Thursday marked the beginning of a campaign to help children enjoy activities at the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA.
Area business and community leaders were treated to a community coffee on Thursday to hear about the campaign.

Thursday marked the beginning of a campaign to help children enjoy activities at the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA.
Area business and community leaders were treated to a community coffee on Thursday to hear about the campaign.
“We just wanted to ask you all a couple of things, one we are kicking off our Strong Kids Campaign officially today, so if you have not been called or contacted, to ask you to help with that campaign,” said TJ Angel, chairman of the board of advisors at the local YMCA.
“But the second thing is – and a way that you can be a major help to the YMCA, certainly talk about it, start telling people about it, we are all in businesses, organizations, just if you have a way to ask people to solicit funds to do that, to help us,” he said.
“In 2015, we gave out more than $200,000 in scholarships and programs for the Neosho YMCA,” Angel said. “That is a lot of money. We want to continue to do that.”
He said the campaign is all about investing in children locally.
YMCA Strong Kids is an annual fundraising campaign focused on raising much needed resources to support proven YMCA programs that give kids the opportunities they need to reach their full potential: to live healthier, happier lives today, and grow into productive adults in the future, he said.
Last year, the YMCA raised more than $200,000.
“If they want to join the program here, anything that we have, anything that we offer, we can provide financial assistance if they can’t afford it or whatever their circumstances might be,” said Kaney Tyler, branch executive director at the YMCA.
“Last year and in various areas, whether that was summer day camp, childcare, membership programming, it was more than ($200,000) that we provided in scholarships,” Tyler said.
“It makes a huge difference because we want to provide for the community, so whatever we can do.”
Tyler said that this year’s goal is $75,000. Last year’s money raised helped more than 4,500 children.
“It helps with membership fees, programs fees, those kinds of things,” Tyler said. “It also helps the cost of say it is $50 to play basketball, and somebody comes in and says, ‘well we just don’t have enough income, what can we do?’ we can provide them either $40 toward that, $20 toward that, just to help them enough so that the kids can participate.”
Tyler said if someone cannot afford a membership then the current campaign can help them get into the facility.
 “We can, through this campaign, we can provide them with assistance to get them into facility,” Tyler said.
With the coffee, brochures were handed out.
“I would like each person walk away with one or if you have several (people) then take as many as you want to,” he said. “Help us get the word out and let people know how the YMCA and that will be a great benefit.”
The campaign will end at the end of the year.
For more information, contact the YMCA at 455-9999.