'The program is the heart ... '
YMCA kicks off Partner With Youth funds campaign

COVINGTON - The Covington Family YMCA is asking the community for help fulfilling its mission - "Open to and serving all," - by contributing to the Partner With Youth campaign.

Partner With Youth is the YMCA's way of reaching children and families who otherwise would not be able to afford their programs and services.

"This program is the heart of what the Y is all about. No child is turned away from the Y due to an inability to pay," said Partner With Youth Volunteer Campaign Chairman Greg Herring. "This fundraiser allows all children and families to participate in anything from youth sports to day camp to after school care. We hope the community will support this vital part of the Y's mission."

The campaign will kick off in February and run through March. This year's goal is to raise $100,000, said YMCA Senior Program Director Louly Hay-Kapp.

In 2007, the Covington YMCA allocated $84,287, assisting more than 937 people through Partner With Youth, she said.

"These Partner With Youth dollars are raised locally and spent locally on local families and children," she said.

Partner With Youth is also extended to active older adults in need of assistance, Hay-Kapp said.

The YMCA is also in the midst of a separate capital campaign for a $3 million outdoor center off Stone Road in Oxford.

"We hope the public will understand that we need support for both. This is how we carry out that mission, with these dollars," Hay-Kapp said.

Donations for both projects are currently being accepted. Make checks payable to Covington YMCA, at 2140 Newton Drive N.E., Covington, GA 30014 and specify which project the funds should support.

For more information, e-mail Hay-Kapp at LoulyH@ymcaatlanta.org or call 770-787-3908.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.