By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Denny Price Family YMCA officials made a statement for families Thursday, when their annual Back-A-Youth campaign topped its goal with room to spare.
The goal this year was $125,000, and Thursday night Ken Rapp, executive director, announced the campaign had raised $128,000.
“And, there is money still out there,” Rapp said.
Co-chairs for the campaign were Brent Price and Cathy Stocker, and they used a friendly rivalry to raise the funds.
“We have great leaders at the Y,” Price said. “Ken and his staff go above to get the job done.”
Price gave credit to the Enid community, saying Enid always has been the kind of community in which people stand up and keep on giving. He also credited the campaign workers and long-time volunteers Denny Krick and Gini Zaloudek. Zaloudek was the top fundraiser again this year.
“They do what they need to bring in a lot of money and help a lot of folks out,” Price said.
Stocker said she is proud of the Enid community for responding to the need for the Back-A-Youth program.
“They enable many children to take advantage of the Y,” Stocker said.
Rapp said the funds will go to help kids who cannot afford membership to the YMCA, and family scholarships so their parents, often single mothers, can come to the YMCA with them.
“We support families with some of this money,” he said.
The need increases every year, he said. Last year, 730 youths and 250 adults were helped.
“We’ve not been able to meet the need. That’s why we increase the goal every year to help families,” Rapp said. “We were helping all these kids, but some are too young to come by themselves, but they could participate in the program. We recognized the need to offer scholarship assistance to adults.”
The fundraising campaign featured six divisions, and each division leader was presented with a soccer ball or basketball to commemorate exceeding the goal. Some also received T-shirts.
Rapp said the Enid community always has responded to the needs of the YMCA. He said it often has been surprising considering the national economy.
“People in Enid, over 30 years, have always loved the Y and what it is. We offer something that is a real need in the community. People recognize that and support it and we are eternally grateful,” Rapp said.
The campaign was launched Jan. 24 and received financial gifts from more than 600 people. As a result, the YMCA will be able to offer financial assistance to help kids have a safe place to learn and build confidence after school; families reconnect and grow together; and people to have access to education and training, said Kim Boeckman, organizational leader of Denny Price Family YMCA.
The announcement of the campaign exceeding its goal was celebrated with an appearance by Elvis, who performed two of his best-known songs. Elvis was portrayed by Price.
The campaign celebration was held in the fourth-floor banquet room of Convention Hall.