First Coast Cultural Center gets $45K matching gift challenge for program


First Coast Cultural Center was recently awarded $45,000 matching gift challenge from the Persbacker-Wyman Family Foundation in support of the Sound Connections music therapy program. Sound Connections is an outreach program offered by the Cultural Center that provides music therapy to children with special needs in St. Johns County elementary schools.

From now until Dec. 1, every contribution will be matched dollar for dollar up to $45,000 to help the center reach its $90,000 goal.

According to Donna Guzzo, president and executive director, the nonprofit organization asks the community to help raise the needed funds to sustain the outreach program for the 2022-23 school year at Ocean Palms Elementary School, PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School and Valley Ridge Academy. The Webster School, First Coast Technical College Early Childhood Education and Osceola Elementary have recently been added to the program as Title 1 schools to serve disadvantaged students.

"I am so grateful for the generosity of the Persbacker-Wyman Foundation,” said Candice Sirak, Sound Connections music therapy manager and music therapist. “Music therapy is invaluable for the students in St. Johns County, and with this help, we hope to continue providing important educational benefits for many years to come."

For further information, call Candice Sirak at 904-280-0614 ext.1206 or email

For more information about the First Coast Cultural Center, go to