BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Starting Monday, the Fort Madison YMCA will be kicking off their annual fundraising campaign, and you can help simply by putting on your jeans, grabbing a bite to eat, and getting some cookies.
Ryan Wilson, executive director of the Fort Madison YMCA, said the annual event is geared toward making it easy to help keep the Fort Madison YMCA viable and affordable for all families in the area.
He said programs like this are what helped him create the career he has now and empowered his family to be able to provide opportunities to him that helped craft his ambitions.
“I know first hand the impact of what an “Annual Campaign” can have on a family, and I am so appreciative of the opportunities I had because somebody chose to make a donation to the YMCA,” Wilson writes in a community campaign letter.
Last year was the first year the YMCA reached out to the community with this type of event.
“This is the 2nd year doing Y week, and basically it’s trying to get the community and community employees involved in giving back to the YMCA. And then we approach businesses and individuals about donating to the YMCA,” Wilson said.
Mailings went out this week outlining the events going on in town that benefit the organization.
“This project is to help provide financial assistance to families that need it. We have approximately 200 members on financial assistance,” Wilson said.
He said when the YMCA offers families membership assistance, those subsidies usually amount to more than 50% off regular memberships and the organization uses Y week to help, among other things, bridge that funding gap.
Fundraising begins on Monday with 20% off coupons at Pizza Hut with proceeds going to the YMCA. Tuesday Sub Arena will donate all drink proceeds back to the YMCA between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. On Wednesday Amigos, will be donating 10% of all sales to the campaign. On Thursday, Atlas Steak & Smokehouse will donate 10% of sales to the YMCA as part of the restaurant’s “Sushi Night”. On Friday, the Eagles Club will have a fish fry to raise funds for the YMCA from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A $10 fish dinner includes beans, potato, salad, and a roll.
Also on Friday, local businesses are being encouraged to allow employees to wear jeans to work for a $5 donation to the campaign.
Fort Madison Hy-Vee will donate $1 to the YMCA for every dozen cookies sold at the store during Y Week.