The YMCA family – volunteers, staff and community members – joined together March 8 to celebrate the success of this year’s Partners with Youth campaign. Under the leadership of Camille Reams Mills, Chair of the 2011 Partners with Youth Campaign, the YMCA of Columbia raised over $340,000 in charitable gifts to support membership scholarships and programs that change lives in this community. That number far exceeds the campaign’s original goal, but the Y will continue to raise funds because there is always more we can do to serve the community. Volunteer campaigners solicited funds from community members and businesses throughout the Midlands.

“These gifts provide scholarships for individuals and families who want and need YMCA programs but cannot afford them,” said Bryan Madden, Chief Executive Officer. “At the Y, kids not only learn how to field a ball, but they also learn about caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith—core values that can guide them throughout their lives. The Partners with Youth campaign connects kids in need to programs that help them grow in confidence and self-esteem.”

“The success of the campaign can be attributed to the commitment of our volunteers and staff and the community to the YMCA,” said Camille Mills at this week’s Partners with Youth celebration dinner. “The overwhelming generosity of the community allows us to continue bringing our positive programs to those who need them most. With everyone’s help, we are now able to give kids and families greater access to the wonderful opportunities offered at the Y.”

“At the heart of community life in South Carolina, our mission-driven YMCA is ‘a place to belong’ and to live the values that guide and unite our members,” said Mills. “The Partners with Youth campaign is an investment in the future where, through the generosity of the community, kids can go to camp, families can enjoy the supportive environment of the Y and teens can learn valuable life skills.”

Because of the generosity of our donors, the YMCA will be able to provide scholarships that allow the YMCA to keep our promise to this community: that no person will be denied the life changing programs and services we provide due to inability to pay. Please remember the YMCA as you plan your charitable giving this year. For more information about our campaign, or to donate, please contact WendyBroderick@columbiaymca.org.