002, the Town ‘N Country Youth Council (YC) celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year.
The YC has contributed $500,000 in volunteer community service hours to the Town ‘N Country Community. It has used grants from the Hillsborough County Office of Neighborhood Relations to get the organization started from 2002 - 2004.
The investment by Hillsborough County has been paid back with interest and the YC is a 3-time recipient of the BOCC “Most Successful Youth Program Award”. Quite a record for an organization only a decade young.
Community residents Rob and Fran Gamester have played a strong role in the organization from the outset and Fran continues to serve as the Adult Board Chair as well as serving as President of the Garden Circle. Asked about her involvement in these disparate activities, Fran said they are similar in that both involve planting seeds and nurturing growth.
Rob is obviously proud of Fran and the YC reporting, “These fabulous teens have removed Brazilian pepper trees in below freezing weather and planted crape myrtle in the heat of July; cleaned up debris at a county park after the hurricanes of 2004 – 2005; helped remodel two not-for-profit buildings; painted a community wall; helped design the teen room at the Town ‘N Country Library; worked on the grand opening of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail; volunteered at the community’s 50th anniversary in 2009; held over a dozen cleanups per year; helped plant and maintain 2,600 trees, shrubs and plants at 4 county parks and an elementary school.”
Gamester continued, “The teens have aided various community groups at their functions, such as the Town ‘N Country Garden Circle, Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, Twelve Oaks Civic Association and many more. They have also done community service work at the Children’s Home and Town ‘N Country Senior Center. They have their DNA all over the Town ‘N Country community. The YCers accomplished all these projects with a budget of less than $2,000 annually.”
Fran chimed in, “The YC offers community service hours for college scholarships and National Honor Society membership to Town ‘N Country Teens ages 12 – 17, and we are very proud of what our youth have accomplished as individuals and citizens. We have partnered with Parks, Recreation and Conservation since our inception. Literally scores of our teens have received millions of dollars in college scholarships to most state schools as well as prestigious schools such as Brown University, Harvard and Vanderbilt. Teens have attended colleges from California to Indiana to New England.”
For more information on this outstanding organization contact Fran Gamester – Adult Board Chair at 813 884-3462