Cumberland YMCA kicks off Strong Kids Campaign

Darrell Cole
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'Seeing the potential in every kid'

The Cumberland YMCA has launched its 2014 Strong Kids Campaign with a goal of raising $100,000.

Reece (left) and Julien MacDonald look over the Strong Kids Cup that will be up for grabs in March at the Cumberland YMCA. The YMCA has launched its 2014 Strong Kids Campaign with a goal of raising $100,000 that goes into making sure children and families can enjoy the benefits of YMCA programs and membership.

AMHERST – Each year the YMCA community comes together to make sure every child and family can enjoy the benefits of its programs and membership.

The Cumberland YMCA has kicked off the 2014 Strong Kids Campaign with a goal of raising $100,000 locally to ensure opportunities are available to children who have a financial need.

“Inclusiveness and accessibility are two key words with the YMCA and Strong Kids helps us make sure everyone can enjoy YMCA programs and services,” Mac Hawco of the Cumberland YMCA said. “All the money that is raised stays here in Cumberland County and supports kids and families who want to be a member or take part in YMCA programs but don’t have the financial ability to do so.”

Hawco said of the more than 1,000 members of the YMCA has, approximately 10 per cent are subsidized through money raised by Strong Kids.

The annual campaign will include numerous fundraising events during the season. Hawco said there will be barbecues and other fundraising events throughout the year, while the opportunity remains for corporations and individuals to make financial contributions.

Staff at the YMCA have increased their commitment to the campaign, increasing their pledge by close to $3,000 so that almost 10 per cent of the campaign total will come from employees.

To help kick off the 2014 campaign, the Cumberland YMCA will be hosting its Strong Kids Ball Hockey Tournament during the week of March Break.

One of the changes this year is breaking the event into two age divisions (ages eight to 11 and 12-15 years).

For $30, teams get T-shirts and lunch and a chance to compete for the Strong Kids Cup.

“We’ve decided to hold it during March Break and the day before the house league tournament starts in hopes of getting more players and more teams,” Hawco said. “We also used to have just one age division, but found the younger kids got a little overwhelmed by the older ones. By breaking it up we’re hoping we’ll get a few more teams.”

Another change will see the event move from the YMCA parking lot to the Church Street tennis courts.

All 45 YMCAs across Canada are taking part in the Strong Kids Campaign, hoping to raise $13 million. Last year, $11.4 million was raised.

The Cumberland YMCA’s 2013 campaign got a huge boost recently when employees at Weston Bakeries in the Amherst and Area Industrial Park made a contribution of more than $90,000 through the Wonder Cares program.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: YMCA

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Church Street Canada Area Industrial Park

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