YMCA Scholarships Fund Camp, Health – Support Drive Targets $23,000


In 2011, three people a week requested financial assistance at The Family YMCA so their children could participate in after school, or camp, or so they could participate in healthy programs.

In the end, 148 people were awarded more than $75,000 in assistance.

The Y is running its annual Strong Kids Campaign, a fundraising drive to support these scholarships.

“Of these 148 people, 74 were kids in our camp or afterschool program,” said volunteer campaign chair Emily McGay, “these 74 kids require seven staff. While the Y is a nonprofit, it can’t bare this cost alone, and it doesn’t pass it along to others who can afford to pay.

The Y is a charity; no one is turned away for inability to pay. That is why we fundraise each year.”

Y Executive Director Linda Daly said support helps families to connect with each other and with the community.

She quoted a statement from a parent who recently moved from Florida,

“Having a YMCA membership provides a way for my family to get together out of the weather and play together. We love going to the gym and playing ball, running races, and playing the  different activities that the gym offers … without a membership we would not get to do these things and bond as a family by staying active … without the scholarship, this would not be possible, and we are blessed through the generosity of others.”

The Y’s goal is to raise $125,000 for program access and facility improvements.

The annual Red and Black ball in February raised $54,000, and a June 9 golf tournament is expected to raise $20,000, which leaves $51,000 to be raised in a community and membership drive phase.

The community drive, active since March is at $28,000, leaving $23,000 to raise now through an end-of May target date.

“Some think that membership dues and program fees are donations to the Y,” Daly said, “but these pay for the cost of service for participants. Donations pay for those with less means else to participate. Donations enable us to offer free health classes such as Manage My Chronic Disease, and Diabetes Prevention. Donations support some 70 other people who work out at the Y thanks to scholarships, and there is a hard cost to these scholarships.”

The Y is also supported by the United Way of Northern New Mexico, she said, which subsidizes the cost to produce youth programs by $18,000 and supports scholarships by $30,000.

“We’re grateful for United Way support, but they can’t do it all either,” Daly said. “Last year alone, the Y provided after school and camp scholarship totaling $51,000.”

Donations can be made online at www.laymca.org or at the Y.

The website’s Community Partners page has links on impact and service numbers. For more information call the Y at 662-3100.


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