"We have supported Tree Street for a number of years," said Lee Auto Malls Chairman Adam Lee. "When we saw what an impact they were having on the community, with a 100% high school graduation rate and 31 of their kids going to college this year, I felt it was important to dramatically increase our giving."
Tree Street Youth is a non-profit, 501(c)3 which serves students from the Lewiston-Auburn communities. Nearly all Tree Street youth live below the poverty line, with 65% coming from immigrant or refugee families. The youth center's daily programming offers academic support, arts and cultural enrichment classes.
With a huge smile, Julia Sleeper, Tree Street's founder and Executive Director said, "I'd like to thank Adam Lee and everyone at Lee Auto Malls. Your generosity and support over the past five years has been exemplary and now your $50,000 donation has paved the way for us to launch Homestretch Heroes: a business partnership program to complete our Campaign for Growth. Tree Street and the entire Lewiston-Auburn community applaud your leadership."
The Campaign for Growth is a $1.3 million capital campaign that will expand the Tree Street Youth facility by 5,700 square feet, allowing for more classrooms and more recreation space. The college/career aspirations center will also be expanded.
"Julia has shown us all that with some determination, a space to operate out of and a little help we can improve the lives of kids in Maine's more challenged communities," Lee said.
With this donation, the Campaign for Growth has raised $1,100,000 of the $1.3 million required to begin the youth center's renovation and expansion. The donation is the largest made to any single charitable organization by Lee Auto Malls in 2016.