Partnership for Youth Development hosted Cocktails for a Cause on Dec. 4 to raise money to continue creating enriching and high-quality learning opportunities for underserved students in New Orleans public schools.

“Our Cocktails for a Cause was a joyful and deeply appreciated culmination of PYD’s efforts this past year to create equitable access to learning opportunities for all New Orleans youth,” said Lauren Bierbaum, the organization’s executive director.

The event, hosted at the home of Vincent N. Ilustre, raised more than $11,000 to help support afterschool enrichment programs that directly impact 600 New Orleans public school students and indirectly serves all students in the Orleans Parish school system.

Special guests in attendance included: honorary event Chairwoman Janet W. Bean, Alan H. Philipson, Ian McNulty, Antonia Keller, Tony Recasner, Henrietta and Walter Harris and Jennifer Roberts.

“I am overwhelmed and truly touched by the commitment everyone has made to sustaining the work of PYD,” Bierbaum said. “I could not ask for a better, more committed network of friends, partners and supporters.”

The nonprofit Partnership for Youth Development helps school-age children and youths in New Orleans maximize their learning opportunities and educational experiences both in and beyond school.

PYD maintains strong connections among community groups, schools, government agencies, and families.

Serving as the critical link between these entities, the group strives to fill gaps between existing local youth systems in order to create strong infrastructure that supports the children and youths of New Orleans.

Partnership for Youth Development’s 2012 board of directors is Kelly Barbier, Richard Bouchner, John H. Denenea Jr., Melonie Hall, Vincent Ilustre, Anna Labadie, Valerie McGinley Marshall, Alison Mehr, Scott Norris, Mark Della Volpe and Jason Williams.