Westminster YMCA hopes to raise $35,000 in fund-raising drive

January 27, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

As a point of pride and policy, the Carroll County YMCA does not turn anyone away, whether or not they can afford a membership. And the Westminster-based branch of the national association is about to kick off its annual fund-raising drive, hoping to bring in $35,000.

The 1995 campaign will begin Wednesday and run through March 15.

"The support campaign allows the Y to say that we turn no one away for inability to pay," said David B. Stevenson, executive director of the county branch, one of seven in Central Maryland.

For the next six weeks, 60 volunteers -- an increase from the 10 who ran the campaign a few years ago -- will be asking community leaders, businesses and organizations for contributions. The campaign will begin at the YMCA.

"We solicit our own board of managers, who are always generous," Mr. Stevenson said. "Our staff also contributes."

The goal of $35,000 is $8,000 more than the 1994 donations. The increase is "doable and necessary," Mr. Stevenson said. Even if the effort is successful, the money will fall several thousand dollars short of the need, he said.

"We have been expanding the campaign by 20 percent each year, but we have about $50,000 worth of need and usually run out about halfway through the year," Mr. Stevenson said. "We continue to accept needy people, but it places a large burden on us."

The YMCA sponsors those who qualify for financial assistance.

want to reach out to families and encourage them to become members," he said.

An annual family membership at the Washington Road center costs $504 a year or $42 a month. Mr. Stevenson said he realizes that fee is too costly for many local families.

Money raised in 1994 sent 55 needy children to the YMCA summer camp, placed 23 in the child-care program at the center and allowed 10 to participate in school-based care, which the association operates at four elementaries. The association also allowed 24 disabled adults to use the pool and fitness center.

"One hundred percent of every dollar raised goes to the need in Carroll County," Mr. Stevenson said.

Through March 15, volunteers trained in fund-raising will contact area businesses. The YMCA also has organized a direct mail campaign to its 4,000 county members.

Based on previous campaigns, Mr. Stevenson is confident the 1995 effort will be successful.

"The campaign is working," Mr. Stevenson said. "We think it works because the community feels good about the quality of our services."

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