The Gift of Inspiration

In General
Deborah Weber is surprised by colleagues who gave $1,000
to SYF in her honor.

Some say actions speak louder than words. At the Simon Youth Foundation Northeast Bowling for Education event, a record breaking amount was raised for SYF. More than $275,000 was raised  benefitting the efforts to provide educational opportunities for at-risk youth. There is a story behind the story here. The efforts to make this event special were spearheaded by Deborah Weber, Mall Manager at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, New York. Her fellow colleagues saw this as a perfect opportunity to honor her in a very special way.

It takes $1,000 to graduate a student from a Simon Youth Academy which means the overall event will assist 275 more diploma-seeking at-risk youth. To say thanks and honor Debby, the mall team at Walt Whitman Shops had an internal fundraiser and raised $1,000 more.  Between the event’s final total amount and the surprise honor, this will be one event she never forgets.

“My reaction was euphoria,” Debby said. “This event was the highest producing field event in the history of SYF, surpassing the former best event – our 2011 event. Since I founded this event for the company six years ago, the Northeast Region has raised over $1,000,000 with these Bowling Events. Add to that number, the donations from Bowling Events held around the company and it’s even more impressive.”

Debby said she is so proud to be a part of a company that supports a foundation with an inspiring mission. She said ensuring at-risk students who might be left behind due to social circumstances, are embraced, encouraged and guided to ultimately successful lives through education is very important.

“A significant part of my personal background has been to support education for all children. I am in awe of the power of a successful company that can motivate its employees to raise millions for the support of those students who cannot learn in a traditional environment.”

There were 390 people and over 170 companies represented at the Bowling for Education event which helped exceed the previous record. This comes during a year of milestones for SYF including 15 years of igniting hope, awarding more than $10 million in scholarships and graduating our 10,000th student.

In addition to this honor, Debby was recently awarded the Best of the Best Mall Manager award by Simon Property Group at this year’s Northeast Regional Meeting. Walt Whitman Shops earned the Ignite Hope award and Overall Fundraising Excellence award from SYF.

It is through the tireless efforts of Simon Property Group employees like Debby Weber that put the Simon in Simon Youth Foundation. We are very grateful for all the support we receive throughout the year at events such as this and we commend the Northeast Region for their help igniting hope.

Debby’s leadership in raising funds has literally helped SYF graduate 1,001 students!

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