© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
United Way’s executive director Cathy Skinner (from left), YMCA CEO Trina Clarke, race director Paul Giroux and Cumberland Shrine Club president Isaac Gray.
AMHERST – The new additions to the Cross Border Challenge have already been announced. Yesterday, race director Paul Giroux announced the newest charities to join their cause during the Cumberland Y’s Service Club meeting at the Cumberland YMCA.
Joining the challenge for this year’s races are the Cumberland Health Care Foundation, The United Way of Cumberland County and the Shriners Hospital for Sick Children. Re-joining the challenge again this year is the Cumberland YMCA, who has participated with the race since it began four years ago.
“We’ve invited them to participate in the event,” said Giroux. “They’re going to supply us with volunteers, our event is growing and we need more volunteers. What we do is we’re going to share some of the money that we make, plus they will also be participating in the online fundraising that we put in place this year too.”
Giroux said in the past, some local charities have come forward wanting help organizing a race as a fundraiser. Rather than organize one and donate the money from that single race to the charity, Giroux invited them to sign on with the Cross Border Challenge and receive a portion of the funds raised through all the races held.
President of the Cumberland Shrine Club, Isaac Gray, said as a club, they decided to partner with the Cross Border Challenge as a way to give back to the community who has helped them raise much needed funds in the past.
“We talked about joining forces with the (challenge) four years ago and that’s where we are today,” said Gray. “The money we receive from the challenge this year will go directly to the Montreal hospital.”
The hospital is world renown for the research they do in orthopedics and any donation they received, Gray said, would be a great help.
Cathy Skinner was at the announcement on behalf of the United Way of Cumberland County. She said partnering with Giroux was a wonderful opportunity for her charity.
“We’re really excited. We’re always looking for new ways to boost our fundraising and this was perfect,” she said.
Skinner said the money they will receive from the challenge will go to the nine organizations they help support such as Maggie’s Place, VON, Meals on Wheels and the Amherst Preschool.
The Cumberland YMCA, although not a new charity to partner with the Cross Border Challenge, will use the money they receive from the event to help with their Strong Kids campaign, which helps fund different child care services and fitness programs.