This spring, Jenny Doyle was able to get about 50 men to participate in a cooking fundraiser. Dubbed Men Who Cook, the event raised $35,000 for the PACE Center for Girls.
The PACE Center is an organization near to Doyle’s heart. She is the board of trustees president for the Escambia-Santa Rosa center.
Part of a statewide network, the PACE center strives to provide girls with an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. PACE is recognized as among the most effective models for keeping teenage girls out of the juvenile justice system.
“There’s so many ways that bad things can happen to girls,” Doyle explained why she felt the need to serve at the center.
One the most effective ways she serves is through fundraising. The Men Who Cook event afforded the local PACE center a new kitchen.
Doyle’s fundraising efforts are not limited to the PACE Center. Another local organization that benefits from her service is Autism Pensacola.
Doyle became involved with the group after she and her husband—Pensacola News Journal Publisher Kevin Doyle—realized that area children diagnosed with autism were not receiving the same level of care as their granddaughter.
“We have a granddaughter in California that has autism,” Doyle explained. “She got a lot of care that kids here weren’t getting. We didn’t think that was right.”
After moving to town in 2006, the Doyles became involved with Autism Pensacola. The couple was instrumental in seeing the organization become incorporated and receiving non-profit status, and also assembling a board of local community leaders to guide the group’s efforts.
“I think putting together a board with community leaders was very, very, very important,” Doyle said. “They weren’t just people that wanted another notch.”
Doyle has also played a large role in Autism Pensacola’s fundraising efforts. Beginning in 2007, she helped grow the organization’s annual fundraising gala, Connecting the Pieces, which funds the highly-praised Kids for Camp program.
“It’s been very, very successful,” Doyle said of the group’s fundraising effort. “And the summer camp has provided services that kids had never had before.”
At this year’s Connecting the Pieces gala, the Doyles were honored with the Autism Community Spirit Award. In accepting the award, Kevin informed the gala’s attendees that this would be the fifth and final year the couple would be leading Autism Pensacola’s fundraising efforts; he heralded the $850,000 that the community had donated during that time.
Jenny then took to the microphone for a tearful address. She explained why the couple was so committed to local autism efforts and thanked everyone for their charitable giving.
“I’m a crier, so please forgive me,” Doyle said after accepting the Community Spirit Award. “This is in honor of our granddaughter, Bella—she doesn’t even live here, she lives in California—she is the love of our life and this is in honor of her and this is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my whole life.”