LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted July 22, 2021
I sat down to write this announcement on Father’s Day morning to announce the start of the Clinton YMCA Annual Strong Kids campaign. This year I have volunteered to lead the campaign. For those of you that do not know, my father passed away in December of 2020. Our YMCA also lost one of our valued staff members in David Torbert, the Youth Sports coordinator and a man dedicated to the mission of the YMCA. My inspiration while drafting this came from David, his family, and my father on our first Father’s Day without them.
What does this have to do with the YMCA Strong Kids campaign? I grew up loving sports. Our local YMCA was one of the first places I can remember playing in youth basketball, youth soccer, and swim. My father was there with me, coaching and teaching me and other kids the joy of these sports. I also think of David coaching Youth sports with a smile on his face.
Our YMCA is not just a gym. The Y is a Christian organization that seeks to allow those who can and cannot afford to pay for a membership, to be able to use the pool, the basketball court, the weights and equipment with the helpful staff and volunteers that enable us to strive toward a healthy body, mind, and soul. It is because of this campaign that we are able to raise funds for our Y, funds that provide for the children in our community whose parents cannot afford to pay for them to participate in basketball, soccer, summer camp, and swim. We do not turn these children away. We do not tell them that they cannot play.
However, the ability to subsidize or waive the fees to those of our community that cannot afford to enroll their children in Y programs still comes at a cost. The lights do not stay on for free. This Strong Kids Campaign will help to pay for our YMCA to continue to provide for an investment of $117,000 in financial assistance in our youth, as we invested last year. Those of you reading this can be a part of helping a child attend summer camp, participate in youth sports and swim lessons, and continue to use the Y’s facilities.
David and my father volunteered as coaches and Christians. In the coming weeks, you may be contacted by myself, other YMCA Board Members, Clinton YMCA staff like Rennie, Gretchen, Bonnie, and Pat. We ask you to join us as campaigners in seeking donations from other community members and donating yourself. Please consider not waiting to be contacted if you read this and wish to volunteer by contacting me or the YMCA. I pray that each of you will think of men like David and my father to give of yourself and join us in our mission to bring the light of Jesus and hope to the youth of our community.
Bryce A. Lynch
Taylor & Lynch
Clinton, IL 61727