Española –The Española YMCA Teen Center received a $20,000 grant from State Farm Saturday during the Y’s annual Red and Black Ball in Los Alamos.
Local State Farm agents Lou Santoro and Abe Dispennette presented the award to Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly on behalf of the company’s regional Good Neighbor Citizenship program.
The grant will fund educational programming, skill-building classes and recreational activities in support of keeping an underserved population engaged in learning and healthy activities.
“We’re proud that State Farm recognizes the importance of investing in others, and that they consider our work in the Rio Grande Valley worthy of their support,” Daly said. “We served 538 kids there last year, mentoring anywhere from 41 to 80 on a daily basis.”
Santoro added, “State Farm has a long standing commitment to education, youth and to the communities in which we live and work. This grant is recognition of the great work happening in our community and I am very proud to be here to help support this effort.”
“The Y’s work is making a tremendous difference,” Teen Center Director Ben Sandoval said. “We’re seeing changes in the kids. Parents and the community have taken notice, too.”
Sandoval said the Chamber of Commerce recently gave the Center their President’s Award, which names them as the Nonprofit of the Year.
“The State Farm award will help this good work to continue,” Sandoval said.
The grant was presented at the Y’s annual fundraising ball that kicks off their campaign to raise $130,000 in order to provide financial assistance so that all people may have access to Y programs.
The event cleared about $40,000, or one third of the campaign goal. This does not include the State Farm funding, which was awarded as a grant for the Center and not for scholarships.
In 2012, the YMCA provided $120,000 in financial assistance to 249 individuals, an increase of $40,000 over the previous year. The largest increase in assistance was provided for access to membership and healthy living programs. Assistance requests and awards last year were almost evenly distributed between memberships, after-school enrichment and summer camp experiences.