L-R: receiving a campaign lead donation of $15,000 to the 2018 YMCA Strong Kids Campaign is Chris Prince-YMCA Community Engagement Coordinator, Spencer Antaya -TekSavvy, Kathi Lomas-McGee-YMCA CEO, Amy Wadsworth-YMCA General Mgr. (Photo courtesy of Gerry Gillis)

YMCA Launches Annual Fundraising Campaign

The YMCA’s annual Strong Kids Campaign is already off to a strong start in Chatham-Kent.

On the first day of the campaign, Chatham-based TekSavvy committed to providing a donation of $15,000 towards the local 2018 goal of $113,500.

Kathi Lomes-McGee, the president and CEO of YMCAs across southwestern Ontario, says over the past year, the organization has been able to provide financial assistance to more than 850 individuals because of all the generous donations they received during the previous campaign.

That campaign raised a little over $112,000.

“We know each year that there is more need in our community, so we try to continue to try to raise that goal slightly every year,” says Lomes-McGee. “If we can exceed that and serve more people, that’s even a better story.”

Lomes-McGee says the campaign helps to make sports and recreational programs more affordable for everyone in the community.

“It really is around reducing the economic barriers that individuals and families face in their lives and ensuring that quality recreational program is available to them,” says Lomes-McGee. “There’s an opportunity for kids to get involved in summer camps and swimming lessons and sports — it’s about providing a sense of positive environment, mentorship, and a sense of belonging.”