Salt Fork YMCA exceeds Strong Kids Campaign goal

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Morgan Thompson, 6, practices using the bars Monday evening at the Salt Fork YMCA under the direction of her gymnastics instructor, Lisa McComas. With a donation made through the Salt Fork YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign, another piece of gymnastics equipment will be added to enhance the program.

Some people told Salt Fork YMCA Strong Kids Campaign chairpeople it couldn't happen, but it did.

The local YMCA met and exceeded its goal for the first year of its sustaining campaign, an effort to raise money which will go toward financial assistance and program scholarships for families and children wishing to become involved in the YMCA.

At the end of the three-week campaign, Melanie Elfrink, campaign chairwoman, announced that campaign teams had collected pledges totaling $37,709. But during the past five weeks, more money and pledges have trickled in to the YMCA. The current amount of donations through the campaign is $41,870.

"We're still waiting for yet more donations, but to go over the goal the first year is really pretty exciting," Elfrink said. "The community is very giving and we've had a good response. People keep surprising us."

Salt Fork YMCA Executive Director Jack Harvey doesn't think it will be a problem to reach at least $42,000 when all the donations are in.

"We were able to talk with and tell our story to a lot of members. But there were some who, on their own, took the initiative to contact us and they felt the need to help," he said. "I think we had a large number of people that pledged and that people are just very generous and realize the value of helping those in our community and strengthening it."

Through people's support of the YMCA, its staff is confident the benefits will be outstanding.

"This is enabling us to help (provide) scholarships (in) more programs and so far has helped 117 families and over 146 kids since January," said YMCA Member Services Director Suzanne Smith.

Before the campaign, money for scholarships came out of the Y's operating budget and was then a cost absorbed by the organization. Because of the Strong Kids Campaign, Smith said, funds will be available to help families in need of scholarships for participating in YMCA programs.

Families wishing to apply for assistance should call (660) 886-9622 to request that the YMCA mail them additional explanations and scholarship information.

Contact Naomi Campbell at

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