Reid James, Merrick & Company Los Alamos Office Manager, hands a $3,000 Champion of Youth sponsorship donation to Y Board President Karen Easton, and Y CEO Chris Daniels. Courtesy photo
This year would have been the 20th anniversary of The Family YMCA’s annual ball, a formal gala that helped the nonprofit organization kick-off its annual fundraising season. Each year the Y raises funds to support its financial assistance scholarship program and Española YMCA Teen Center.
Times being what they are, last year the Y was forced to postpone and then cancel their traditional March event. Staff members kept in communication with 2020’s sponsors, who overwhelming said their “sponsorship” gift could be used as a 100 percent donation. The Y did host an online gala in October 2020 that featured stories of impact, sponsor thanks, and an auction.
Y CEO Chris Daniels said, “Our corporate sponsors and community members stepped up to help us survive a challenging year. In 2019, we had set a stretch goal to raise $175,000 for 2020—not knowing that the pandemic would put us all to such a test. We ended 2020 at that high mark, and it was certainly needed. Our members and donors gave out of their hearts, with no special event.
“And many of our Y members stayed with us. They paid dues and told us they were going to continue doing so though they might not be coming in to work out. We are grateful for everyone’s support.”
Daniels said that as Y staff looked at 2021, they knew that a March event would be unlikely. This year, staff asked sponsors if they could support again with no event, and that if conditions allow, the Y will host a thank-you dinner. Daniels said the Y will again host an online gala in October, and is also considering a golf tournament.
“Our sponsor-donors are staying with us,” said Daniels, “and we have even had the pleasure of making new corporate friends.”
About The Family YMCA: Traditionally, the Y provides 300 individuals (200 of which are children) with $90,000-$120,000 in assistance to be in Y programs. In 2020, due to the pandemic and people’s caution, the Y provided $36,000 in financial assistance to 73 individuals, including 12 youth in childcare programs. Funds supported the Española YMCA Teen Center, and financial stability at the Y.