New Foundation Launched to Support Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs

The newly formed Gainesville Arts & Parks (GAP) Foundation, Inc. was established in June to support the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) as an ally in advocacy and fundraising. The foundation is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to support the projects and programs identified in the PRCA master plan, Vision 2020, by helping fill funding gaps and helping bring the plan to life.

“Parks and recreation departments nationally have a common problem,” says Steve Phillips, director of PRCA. “We face budget cuts, lower tax appropriations, while demand and usage of our parks, facilities and services increases. The GAP Foundation will have the ability to apply directly to private foundations for funding where local governments are not eligible. In addition, as community leaders, the board of directors brings unmatched passion for advancing art, parks and recreation throughout Gainesville,” Phillips said. A community celebration will scheduled for sometime this fall at the historic Thomas Center.

President of the GAP Foundation Board, Augi Lye said, “I am honored to be a part of the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation! As the board president, one of my goals is to do more cross communication with arts organizations and the technology community to showcase some of what Gainesville can become.”

Vice President Dr. Steven Yucht stated, “The GAP Foundation is a much-needed vehicle for alternative fund development to support the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. We have an opportunity to bring art to the forefront, while highlighting the many parks and recreational activities that are in our community.”

The founding members of the GAP Foundation Board of Directors are Susan Bottcher, Thomas Hawkins (secretary), Agapitus “Augi” Lye (president), Albert White (treasurer) and Dr. Steven L. Yucht (vice president).

For more information, or to get involved with the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation, please contact PRCA at 352-393-8364.