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YMCA of Metro Detroit Strengthens Communities with Strong Kids Campaign (Photos)

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Campaign raises money to help families in-need enjoy the Y’s programs

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The YMCA’s mission in the community and for the community includes youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

That’s where the Strong Kids Campaign plays a large part.

“Every child should have the chance to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Reid Thebault, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit President and Chief Executive Officer. “That’s the basis of the YMCA’s annual Strong Kids Campaign, which provides scholarships to children whose families can’t afford its programs.”

The Y’s Strong Kids Campaign is a movement that helps to subsidize the costs of membership and programs for families who are less fortunate. When donations are made to the campaign, the proceeds help to make the Y’s many programs affordable for others to enjoy.

“Our goal this year is 1.1 million dollars,” said Thebault. “With those funds, the Strong Kids Campaign will allow more kids to participate in the Y’s summer, overnight and day camps plus the sports, arts and educational programs. And help families access our many other programs.”

So far, only $678,000 has been raised.

“We believe in social responsibility and encourage it all year long,” Thebault continued. “The people of metro Detroit are givers and we’re proud to say over the years, about one out of four children enjoy our Y programs because of the funds raised through the Strong Kids Campaign. Last year, the Campaign provided Day camp scholarships for more than 2,000 kids.”

To donate to the Campaign, the Y has set up a secure fundraising site on Crowdrise, http://www.crowdrise.com/metroskc/fundraiser/ymcadetroit

“The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign ensures that everyone can be a part of the YMCA,” said Chad Creekmore, YMCA Vice President of Membership and Marketing. “It focuses on raising much-needed financial support for deserving children, teens and families who are unable to afford the full cost of participating in a YMCA program or activity.”

Stories like Kristen Kazseta, a single working mother, are proof of the Strong Kids Campaign’s impact. She needed a place where she and her daughter could belong – the Y was the perfect place. She needed some “me time” to take care of her health and get recharged from the pressures of working and solo-family duties. But her finances couldn’t afford the membership fee, so the Strong Kids Campaign was able to give Kristen a scholarship.

Now Ms. Kazseta can check into the Y and workout while her daughter gets to spend quality time with positive people in an uplifting environment.

“The Y has become such an important part of our family health and well-being,” said Ms. Kazsets. ‘We are happier. I couldn’t imagine what our life would be without it. I’m so grateful for this scholarship. My daughter has access to great Y people and programs, and I get that a vital break needed in my hectic day that allows me to maintain my energy and strength.”

Video featuring Kazseta and more stories of the Strong Kids campaign impact: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WJpgZLzCwYQ

For more information, contact Chad Creekmore, Vice President of Membership and Marketing, at (313) 223-2487 or ccreekmore@ymcametrodetroit.org.

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About the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit:

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Throughout Metro Detroit, Y's engage more than 300,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the region’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in communities throughout Metro Detroit, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information go to www.ymcadetroit.org or contact Chad Creekmore at (313) 223-2487.

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