Valley of the Sun YMCA Kicks Off Annual Fundraising Campaign

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Strong Kids and Families Campaign Supports State’s Oldest Nonprofit Organization

YMCA Summer Camps

“The Valley of the Sun YMCA served more than 300,000 children, teens, individuals, families and seniors this past year alone,” said George Scobas, CEO and President of the Valley of the Sun YMCA.

Strong Kids and Families, the annual fundraiser benefitting Valley of the Sun YMCA programs and services is now underway. The 2012 campaign goal to raise $3.4 million will serve communities throughout Greater Arizona. The campaign runs through May 1st.

Founded in 1892, the Valley of the Sun YMCA is comprised of 17 neighborhood branches covering metro Phoenix, Yuma and Flagstaff with additional overnight camps in Prescott and Mayer, and a variety of community services found at locations throughout the Valley. Strong Kids and Families is an association-wide fundraiser which allows the Y to ensure that thousands of lives are impacted for the better through healthy living, youth development and dozens of social programs and services for every stage of life, for everyone in our neighborhoods.

2012 marks an important milestone in the history of the Valley of the Sun YMCA as this year the Y celebrates its 120th anniversary in Arizona. As the oldest nonprofit in the State, this cause-driven organization has evolved and expanded over the years to meet the ever changing needs of the community. What remains consistent through the years is the focus placed on the Y’s mission to advance Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

Each dollar contributed to the YMCA Strong Kids and Families campaign provides access to vital programs and services for individuals in need within our own neighborhoods. All funds raised by Strong Kids and Families stays in Arizona and supports children, individuals and families in need. With the communities support, essential services continue to be provided and no one is denied benefits of a YMCA membership or program based on their financial limitations or hardships.

“The Valley of the Sun YMCA served more than 300,000 children, teens, individuals, families and seniors this past year alone,” said George Scobas, CEO and President of the Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Through our fiscal disciplines and the generosity of our donors, we are able to keep the Y’s doors open to everyone in need of a healthy environment, and in need of one or more of our numerous and diverse programs.”

A gift to the Valley of the Sun YMCA for example, allows for Social Responsibility outreach to change lives. From helping Ronnie, a homeless 21-year-old fulfill his desire to earn a GED and get off the streets to providing the resources for Jasmine, an unemployed single mother wanting to make a better life for herself and her daughter.

For nine-year-old Brianna and her mother, the support of the Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA offered not only a safe place for Brianna outside of school, but a new confidence to make friends and succeed in school. A single mother working two jobs, Brianna’s mom came to the Y initially for summer child care so her daughter wouldn’t be alone at home while she was at work. Brianna was quiet, reserved and kept her head down, clinging to her stuffed animal for comfort and companionship. Brianna’s mom paid what she could afford for the summer day camp program and the Strong Kids and Families fund covered the rest.

After a few days at the Y, a change in Brianna was visible according to her mother. Brianna woke up before her alarm and couldn’t wait to get to the Y to play and see her new friends. At the end of the summer, knowing what a difference the Y’s summer day camp made in Brianna’s life, the camp director and executive director of the Chandler/Gilbert Y welcomed Brianna into the 2011-2012 afterschool program to make sure she continued to have a safe place to learn and continue friendships while her mother was at work. Thanks to the Strong Kids and Families campaign children like Brianna have a place to thrive. It is amazing what a gift to the Y can do.

To find your nearest YMCA branch please call 602-404-9622 or log onto http://www.valleyymca.org for more information today.

About Valley of the Sun YMCA
Valley of the Sun YMCA is one of the largest human services non-profit organizations in Arizona. As the oldest non-profit in Arizona, celebrating 120 years in 2012, the YMCA serves local communities in Maricopa County, Pinal County, Yuma, Flagstaff and Prescott offering over 283 programs and 26 social services at 17 locations.

Members are welcome regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, age or ability to pay. The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. Visit http://www.valleyYMCA.org to learn more.

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Greg Corns

Heather Schader
Martz Agency
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