Annual drive helps YMCAs never turn anyone away

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Boca’s YMCA held a socially distanced cinema night on their soccer field to kick off their Annual Giving Campaign. Now they’re asking for community’s support for the drive that, Covid aside, was never dependent on in-person fundraisers.

“This not an event-driven campaign. It’s mission based to provide funds for families who need assistance,” said Jackie Reeves, chairing again, this time with Hank Jackson. Here’s their website with the donate button that also has a drop-down menu to designate donations. https://www.ymcaspbc.org/

“If people can donate $5 or $5,000, we want to remind people in our community we need their support,” said Reeves. “No one is turned away from services at the Y. We find a way to make it work.”

The goal this year is $630,000. “Last year, the financial support of campaign donors raised $714, 000. Our goal was $60,000 and we surpassed it,” said Reeves, incoming trustee chair for the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. That translated to $1.8 million in financial assistance to both Ys. They are the Peter Blum Family YMCA in suburban Boca and the DeVos-Blum Family YMCA in Boynton Beach.

“Prior to Covid we were serving 100s of children. ecause of social distancing we are serving a third,” Reeves said. “So, we pivoted and looked for partnerships that had space so we could continue our programs. We partnered with the Boca Raton Innovation Campus and the county in Boynton.”

In fact, Boca’s Y never closed. Their Camp Care served frontline workers’ kids so  parents could go to their jobs.

Among the Ys programs are membership, child care, school readiness, virtual learning support, seniors, drowning prevention and more, Reeves said. “100% of campaign donations stay in the local community,” she added.

For people who have never been to either YMCA, they’re doing free virtual tours via Facebook Live. The next one is 3 p.m. Oct. 13. “You can sign up through the Y web page,” Reeves said. “It’s a friend raiser and a fundraiser.

“What resonates with people are stories and interactions. So, we’re doing our best to bring the Y story to you,” said Reeves, managing partner of Bell Rock Capital. One of those stories may be her own daughter Alyson Reeves. Now 22, “she’s a returning campaigner bringing her story to the community. She credits the Y for helping her become the young adult she is,” Reeves said.

“Bryan Hunt is leading the charge for our Boca Raton commitment to our community,” Reeves said about the executive director. Trustee Linda Gunn Paton is leading community outreach. Adam Marshall chairs the Boca Raton Y board.

“The YMCA believes every child should have access to programs and resources. They help develop their fullest potential in a supportive and enriching environment,” Jason Hagensick, said in the announcment. He is president and CEO of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County.

By Marci Shatzman

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