YMCA’s 2013 Annual Strong Kids Campaign Exceeds Goal

(Stratford, ON, January 12, 2014) – Erin Wood, volunteer Chair of the YMCA’s 2013 Strong Kids fundraising Campaign announced today that for the fifth consecutive year the annual campaign surpassed goal raising over $90,000. The purpose of the annual campaign is to raise awareness and much needed financial support for the work the Y does in providing children and families with the values and life skills to succeed. The Y believes that everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, should be able to participate and benefit from YMCA programs.

In making the announcement Ms Wood said, “Thanks to the generosity and support of hundreds of individuals, organizations and businesses across our community I am extremely pleased to say that our annual Strong KIds Campaign has again surpassed goal. In 2013 our goal was to reach $85,000 in gifts and donations – a significant increase beyond the $77,000 raised in 2012. Through the combined efforts of our campaign team, staff, volunteers, corporate partners and donors and individual supporters of all ages, our 2013 Strong Kids Campaign raised over $90,000. These are very challenging times for many around us and we are extremely grateful for each and every contribution we receive – the more we raise, the more we are able to to assist children, youth and families here in our community.”

“A vital part of our community for 144 years, the Stratford-Perth YMCA serves over 7000 individuals annually,” said CEO Mimi Price. “We serve one in four youth and young adults 16-29 years in our community. In 2012 we offered financial assistance to over 1,400 people representing a $400,000 investment in individuals in our neighborhood. The majority of this assistance goes to children, youth and young adults in the form of memberships at our health and fitness sites including swimming lessons; participation in our summer day camps in Stratford, St. Marys, Mitchell and Shakespeare; meals, support & counseling through our youth centres in Stratford and Mitchell and support for families in times of challenge through our early learning and school-age programs and sites in Stratford, & Shakespeare. Without the continued support of our community these accomplishments in our community would not be possible.

“The Y’s new strategic plan, developed with the input of hundreds of individuals, local leaders, volunteers, members and staff calls upon us to do more,” Ms Price added. “We will collaborate with our community to deliver programs and services that improve the health and well-being of all; we will inspire youth to reach their full potential; our quality programs will be measured to show evidence of impact on individuals and the community; our volunteer and staff leaders will learn, lead and make lasting social change and our YMCA brand will be valued for its health solutions focus and ability to impact healthy living. The community has an expectation of the YMCA to do this work and this is our roadmap for the next 5 years.”

The Y provides values-based programs that teach the importance of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, health and inclusiveness. It’s a place where friendships are formed, family ties are strengthened and is a centre of community where people meet and discover common needs or interests. To reach as many people as possible, the YMCA offers financial assistance to those who would otherwise be unable to benefit from its services.

For more information about the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, or to make a donation, visit www.ymcastrongkids.ca or visit your local Y today.

For more information please contact: Keith Courtney at 519-273-3060

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