The Neosho Freeman Family YMCA has announced the kickoff of their annual community support campaign to benefit residents of Newton and McDonald Counties.
Johanna Rowe, community relations director for the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA, said the organization raised $95,454 in last year’s campaign.
This year, the fundraising goal has been set at $125,000.
“The donations help us be able to give scholarships away to individuals who can’t afford memberships,” Rowe said.
Last year’s campaign gave financial support to 180 children in the after-school program and 58 pre-school children.
The financial support also allowed 902 people to access education and training at the YMCA.
Rowe said one example of the benefits of the YMCA scholarships could be seen in the after-school program.
“We had a little girl who was shy and struggling with schoolwork,” Rowe said.
She said the after-school program allowed the young girl to improve her school work and social skills.
In addition, Rowe said all donations stay local in Newton and McDonald Counties.
The organization will hold their annual Strong Kids Campaign Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Civic.
While the YMCA has sent out luncheon invitations to previous donors, Rowe said there are other ways to donate besides attending the event.
She said those wishing to pitch in for the campaign can do so by stopping by the Freeman Family YMCA, at 4701 Chouteau Ave. in Neosho, where they can fill out a form to become a donor.
Donations can also be made online at www.ymcaswmo.org.
Rowe said while part of the YMCA’s focus is on health and fitness, it is also on readying children for their futures.
“Preparing kids to be future leaders and role models,” she said.
In addition to the Strong Kids Campaign, the Freeman Family YMCA also funds three-month scholarships for adult cancer survivors participating in the Livestrong at the YMCA program.
For more information, contact the Freeman Family YMCA at 455-9999.