News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 19, 2014

Vigo Y kicks off fundraising campaign

TERRE HAUTE — Youth development, healthy living and social responsibility are commitments made by the Vigo County YMCA, which kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Wednesday.

“We’re about more than building bodies. We’re about building good communities,” said CEO Deborah Ringo as she talked about how the YMCA has been making a difference in Vigo County since opening its doors in June 2012.

Among the issues tackled in 2013 were adult obesity and food insecurity for children. The Lose A Ton, Give A Ton program saw people lose more than 2,000 pounds while they donated more than 2,000 pounds of food to the Vigo County Schools’ weekend backpack take-home project that provides a food supply for low-income children.

Individuals also have been sharing their success stories, Ringo said. She relayed the comments of a woman who volunteered to help in the Silver Sneaker fitness program and who later ended up becoming certified to teach her own exercise class.

“The Y made a difference for her, and now she’s making a difference for others,” Ringo said.

She told of another family who received financial assistance for 75 percent of the fees to join the Y. Both adults in that family lost more than 25 pounds, and after an adult in that family started earning another income, the family’s financial assistance dropped to the 50 percent level.

“They were happy about that,” Ringo said, noting that without the assistance that comes through donations to the annual campaign, the family would not be improving its overall fitness.

The fundraising goal this year is $50,000, said annual campaign chairman Ryan Ross. So far, more than $6,100 has been donated or pledged toward that goal, he said.

All of the donations received stay in Vigo County to benefit the local community. A donation of $50 allows a child to try something new by participating in youth swim lessons. A $150 donation helps an older adult, while $300 provides a single-parent family with full membership for a year. A $500 donation covers 10 weeks of summer camp for one child. A $1,000 donation funds membership for six young adults to participate in healthy activities with their peers.

YMCA board member Tyler Fischer of Terre Haute Savings Bank helped Ringo present recognition plaques to five businesses that gave $1,000 or more to the 2013 annual campaign to become Chairman’s Round Table Members. They were Riddell National Bank, Graham Feed Co., Commercial Interiors, Children’s Bureau and Baesler’s Market.

Ross said the Vigo County Community Foundation and the Clara Fairbanks Center for Women also provided a donation that allowed a new security camera system to be installed to monitor the YMCA building and its parking lot.

Ringo said the Y has grown a lot in membership and programming since it opened in 2012, but the big challenge now is not to become overconfident or lose sight of the mission to strengthen the foundations of the community and to nurture the potential of the people who live in the Wabash Valley.

“Our 2014 challenge is to not grow too quickly to make sure what we’re doing makes sense for the community,” she said.

Anyone wanting more information about the organization can go online to www.VigoCountyYMCA.org or call 812-232-8446. The YMCA is located in Fairbanks Park at 951 Dresser Drive.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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