YMCA launches fundraising campaign for youth programs

Summer camps, obesity prevention, teen centers and other positive programs are offered at Y branches throughout the area. To help run those programs, the YMCA of Snohomish County has launched its 2012 Invest in Youth Community Campaign.

The nonprofit organization Monday announced a goal of $1,170,500 to support programs provided by its five branches — Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe/Sky Valley, Mukilteo and its affiliate Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County.

Scott Sadler, chief development officer for YMCA of Snohomish County, said the Invest in Youth campaign, supported by businesses, individuals and foundations, is the funding cornerstone for Y programs in Snohomish County.

In addition to memberships, Sadler said, the Y is financially supported by United Way of Snohomish County, state Department of Health Services funding for some participants, and grants.

In 2011, the local Y’s financial assistance program, supported by Invest in Youth contributions and United Way, provided $1,630,000 in direct assistance to 10,400 people.

Among Y offerings supported by the annual campaign are summer camp financial assistance, early childhood centers, the Minority Achievers Program, teen programming for at-risk kids and leadership activities, and before- and after-school supervision. Two new Y facilities, the Marysville Youth Development Center and the Casino Road Youth Development Center in Everett, will also be helped by the fund drive, Sadler said. Another program, Y-Community at the Everett Y, provides services to families living in shelters and in transitional and subsidized housing.

“It is important for our community to understand and appreciate that the Y is not simply a gym,” said Matt Reinhard, chairman of this year’s Invest in Youth campaign. “Dollars raised through the Invest in Youth campaign help us offer these services and programs to kids and families who may not otherwise have access to them.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460, muhlstein@heraldnet.com.

How to help

To donate online to YMCA of Snohomish County’s annual Invest in Youth community support campaign: http://ymca-snoco.org/donate.

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