YMCA opens fund drive for youth Money will pay for services for low-income families

February 11, 1997|By Jennifer Vick | Jennifer Vick,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Carroll County Family YMCA kicked off a $50,000 fund-raising drive yesterday designed to provide services and facilities to children and families who can't afford to pay for them.

About 50 of the more than 70 volunteers who will raise the money for the "Partner With Youth" campaign heard Executive Director David Stevenson outline an array of programs in child care, day camp, teen services, swimming lessons, health and fitness, and family enrichment that the money will support.

"Carroll County is blessed with many generous individuals and organizations who feel that the YMCA is providing wholesome, effective, well-run programs that meet the many different needs of youths and families," Stevenson said.

"We are hoping that we can encourage many more to become a YMCA Partner With Youth."

All eight branches of the YMCA of Central Maryland are participating in the campaign, with an overall goal of $360,000.

Carroll County's goal of $50,000 is its largest ever and reflects the growing community and growing services of its 16 sites, Stevenson said. Five years ago the annual campaign raised $8,000 and has raised about 20 percent more each year.

"One-hundred percent of the funds raised in the campaign stay in Carroll County and go directly toward helping a child or family in need," said Carroll Yingling, the YMCA volunteer board chairman.

The campaign ends March 13.

Participating in the kickoff was Kim Whalen, a member of the YMCA for the past five years who praised the volunteer board for providing financial assistance to those in need.

At 19, Whalen found herself alone, caring for her three small children. Thanks to before- and after-school day care services provided by the YMCA, she was able to continue her education.

"The YMCA has given me a safe place to bring my children," said Whalen, who graduated with honors from Carroll Community College in 1992.

Now a full-time student at Western Maryland College, Whalen often comes to the "Y" before class to work out and then again in the evening with her sons, ages 11, 10 and 8.

"Coming here has turned my kids into fitness buffs," Whalen said.

Whalen has enjoyed the fitness facilities so much that she is considering pursuing a master's degree in exercise science.

Displayed before the campaign committee as they listened to Whalen and others speak was a banner with the words "caring, honesty, respect, responsibility."

"We feel this is a strong part of our mission," Stevenson said.

"We want to accept and teach these values."

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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