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June 19, 2024

YMCA raising funds for local after-school programs

SOUTH COUNTY — Central Coast YMCA is in the middle of its annual giving campaign, and the South County YMCA is more than halfway through its community fundraiser.

The fundraiser kicked off Feb. 13 and will last six weeks to generate funds for financial assistance to families and children in the South County area. According to Executive Director Joe Gonzales, the local YMCA has set a fundraising goal of $46,000, and at least 60 percent has already been pledged.

“Our goal is $46,000 that we’re trying to raise,” Gonzales said.

South County YMCA provides a variety of programs at sites in Soledad, Gonzales, King City and Greenfield. The organization’s offerings include basketball, soccer, after-school activities, Summer Day Camp and membership-based programs.

Gonzales said the community support campaign is focused on ensuring prices are not an obstacle for youth and their families who want to be part of the Y.

“A real focal point on this year’s campaign is child care,” he explained. “There’s a free program in the school and the only other program for after school is the Y.”

The YMCA offers activities from 2:30 to 6 p.m. and currently has more than 40 youth participating in the after-school program.

In Soledad, for example, there are about 4,500 students in the Soledad Unified School District, and the community campaign is an effort to serve more of those students who are not in the district’s after-school program or participating in other after-school activities.

The other focus of the fundraising campaign is the Summer Day Camp and being able to serve more South County youth during the summer months.

Gonzales stressed that the money raised in South County stays in the area for local programs.

“We’re not just a gym, we’re so much more,” Gonzales said. “I think that the programs and some of the data definitely prove that to be the case.”

The fundraising celebration is scheduled to take place today, March 20, at the Windmill Restaurant in Soledad and will mark the last push until the final fundraising day on March 27.