YMCA finalizes campaign

With the calls finalized and the pledges tallied, the Wapakoneta Family YMCA’s annual support campaign raised more than $100,000 in five weeks to assist families and individuals become a part of the Y community.

During the victory luncheon Thursday, Wapakoneta Family YMCA Executive Director Josh Little revealed the 35 volunteers working on the annual campaign secured $112,220 for the support campaign which is used to help subsidize the child care program, youth programming and memberships for families and individuals who cannot afford that cost on their own.

“Many people in Wapakoneta rely on the essential services and programs the Y offers,” Little said, “but we would not be here to serve our neighbors without the support we receive from our members, volunteers, staff, partners and our community at-large. Their support enables us to not only continue with the work we already do, but help expand our reach to more people in need.”

The campaign’s $100,000 goal was ambitious, Little said, but he noted he was advised to stop setting goals he knew the community could meet and instead set a goal that would push staff and volunteers past their comfort zone. The decision to raise the goal that far past the 2012 campaign’s $65,000 mark was met with mixed reactions but in the end Little opted to go for it.

Reaching — and surpassing — that $100,000 mark “is a testament to the community and how they feel about the YMCA,” Little said, noting much of the increase was from previous donors who agreed to give a little more than had been given in the past.

Campaign co-chair Van Wright and Dr. Dan Harpster agreed the Wapakoneta community sees the value in having a YMCA in Wapakoneta, and each thanked the volunteers and YMCA staff members for helping reach the campaign goal.

Little agreed.

“The Y is about moving us all forward and it takes a community that cares to do it,” Little said. “We are humbled by the support the community has shown us and I really appreciate the more than 30 people that volunteered their time to help us raise the funds. We had great leadership from Van Wright, Dr. Dan Harpster, Alan Davis, Deb Zwez, Judy DuBois, Jon Derryberry and Jeff Dorner.”

Wapakoneta Family YMCA officials estimate money raised through the support campaign will assist approximately 1,400 people by allowing them to take advantage of the YMCA through membership and programming.

The Wapakoneta Family YMCA launched the campaign on Jan. 30 and received financial gifts from 462 people.

In a news release, Little said the local Y will be able to help 61 children have a place to learn in child care and day camp programs, 1,500 individuals and families attend the Y, more than 250 youth to participate in Healthy Kids Day free on April 27 and more than 70 youth receive free swim lessons as well as more than 1,400 elementary students participate in a walking program.