Pedaling for pennies

The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA set about reshaping its annual fundraising campaign and mission to promote living a healthy lifestyle this year.

It all came together Saturday with the Ride for the Y indoor cycling event on stationary exercise bikes, as donors got something back — a workout — from their monetary gift to the YMCA.

“It’s a new twist on fundraising for us,” said Kim Beattie, the YMCA of the Foothills’ director of development. “This is the first time we’ve done an event, instead of just making the personal reach out to our donors.”

The Crescenta-Cañada Y is still appealing to the community for donations over the phone and in person. This is just something a little extra this year, said Rosanne Malogolowkin, the executive director of the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA.

“[The cyclists] are being healthy, at the same time having fun and raising money for the Y. It kind of brings it all together,” said Malogolowkin, who came up with the idea for the event after seeing it put on by other organizations.

As a cycling instructor for the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, Malogolowkin found the Ride for the Y as an opportunity to challenge her students.

“These people come and [cycle] here every day and they enjoy doing it,” Malogolowkin said. “We said, ‘Let’s put a challenge out there and see what happens. Let’s see if they can do two or three hours, instead of their regular one-hour class.’”

The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA’s Annual Community Support Campaign began in the middle of March and ends in May.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $400,000. Organizers are already about 60% of the way there (raising about $240,000), Beattie said. The money will support the YMCA’s after school arts and sports programs and membership assistance.

“It goes to a lot of different things that directly benefit our members and community,” Beattie said.

Every team of cyclists paid $200 to participate in the Ride for the Y. Teams for the four-hour bike ride ranged from however big or small the individuals wanted. Twenty teams registered for the Ride for the Y event.

The Ride for the Y also gave people a chance to get involved beyond just writing a check, Beattie said.

“A lot of people are very willing to just give a gift, but a lot of folks love the Relay for Life and they love to participate on another level,” she said. “It’s a perfect way to offer this to our members because we do have the cycling room and classes. This is the first time we’ve really married our fundraising with a program we offer.”

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