Many of you have reached out after hearing about the disappointing news of the fire at our new Teen Center and asked, “How can I help? What do you need?” We wanted to wait until we received the fire report from the City of Gainesville and finalized all discussions with insurances. So we are now at a point where we know what our losses are and what we need in order to rebuild to where we were. So please read below about how we got here and thank you for your support!
Here at Aces in Motion, we have a lot to be thankful for. We have amazing students, dedicated parents, selfless staff and eager volunteers - all who believe strongly in our mission to provide high-quality after-school programming to east Gainesville. On Saturday, June 12, 2021, we celebrated our annual banquet at the Gainesville Circus Center. It was a night everyone was anticipating. We celebrated our students, parents, staff and volunteers who were instrumental in ensuring our resiliency in providing programming to our students amidst a global pandemic. As the night came to a close, we saw the bright future ahead of us as an organization.
The morning following our end of year banquet, Sunday, June 13, 2021 at 2:30 a.m., the Oakview Teen Center (located at 810 NW 8th Ave) caught fire, originating in the kitchen. This Teen Center was leased by the City of Gainesville to Aces in Motion in the Spring of 2021. Finishing touches to the extensive renovations were put on in early June, prior to staff moving into the space. AIM had only held programming in the Teen Center only for a couple of months before the fire. The cause of the fire, which originated in the kitchen, is still under investigation. Our response to the fire was swift and efficient. The community came together to help provide us a space to continue our summer program and a space for staff to get back to work. We sincerely thank Westwood Middle School, First United Methodist Church and the Alachua County Public School District.
From moving our entire operations (6 times), professional smoke remediation cleaning services, replacing electronics, furniture, and many programmatic materials, we are reaching out to our community to support us as the costs for all of these damages have totaled $40,000.
As we build back our operations and settle into our temporary home at Duval Early Learning Academy, we are still recuperating from the extensive costs that were required to continue our operations and programming. The site at Duval has been a blessing for all the staff and students as it is closer to a majority of families and allows more space for us to expand. The building, which ceased operations this past school year (2020-2021), has the potential to be a community resource center with a youth focus. AIM is currently sharing the space with KidsCount and the Greater Duval Neighborhood Association - both organizations that serve youth who reside in east Gainesville. We encourage our stakeholders to learn more about the Duval Early Learning Academy and its history. To learn more about Duval in the news, Click Here .
Please help us by contributing to our recovery fund. Anything you are able to contribute at this time means the world to us!
If you feel more comfortable writing/mailing a check, please mail it to PO Box 357492 Gainesville, FL 32635, and make checks payable to Aces In Motion.
More about the Oakview Park: Click Here
Hear from Aces in Motion's Executive Director, Addison Staples on event details: Click Link Here
WCJB TV 20 - Article Link Here
The Alligator - Article Link Here
Aces in Motion