AMHERST – Makayla Cooke has already decided how often she’ll use her new six-month YMCA.
“Five hundred times,” said the enthusiastic girl.
The Cooke family, including brothers Kaden and Jaxon, were one of two families whose kids attend Spring Street Academy to receive free six-months memberships to the Cumberland YMCA on Thursday. The school held a fundraising day to help a family affected by the Victoria Street fire. Local businesses also pitched in. The result was enough money to purchase a three-month membership for the Shubert-McArthurs, but also the Cookes, who lost their father recently. The gift was matched by the Y with an additional three months of access.
Betty Shubert was surprised when the school called to tell her about the gift.
“The kids have been asking to go to the Y,” she said. But paying for entry to the facility hasn’t always been possible.
Shubert has four children. The older of two daughters, Hope McArthur, is excited about the membership.
“Swimming is fun and it’s exercise,” she said.
Cumberland YMCA CEO Trina Clarke said she was really pleased the Y could play a small part in giving a gift to the families.
Principal Aaron Stubbert said the fundraising effort has left them with a reserve to go towards another family in the future
“It’s one of those feel-good ones,” said the principal.