2016 was a strong year for the Belleville YMCA Strong Kids campaign.
The fundraising goal was $150,000 and when the final tally was made, the community gave $157,000.
There were major donations from Operation Rednose Quinte and 100 Women Who Care Quinte, at $30,000 and $18,000 respectively, but most of the cash came from individual donations.
Wednesday, the 2016 Chair of the campaign, realtor Jamie Troke, passed the baton to this year’s Chair, Sam Brady of CIBC Wood Gundy. This year’s goal will be $170,000.
Strong Kids is a YMCA program that provides funding support to families who might otherwise not be able to afford to enrol their children in summer camp or other programs offered by the “Y”.
Manager of Membership Sales and Member Programs, Amanda Boldrick, says that so far this year, Strong Kids has helped over 400 children enjoy what the YMCA has to offer. “We want to make sure that every family who wants to will have their very own “Y” stories to tell for years into the future”, she said.
As part of today’s campaign kick-off, new Chair Brady led the charge with a donation of $5,000. only to be outdone by well known businessman Maurice Rollins who presented a cheque for $10,000.
Meanwhile, single mother of two autistic children Lisa Anne Chatten told the crowd that only the YMCA could help her with proper programming for her children.
Her son was enrolled in special YMCA programming and in a summer camp and had the best summer he’d ever experienced.
“I wouldn’t know where I or my kids would be without the help of the great people at the YMCA”, she exclaimed to boisterous applause.
Chatten was also happy to announce that she loved the YMCA so much she has become an employee.
Donations to the Strong Kids campaign can be made anytime. Call your “Y” for information on how.