Editorial – Help YMCA race to the finishImagine a runner who has covered many miles. He’s still pumping along, each step taking him closer to his goal of finishing the race. He’s accomplished so much. He’s climbed many hills, braved the elements and kept his footing through tough terrain, all to complete a challenge he’s dreamed of for years.
Imagine a runner who has covered many miles. He’s still pumping along, each step taking him closer to his goal of finishing the race.
He’s accomplished so much. He’s climbed many hills, braved the elements and kept his footing through tough terrain, all to complete a challenge he’s dreamed of for years.
The finish line is in sight…he just needs one final burst of speed to break the tape.
The runner is the Alexandria Area YMCA.
And it needs the community’s full support – now more than ever – to complete its dream of raising $8,885,000 to build a new multi-purpose recreational facility along County Road 82 in west Alexandria.
So far, local YMCA leaders have raised nearly $7.2 million from contributors large and small. Now, they need $1.8 million more to cross the finish line.
The YMCA is calling its current fundraising campaign, “Race to the Finish.” Starting this month, more than 50 YMCA volunteers will be calling upon individuals and businesses to contribute to the campaign. There will also be home mailings, banners and media updates about the fundraising.
It’s vital for the community to fully support this effort. Potential contributors should not put off giving to the YMCA by assuming “someone else” will step in. The “someone else” is you.
We realize that economic times are not the best right now. Yet that’s precisely the reason to support this campaign. Anything you give will deliver a big bang for the buck because the impact of a new YMCA in this community will be huge. It will change the lives of families, children, young people and retirees, enriching them physically, mentally and spiritually.
The YMCA reaches across all income groups. Financial assistance is available for qualifying families and individuals. In fact, about 15 percent of all YMCA members and participants typically receive financial help.
Giving to the YMCA should be viewed not as an expense but as an investment with big returns. It will create jobs – 17 full-time and 100 part-time. Since it is donor supported, it will not burden taxpayers or the city. It will fill critical needs within the community – a child care center, an aquatic center with pools, health and wellness facilities, a walking track and outdoor field space and more. It will help address the obesity issue and reduce health insurance costs through improved physical fitness.
Beyond the obvious recreational benefits, a new YMCA would help support local businesses and manufacturers by serving as a drawing card to fill critical professional positions in the community. Having a YMCA here would also be a key factor for young people who are weighing their higher education options or retirees looking for a place to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.
The “Race to the Finish” campaign runs through February 15. It promises to be an exciting culmination of a recreational dream that’s been pursued for decades. To track the progress, the Echo Press, starting next Wednesday, will place a special graphic of a runner racing to the goal of raising the final $1.8 million.
You can help the runner get there by giving to the YMCA. Call (320) 763-9621, visit its Web site at www.alexandriaymca.com or follow the link on the Echo Press online Marketplace at www.echopress.com/marketplace/alexandria_ymca.
The finish line is in sight...the YMCA just needs that final burst of support to complete the race – a race that will make everyone winners.