Helping others: April Lazara, left, and Stacey Schwartfigure join Brian Williams, See Ya Later Foundation leader and coordinator, at an open house to celebrate the organization’s first home last week. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

SYL Foundation finds a home

Nonprofit helps families in need

One of the community’s most impactful nonprofit organizations finally at last has a home.

The See Ya Later Foundation – a faith-based, nondenominational organization with the mission of helping families fraught by a child’s medical crisis – has found a small office building at 422 East Main St.

The foundation made the move in November and celebrated with an Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce-supported open house on March 8.

It’s been a good fit.

“Having an office makes us more legitimate in the community. … You have a brick-and-mortar building that people can come to and visit and see what you do,” said Brian Williams, who launched the foundation in 2006 and coordinates SYL activities throughout the area. “I now have a meeting spot where I meet families, potential sponsors and donors. We can show them what our program is all about, and it’s a more professional environment.

“It feels like we have arrived.”

In the past Williams, an Auburn Police sergeant, would meet clients by appointment, often at a coffee shop.

Now he can meet them in the comfortable confines of a resourceful center.

“It’s going to give them a lot more visibility and accessibility,” said April Lazara, whose family the foundation has helped. “It’s a good thing.”

“It’s a place, there’s room where they can meet, plan,” said Stacey Schwartfigure, a mother who reached out to SYL for help.

The foundation began with the inspiration of a 12-year-old boy, Scott Banke, who died of bone cancer in 2001. The foundation’s title came from a video Scott made while on a Make-A-Wish cruise. One of the last clips, Scott turned the camera on himself and told of the day’s events, ending by saying “See Ya Later!” The brief but poignant clip ended Scott’s memorial service.

The foundation’s outreach efforts include kids camps, scholarship opportunities and other resources for families in need. Under Williams’ watch, the foundation has helped hundreds of area families.

To learn more, visit seeyalater.org.

For more on Williams, the Auburn Reporter’s Person of the Year in 2016, and his work, visit auburn-reporter.com.

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