Top News

Yarmouth YMCA getting ready for fundraising campaign

The YMCA in downtown Yarmouth.
The YMCA in downtown Yarmouth. - Eric Bourque

As it gets ready for the official launch of a fundraising campaign, Yarmouth’s YMCA already is off to a good start, with initial donations totalling $30,000, says a spokesperson for the Yarmouth Y.

A campaign kickoff is planned for Oct. 1 and the fundraising target is $150,000, money that would help the YMCA address its debt and invest in new equipment, says Chris Brown, chair of the Yarmouth YMCA’s board of directors.

“We’re just putting the final touches on our promotional material and we have put some feelers out there for corporate donors,” he said. “We’ve already received $30,000 in donations, in less than a month, and we didn’t even have an official campaign. We just started talking to some key members of the community.”

The campaign probably will run for a few months and will overlap with the YMCA’s lottery, but Brown said he doesn’t think one will impact the other, given that the lottery is a well-established annual initiative.

Referring to the upcoming campaign and the money they hope to raise as a result of it, Brown said it will be good to put some of those funds into equipment.

“We haven’t been able to re-invest in equipment at the Y to any great degree since the last big fundraiser ran, I think it was maybe eight years ago.”

The YMCA’s biggest expense is the pool, which costs about $248,000 annually to operate.

On a positive note, the local YMCA has had two of the Yarmouth area’s three municipal units increase their annual grant to the Y and the organization is waiting to see what the Municipality of Yarmouth will do.

“The Town of Yarmouth increased its support to $56,000 per year,” Brown said. “The Municipality of Argyle doubled its contribution, now giving us $30,000 per year, with a $15,000 retroactive cheque that we’ve already received.”

The current annual grant to the YMCA from the Municipality of Yarmouth is $12,500.

In a presentation to Yarmouth municipal council’s committee-of-the-whole on Sept. 11, Brown cited some of the benefits of having a facility like the Y, saying it’s essential for doctor recruitment and retention, as well as for the health and wellness of the community.

The Yarmouth Y has about 1,000 members, a number the organization would like to see go up. Increasing membership by 10 per cent, Brown said, picking that figure as an example, would bring in a good level of extra revenue. At the same time, he said, it’s not simply a matter of multiplying the number of people who join by the membership fee.

“The YMCA doesn’t turn anyone away due to finances,” Brown said. “If they show that they can’t pay for a full membership, we also subsidize memberships.”

Recent Stories