January 27, 2014

YMCA kicks off annual campaign

The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Mahaska County YMCA Executive Director Dawn Collins has announced the kickoff of the Mahaska County YMCA annual campaign.

More than 50 volunteers will be soliciting pledges from community individuals and businesses over the next few weeks. The campaign goal is $155,000, a $35,000 increase from last year due to increasing scholarship needs, rising facility costs and continuing capital improvement projects.

“Each year, about $70,000 in financial assistance is given to youth, families and seniors in need and we expect that to increase this year with new programs. Everyone is welcome at the Y regardless of their ability to pay,” said Campaign Chair, Glenda Booy. “I have learned a lot about the Y and its need for funding since being on the board. My membership pays for my facility usage and operation costs. My donation supports families in need and special projects the Y couldn’t do otherwise.”

This year, the Y has added a new collaborative 21st Century after school program with the Oskaloosa Elementary School and the preschool partnership continues to grow. The YMCA is also pleased to host the new OHS swim team with more than 20 youth swimming this year, in addition to the Y Dolphins team with 70 youth.

“We have already raised 65 percent of our goal through corporate donations. Now we are focusing on raising $55,000 for scholarships from community members and small businesses,” said Executive Director Dawn Collins. “This is a chance to make a direct impact on people’s lives. For example, we had two youth in need of a safe place to hang out after school while their mom is at work. A woman with MS has improved her mobility and range of motion in an exercise class. We are more than a gym at the Y. We’re a cause and we need support to keep strengthening our community.”

For more information, to make a contribution or to be a fund drive volunteer, contact Dawn Collins at (641) 673-8411. Community members are also invited to stop by the Mahaska County YMCA, at 414 N. Third St.