By Julie Muhlstein Herald Writer
EVERETT — The YMCA of Snohomish County has exceeded its goal and set a record with its 2014 fundraising campaign. By April 15, the campaign had raised $1,348,771 to support programs that promote health, well-being and opportunities for kids and families.
The campaign outpaced a goal of $1,313,000, with a total that was 5 percent higher than last year’s, said Scott Washburn, the YMCA of Snohomish County president and CEO.
The annual campaign supports programs at the Y’s five local branches — in Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe and Mukilteo — its Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate office, and its Stanwood-Camano outreach initiative.
Washburn said Monday that each YMCA branch runs its own campaign. Scott Forslund, of Premera Blue Cross, was this year’s association-wide campaign chairman.
“This is the most money raised in our YMCA history, and we are truly blessed by the commitment of our community,” Forslund said in a prepared statement.
The YMCA’s Financial Assistance Program, supported by contributions to the annual campaign and United Way of Snohomish County, provided $2,107,414 in direct help to 10,426 people in 2013. “If someone wants to join and can’t afford the full fee, we provide scholarships or waivers,” Washburn said.
And about $3,985,232 was provided in 2013 in youth and family program subsidies. Last year, YMCA donors helped 47,300 children have a safe place after school; offered opportunities for area teens; and provided healthy-living activities for 62,000 adults.
Branch and affiliate leaders for the 2014 campaign were: Kelly Shepherd, Everett Family YMCA; Sean King, Marysville Family YMCA; Jason Lucas, Mill Creek Family YMCA; Marnie Schaffer, Monroe/Sky Valley Family YMCA; Greg Abbey, Mukilteo Family YMCA; Dan Gunderson and Scott Comey, Big Brothers Big Sisters; Gary Cohn, YMCA of Snohomish County Board of Trustees; and Jerry Will and Carolyn Klein, Stanwood/Camano Initiative.
Washburn’s campaign announcement came two days before the YMCA of Snohomish County Good Friday Prayer Breakfast. The community event is not a fundraiser, said Colleen Temple, the local Y’s director of marketing and communications.
A tradition that began March 3, 1960, as a Lenten Breakfast, the event brings people together in a nondenominational setting to give thanks and seek guidance for the year. Almost 400 people attended Friday’s 54th annual prayer breakfast in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Everett’s Comcast Arena.
Amy Roloff, featured on the TLC reality TV series “Little People, Big World,” was the featured speaker. Sharing her Christian faith, Roloff spoke about her experiences as a child affected by dwarfism. She said that her father, before her first day of school, told her that “God doesn’t make mistakes” and that “you were meant to be different.”
Roloff ended her talk by asking people to “LIFT” others up — with L for listening and loving, I for getting involved, F for fighting for what’s right, and T for being thankful.
Washburn said the prayer breakfast honors the YMCA’s Christian heritage. Those letters stand for Young Men’s Christian Association.
“We also know we have evolved. Our goal is to be diverse, inclusive and welcoming,” he said. “We don’t espouse one religion, but we still promote a healthy mind, body and spirit.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthy Kids Day
The YMCA of Snohomish County will host Healthy Kids Day, with free events for kids and families, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at all five branches. There will be food, games and opportunities to plan for summer YMCA programs. Locations are: Everett Family YMCA, 2720 Rockefeller Ave.; Marysville Family YMCA, 6420 60th Drive NE; Mill Creek Family YMCA, 13723 Puget Park Drive, Everett; Monroe/Sky Valley YMCA, 14033 Fryelands Blvd.; Mukilteo Family YMCA, 10601 47th Place W. Information: www.ymca-snoco.org/hkd