Northern Lights YMCA kicks off annual fundraising campaign

The Y offers programs like swimming lessons, exercise classes, daycare and more.
This is a recording of the TV6 News Tonight.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:23 PM EST
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Programs like swimming lessons, daycare, and summer camps are funded through community donations. Last year, the Northern Lights YMCA provided 451 people with scholarship opportunities.

“The campaign goal this year is $128,500. We did exceed that a little bit last year. It’s a lofty goal in a new year, but we are hoping just as we have in many, many years to have the blessings that we have in our community and they’ll continue to support us,” said Caron Salo, associate executive director for the Northern Lights YMCA.

The Y says its mission is to provide services that fill needs in the community.

“Whether it’s providing food assistance for families, child care opportunities so families can continue to work, or a safe place through summer day camps so that their children can have access to new opportunities. We know as a small area in the U.P., we have to do more with less,” said Jonathan Ringel, YMCA Executive Director.

Ringel says the Dickinson center had over 200 donors last year. One donor that contributes annually, is the Northern Interstate Bank.

“I think it’s important for community banks to take the lead and invest in our communities. The YMCA is a great organization that we like to help out,” said Jim Helgren, Northern Interstate Bank Assistant VP, and Iron Mountain Branch Manager.

The bank presented a check to the y for $750. Ringel says the Dickinson center’s goal for this year is $85,000.

“$25 helps a child learn to swim with a scholarship. $50 provides an opportunity for someone to come to day camp for a week. They enjoy an opportunity to meet new friends and gain new skills,” Ringel said.

Anyone who donates $750 or more will receive a donor banner that hangs at the YMCA the entire year. Ringel says every donation helps.

“We operate programming that does have a net loss to the organization. We operate programming that can be more costly, and that for-profit facilities would not operate, similar to the pool,” Ringel said.

The campaign continues through March 25. You can donate to the Northern Lights YMCA on its website.

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