The YMCA of the Chesapeake recently kicked off its 2011 Strong Kids Campaign at a celebration in the Easton Family YMCA’s Thomas E. Hill Center for Youth Development. The Strong Kids Campaign keeps the Y available for kids and families who need it. With the help of grants and member and community support, the YMCA of the Chesapeake will award over $375,000 in financial assistance in 2011, up significantly from 2005 when $40,000 was awarded. Programs supported by the Campaign include the YMCA’s day camp, Camp Lazy Days, dinner club, St. Michaels youth program, afterschool programs, Caroline County wellness programs, Queen Anne’s County afterschool program and overall YMCA membership and programs.
Strong Kids Campaign
According to Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of the Chesapeake, “We don’t turn anyone away due to financial need.” He adds, “Nearly one quarter of children in our summer camping program received assistance in 2011.”
Shirley Gooch, chairperson of the 2011 Strong Kids Campaign and a YMCA member since the 1960s, explained that the needs in the community have changed, with social pressures increasing for our children, both parents having to work, and a growing elderly population. She stated, “The YMCA recognizes these changes and that is why I continue to support the Y.” She added, “I recently heard that what makes good leadership is a person who can create an atmosphere of ownership. Robbie Gill has made this whole community feel like they are owners of our YMCA. We support the YMCA because of its good leadership and because these are programs we believe in.”
One in five YMCA members currently receive financial assistance to participate in membership and YMCA programs. “In these tough economic times, taking time to care for oneself and one’s family is crucial. The YMCA makes sure these opportunities are always available,” said Gill.
For further information about donating to the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign, contact F. Graham Lee, chief development officer, YMCA of the Chesapeake, at 410-822-0566.