YMCA fundraiser has begun

The Crescenta-Cañada and Verdugo Hills Family YMCAs launched their 2009 Community Support Campaign last night. The “Imagine…what your gift will do” fundraiser will benefit those families in the community who cannot afford to join in any of the YMCA programs.

“[The funds] also go toward keeping costs down for programs offered at the Y,” said Kim Beattie, director of communications for the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $450,000, according to Chris Waldheim, volunteer campaign chair.

Beattie said the foundation of the programs at the YMCA is “spirit, mind and body.”

“We incorporate this [guideline] into every program including aquatics, our lecture series and gymnastics,” she said.

Economic times have affected fundraising efforts of several foundations and non-profits like the YMCA but, Beattie said, this is the time when the programs at the facility are most valued.

“People are stressed because of money or their job,” she said. “This is a place that the whole family can come to have fun and relax.”

According to Beattie, the YMCA mission is to give community members a “place where they can belong.” Some of the programs the “Y” offers include day camp, child care, youth sports, a teen leadership program and water safety. She reminds residents that the programs are not just geared toward children but many classes in a variety of areas are designed for adults.

For over 150 years the YMCA organization has been at the foundation of communities, first in Britain and then in America. It has seen many changes but has offered members a place to go in both good and bad times. According to www.ymca.net, during the Great Depression, between 1929 and 1933, the Y provided a haven for those who were out of work or just worried about the future. As some of the more traditional programs declined, exercise and education classes increased, giving worried Americans “a place where they can belong.”

For information or to donate to the 2009 Community Support Campaign visit the website at www.ymcacc.org, go to “Support” and scroll down to “Community Support Campaign” or contact Rosanne Malogolowkin, the Y's executive director, at (818) 790-0123 ext. 247.

For those who are interested in applying for financial help for YMCA programs, visit www.ymcacc.org and scroll down to “Financial Aid.”

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