WORTHINGTON To ensure that the Worthington Area YMCA can continue to provide all residents with life-enhancing services, it has officially launched its annual Strong Community Campaign.

As a leading nonprofit for strengthening community, financial gifts to the Y will help the community advance programming and services that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Gifts to the Y make a direct impact on people right here in Worthington. Specifically, financial support last year made it possible for hundreds of kids to have a safe place to learn and build confidence after school; for 500 families to reconnect and grow together because of assistance granted from programming and membership; and the participation of more than 650 youths in their first-ever JC Learn to Swim Program, which was made possible through its own fundraising efforts.

“The Worthington Area YMCA is for everyone," said Meredith Daley, the Y's executive director and CEO. "Our programs enable children and youth to realize their potential, offer ways for families to have fun together, offer outreach to active older adults, empower people to be healthier, prepare people for employment ... and that’s just the beginning.

"With our Strong Community Campaign, we want more people to understand that we are community, we are collaborative partners and we are passionate to provide opportunities — and that we rely on financial support to do our vital work,” Daley added.

This year, the Y hopes to raise $85,000. Funds raised will support programming and the growing need for scholarships and financial aid to participate in Y programs and memberships.

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With the work of the Y’s Board of Directors and many volunteer campaigners, the Y’s Strong Community Campaign officially kicked off Tuesday; the Annual Y Cruise Dinner Gala will also return to its in-person event on Sept. 10. Volunteers will be out to connect with businesses and individuals to learn how to make an impact on our community by securing pledges.

Additionally, a Legacy Partner to the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation has joined with the Y to match dollar for dollar on all pledges received in this year’s campaign up to $50,000.

To learn more about how you can support the Y’s cause, contact Daley at 376-6197 ext. 225 or meredith.daley@ymcaworthington.org, or visit www.ymcaworthington.org.