More than 30 YMCA volunteers, donors, and staff gathered at First National Bank this past Thursday to kick off the community phase of the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City’s annual Community Support Campaign.
Alissa Jackson, Chickasha’s 2011 Campaign Chair, hosted the kickoff event. Attendees were inspired, educated and motivated by three presenters who spoke on the impact the Y makes in the Chickasha community. Jim White, Graduation Coach at Chickasha High School spoke on the Y's partnership with school to help reward freshman for demonstrating positive behaviors in school.
"The Y was one of the first to step up and embrace the Freshman Reward program," White said. "The Y cares about education and continues to show that it's more than just a place to workout."
The audience was introduced to Debra Wallenberg through a five minute video presentation. Wallenberg, whose daughter Syrena has attended the Y’s afterschool program and summer day camp, spoke about her journey as a single parent.
"Not only could I have not afforded childcare with out YMCA scholarship assistance, but Syrena has blossomed under the care of the Y," Wallenberg said. "She's even been able to attend the resident camp at YMCA Camp Classen because of the innovative payment structure the Y has created."
Wallenberg credits the Y for allowing her to be a productive, tax-paying citizen in Chickasha, by giving her an affordable child care option.
The final speaker Jessica Couch has seen firsthand what Y programs and services can do for people in the community.
"A close friend really wanted to get her family involved in the Y, but couldn't afford it," Couch said. "I encouraged her to seek assistance that I had heard the Y provided. Her family now has a place to be together."
As a result of her Y experiences, Couch and her family decided to get involved as donors to help others participate in the Y.
"It is our responsibility to help those who don't have access," Couch said. "The dollars that we raise make our community stronger.”
The event closed with Chickasha Area YMCA Executive Director Johnathan Teal giving a report on the campaigns progress to date. The Y raised $44,172 during the "quiet phase" of the campaign in which staff, volunteers, and major donors are solicited. That amount reflects 72% of the Chickasha Area YMCA’s $61,000 goal for 2011. The $61,000 contributes the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City’s overall goal of $962,000.
To find out more about the Y or to make a donation to the Community Support Campaign, visit www. ymcaokc.org or call (405) 224-2281.
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Oklahoma City Metro, 10 Ys engage 130,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities across the country, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymcaokc.org.