Angela Glazer talks to young women at the PACE Center about endometriosis
A Thursday morning breakfast at the Columbia restaurant in Ybor City drew a large crowd, with all attendees on hand to support the PACE Center for Girls.
Many people at the fundraiser were already familiar with the center and its impressive efforts to shape today's adolescent girls into tomorrow's leaders, while others were hearing about PACE for the first time. All were touched by the same message of hope before returning to their offices and daily errands.
The PACE Center provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The center operates by the philosophy that every young woman deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and live a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace.
Nikki Daniels, Executive Director of the PACE Center, estimates that more than half of the young women enrolled at the center have been physically abused, while many others have been raped or sexually molested or have parents who are either mentally ill or incarcerated. PACE, with 19 centers in Florida, acts as a haven for these young women to get back on track with their studies and their lives.
Several faces familiar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization were present at the PACE Center breakfast on Thursday. Angela Glazer and Cindy Gruden, both members of the PACE Auxiliary Board, were in attendance to show their support. Glazer has been particularly passionate about the PACE Center and its mission to help strengthen the community's young women.
Angela Glazer didn't waste time becoming involved in the Tampa Bay community after she met and married Buccaneers Executive Vice President Joel Glazer. After looking around at the different organizations and charitable foundations at work in the Bay area, it was only natural that Glazer would be drawn to the PACE Center for Girls. A licensed psychologist with a Masters and PhD in clinical psychology, Glazer has always enjoyed working with adolescents, especially girls.
"I wanted to learn about as many different organizations as I could," said Glazer. "I wanted to know what was out there, what was in the community. I went to visit different places and learn about different places. Of course all of them tug at your heart, but PACE had something really special."
For the past four years, Glazer has been actively involved with PACE, making visits to the center, donating time and money to fundraising efforts and garnering awareness for the issues facing young women today.
"I was thinking recently about PACE and about what has happened in the past year and how far PACE has gone and how much more involved the community is," said Glazer. "Now lots of people know about (PACE), and they didn't before."
Glazer also saw Thursday as an opportunity to spread awareness of another issue in which she is involved. After the breakfast, Glazer traveled to the PACE Center, where she met with the girls currently in the program to speak with them about endometriosis. A chronic disease that affects more than five and a half million women and girls in the United States, endometriosis occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus are found outside the uterus. In addition to being extremely painful, endometriosis can also cause infertility and scar tissue formation.
Having suffered from endometriosis since the age of 11, Glazer has become actively involved in the Endometriosis Association and is committed to raising awareness about the disease. That awareness will hopefully lead to more research and a cure for the disorder.
The PACE students listened attentively as Glazer recounted some of her experiences with endometriosis, explained what the disease is and how it is often treated. Each of the PACE girls received a royal blue wristband emblazoned with the phrase "Live Life, Think Positive" in support of endometriosis research. The students had many great questions, and the young women engaged in an active dialogue with Glazer about the disease.
While the PACE students seemed grateful to sit and share stories with one of their biggest supporters, Glazer was just as grateful for the opportunity to share her story with an amazing group of young women.
"Thank you for letting me come into your space today and share my story with you," said Glazer to the girls.
To learn more about the PACE Center for Girls, log on to www.pacecenter.org.
To learn more about endometriosis or to purchase a wristband in support of endometriosis research, visit www.endometriosisassn.org.