Dare to Care campaign surpasses expectations

Dave Mathieson
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Y’s Service Club president Terry MacDonald took a few seconds out from getting his mustache shaved after 101-year-old Y’s Menette Vera Kellewgrew requested the opportunity to rub his newly-shaven head. MacDonald said he’s worn a mustache for at least 20 years. Head and mustache shaving was only a couple of the many fun activities Wednesday at the Cumberland YMCA.

AMHERST – A waxed chest, a shaved mustache and two synchronized swimmers were some of the zaniness on display Wednesday at the Cumberland YMCA.

All the fun was part of the Dare to Care campaign, “to raise money and awareness for the Strong Kids campaign,” said YMCA CEO Trina Clarke.

“We decided that the staff, board members and service clubs associated with the Y would all join forces and each come up with a dare,” added Clarke. “We originally said that if you made a pledge of $20 you would get to vote on the dare, but if we raised more than $5,000 within that group of staff and board and the clubs that we would all do our dares.”

The Dare to Care campaign raised $6,900 and everybody did their dares.

Mac Hawko got his chest and back waxed, Terry MacDonald got his head and mustache shaved, Clarke and Jessica Allen performed a synchronized swimming routine, Laura Coleman performed a Cirque du Soleil acrobatic routine, Judi Giroux dyed her hair red and will wear a sandwich board for a week promoting the Strong Kids campaign, the Y’s Menettes sang ‘I’m a Little Teapot,’ and Renee Lusby dressed up as the Easter Bunny and sang in the YMCA lobby.

The Dare to Care campaign helped the YMCA reach their goal of raising $50,000 for the Strong Kids Campaign for the business year of 2011 to 2012.

“We go from April 1 (2011) to March 31 (2012) but the big blitz and special events are from mid-February to mid-March,” said Clarke. “We started this (Dare to Care) in January and have been getting our pledges from staff, board and Y’s Service Club, and why we’re doing it now is we wanted to give people the chance to give right up to March 31.

“The $6,900 raised just within those groups helped us reach our goal of $50,000 for the entire campaign,” added Clarke.

With the success of the Dare to Care campaign, the YMCA will do the same thing again next year and hope to raise more money.

“Next year we will expand and will ask more people to do dares,” said Giroux.

Money raised for the Strong Kids campaign is used to supplement programs such as child care, the early childhood intervention SMILE program and swim lessons,

“It’s for anything we do at the Y. It’s for people who can’t afford the whole fee because we don’t want any barrier to them using the Y,” said Clarke.

The Strong Kids campaign is something all YMCAs across Canada participate in, but Clarke emphasized that all the money raised by the Cumberland YMCA stays local.

“It’s all for the families within our community,” said Clarke.

More pictures of the event can be seen in the slide show section at www.cumberlandnewsnow.com















Organizations: YMCA, Cirque du Soleil, Strong Kids Campaign

Geographic location: Canada

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