BANGOR, Maine — Bangor YMCA launched its 2013 fundraising campaign Wednesday afternoon with a luncheon for board members, volunteers and longtime Y supporters and receipt of the first $1,000 toward the organization’s $146,000 goal.
Diane Dickerson, executive vice president of marketing, development and community engagement for the Y, said the amount was based on a $1,000 goal for each of the 146 years the Y has served Bangor and its surrounding communities.
But Dickerson and CEO Mike Seile Jr. stressed this year’s campaign on the theme “Changing Lives … That’s Our Y!” isn’t just about money. A major part of the campaign will be to tell the community the Y’s story of what it offers and what it has done in the community and to honor those who have supported the Y and its efforts.
The Y produced a brochure containing statistics about the number of people who participate in various programs, the types of programs offered and the stories of some of the individuals, families, businesses and other organizations that use the Y’s resources. Approximately 10,000 people either are members or participate in Y programs, according to the brochure.
“The Y is more than workouts; it is mentoring and safe student drop-offs for after-school care, and so much more,” said Seile.
The Y offers 182 programs including all age levels, and has 110 youths in after-school programs and 45 in all-day programs, he said, pointing out that he works with schools and social workers to make sure youths can be in programs or after-school care where they are supervised and safe.
Many people who participate in Y programs either on or off-campus rely on scholarship assistance, some of which comes from the capital campaign and the rest from grants.
Dickerson pointed out that the Y is privately funded and is not financed by the city of Bangor.
The Y is different from other nonprofits in the community in that it is proactive for improving and maintaining good health, rather than reactive to health issues as many other nonprofits are, Seile said. All dollars raised stay in the community and provide opportunities people would not otherwise have.
But he and YMCA Board of Directors President Robert Frank III emphasized Bangor is a small community and that nonprofits need to partner, not compete with each other. The Y is working on building those relationships, they said.
Dickerson said the structured part of the campaign features 20 team leaders, with five people per team. There also will be direct mail, a coin drop-off at the Y and another one at the Bangor Mall.
A “ribbon” of 146 $1 bills was on display at Wednesday’s luncheon, and four children each cut off one of the bills representing the first $4,000 received.
The official end of the campaign will be Sept. 13.