By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Denny Price Family YMCA’s annual Back A Youth Campaign kicked off Thursday with a luncheon for some of the nearly 100 volunteers looking to raise $140,000 this year.
The campaign helps youths and families in need participate in YMCA programs.
YMCA Executive Director Ken Rapp said he was optimistic the volunteers would be able to reach their goal this year.
“We’ve got a lot of good volunteers,” Rapp said. “It’s a good cause.”
This year’s campaign is being led by YMCA board First Vice President Cathy Stocker and Second Vice President Peter Dillingham.
“I’m optimistic we’re going to reach our goal,” Rapp said.
He told the volunteers Thursday last year’s goal of $125,000 was surpassed with a total of $141,000 raised for the program.
Rapp read a letter to volunteers he’d received from a mother who said she could not afford to clothe her teenagers and send them to the YMCA.
He said he would guess the mother was working full-time to support her family, without much help, leaving the kids to their own devices while she was working.
He asked the volunteers if they wouldn’t rather those teens be at the YMCA.
“I know your time is valuable and I thank you so much for your time,” Rapp told the volunteers. “This program is really very much worth your time. It helps our community and our kids.”
Stocker also addressed the volunteers. She said in addition to the $140,000 goal, volunteers also were asked to find an additional 250 new memberships.
“Our fundraising efforts are to support our Back A Youth program, and that program provides scholarships to youth who cannot otherwise afford to participate as members of the Y, or in various programs of the Y, such as baseball, flag football, indoor soccer, basketball, swim lessons and swim team,” she said. “Approximately $20,000 we are able to raise in our Back A Youth campaign will be used to support adult scholarships, the bulk of which are one or more parents of the youth who received scholarships that the family can then participate.”
Last year, more than 700 youths and 250 adults received financial help through the Back A Youth program, she said.
“Hopefully, this year we can do even more,” Stocker said.
Longtime Back A Youth Campaign volunteer Jerry Erwin said he’s always been a part of the YMCA and supports the Back A Youth Campaign.
“I just think the YMCA is an invaluable asset to the people of Enid,” he said. “It’s one of the things that makes Enid a great city to live in.”
To learn more about the program or how to support the Back A Youth Campaign, contact Rapp at (580) 237-4645, or visit the YMCA, 415 W. Cherokee.
Those wanting to make a donation can mail or drop off a check to the YMCA. Donations also can be made by going to www.enidymca.org and using a credit card, debit card or PayPal.