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Morning Sun
  • Patrick's People - Driving for the YMCA

  • Not too many fundraising campaigns start off with a turkey call, but the annual Pittsburg Family YMCA membership drive is a little different than most, and good fellowship is part of the agenda.

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  • Not too many fundraising campaigns start off with a turkey call, but the annual Pittsburg Family YMCA membership drive is a little different than most, and good fellowship is part of the agenda.
    Drive leadership and volunteers gathered Friday for the annual kick-off luncheon, and Ron Marrone yelled a turkey gobble to quiet the crowd before Jeff Wilbert, drive chairman, gave the welcome.
    “This is a fun time and an important time,” Wilbert told the volunteers. “Work  your membership cards hard, but have fun while you’re doing it.”
    He noted that the organization is a huge asset to the community.
    “I hear all the time from the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce that when people come into a community, they look at the schools and they look to see if there’s a functioning YMCA,” Wilbert said. “Pittsburg is a great place to  live, and the YMCA is a great place to get fit.”
    The Pittsburg organization celebrated its 125th anniversary in April, 2012, and was formed when the town was only 11 years old.
    Jack Bache, completing his 30th year as YMCA executive director, said that the general section of the campaign has a goal of $350,000 in memberships, while the adult-for-youth section has a goal of $20,000.
    “Adult-for-youth memberships are just $25, and that money is vital to us,” Bache said, noting that these memberships allow the YMCA to offer several programs for special interest groups that would otherwise not be possible and to keep  youth program fees at an affordable level.
    “If somebody doesn’t want to buy a membership, ask if they’ll buy an adult-for-youth membership,” Bache said. “And if somebody tells you that they’d like to get a membership and have their children involved in YMCA activities, but they just can’t afford it, give me a call. We can talk to them and see what price they can afford.”
    He said that the YMCA extends scholarships to 3,825 individuals, including youth and adults.
    “Many of our members are senior citizens, and there’s a huge market for those 60 and older,” Bache added. “We’ll have our Senior Day, which will also be a PATH event, on Jan. 22. That’s a big day for us, and we usually get over 100 senior citizens here.”
    He said that the whole month of January would be Member Appreciation Month, with snacks available to members and prize drawings. There will be campaign report meetings Jan. 11 and 18 at the YMCA, with the victory luncheon scheduled on Jan. 25.
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