Spreading the love at Sammamish YMCA’s fundraising breakfast
This Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the Sammamish YMCA is kicking off their fundraising season by hosting their Annual Fund Drive Breakfast. The event is a Valentine’s themed breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. While the event itself is only an hour long, the impact is longer lasting.
Many believe that YMCA funding goes only towards recreation programs and facilities; however, funding for the Y extends much further. The YMCA offers a variety of programs and services outside the walls of the facility with the aim of increasing accessibility to health and wellness opportunities.
“These services address our concept of whole person health, which includes things like healthy relationships, healthy body, and healthy mind,” said Harry McGee, 73, the outgoing Sammamish YMCA board chair.
While the facility itself appeared dormant during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sammamish YMCA was still actively involved in helping the community, McGee said, providing nearly 50,000 individual meals for low income residents. Additionally, they provided access to counselors and mental health referrals, and even provided free childcare for the families of first responders, keeping the facility open solely for that.
“The Y programs and services are there for all ages, all abilities, all races, all religions, all incomes,” McGee said. “So no one is ever turned away for inability to pay.”
The YMCA also offers scholarships for those who do not have the financial means to afford their programs. They offer scholarships for swimming lessons, as well as for day and overnight YMCA summer camps such as Camp Terry and Camp Orkila. These camps teach youth participants about the ecosystem, healthy relationships, and fundamental outdoor skills.
Programs such as these are funded through the money raised during the fundraising season, which starts on Feb. 14 and continues until early April. During the pandemic, the Y was only able to raise around half of their $100,000 annual fundraising goal, a significant reduction from their typical $135,000 per year pre-pandemic amount. This year, they hope to achieve their goal of raising $100,000.
On the day of the breakfast, attendees can expect to meet with community leaders and a panel including Dr. Arpan Waghray, CEO of Providence’s Well Being Trust, to discuss the Y’s progress, future, and goals for the betterment of our community. The panel will provide perspective on what the funds will go towards and how they plan to give back and invest into the community. The event is free, with a suggested donation of $250 per person.
To learn more or contribute, visit the YMCA’s annual fund drive page. Visit the Annual Fund Drive Breakfast page to register for the kickoff event.