Annual Support Campaign kicks off at the YMCA
The mission of the YMCA is to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the facilities regardless of the financial situation a prospective member may be in.
That is why the organization offers scholarships to those that cannot afford memberships, offers free community events and programs, and works to partner with area organizations.
But all that takes money and so the YMCA is kicking off its Annual Support Campaign to help raise the funds needed to keep these programs going.
“None of the money we collect goes to capital or building maintenance,” campaign chair Lara Reed said. “The money we collect goes to support these programs so everyone can benefit from the YMCA.”
Reed said last year, the fund paid out $90,000 in scholarships, free program and community events. Some of those events included the Splash campaign which provided swimming lessons to children, the Livestrong campaign which is a free exercise program for cancer survivors after they have finished treatment and to the YMCA scholarship.
To better reflect this variety of programs offered, the national YMCA office changed the name of the campaign from the The Strong Kids Campaign to the Annual Support Campaign.
“The name did put some people off,” Reed said. “Certainly we do a lot of work with youth and wellness but this campaign supports so much more. All these programs.”
Reed said donors can give to specific areas as well.
“If you want to give specifically to a program, we can ear mark that donation for that program,” Reed said. “Any amount that people want to give is welcome and we can work with them to make sure it benefits the programs they want to support.”
Reed said the campaign has been raising money from members since the beginning of the year but now it is time to turn to the public for support.
“We have had a push for donations from members and different incentives for members to give,” Reed said. One example she cited was a program in the fitness center where members would give a certain amount based on an exercise they accomplished.
“People really have fun with it and come up with creative ideas,” Reed said.
She added the community has always rallied around the campaign and has shown great support.
“It is always hard to go out and ask people for money,” Reed said. “But the community has shown they support this campaign by their generosity year after year.”
The YMCA also hosts a number of events during the year to raise funds for the campaign.
“The Hodag Run is our biggest fund raiser,” Reed said. “We also put on a golf outing and new this year will be the Nutty Trail Run.”
To donate to the fund, contact the YMCA at 715-362-9622.