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Partners with Youth to offer YMCA scholarships

The Greenville YMCA recently began a campaign to raise money to fund scholarships for those who may be unable to afford YMCA memberships.

Allen Stephenson, head of the Partners with Youth campaign, said the money will be used to provide opportunities for those less fortunate to participate in YMCA activities.

The goal of the campaign is $10,000 and the committee has already raised over $7,000 for the fund. Stephenson said the money will enable more Butler County citizens to take advantage of programs offered at the YMCA.

YMCA Executive Director Clark Caldwell said the community and the people have been very supportive of Partners with Youth.

"People of the community have been very supportive and very responsive," Caldwell said. "We are just so close to the goal that we want everybody to know that there is still time to help us out."

The scholarships will be used for several things, one of which will be swimming lessons for youngsters.

"Almost one-third of the children who take swimming lessons this summer will take them either free of charge or at a drastically reduced discount," Caldwell said. "Families could pay as little as two or three dollars if they have a financial need, and we will teach their children how to swim."

He mentioned that the scholarships will be available in time for the opening of the new pool and individuals will receive scholarships for such activities as swimming lessons.

"With the new pool, we feel like there will be more desire for participation that there will be more need for scholarships and for our help in allowing those kids to participate for whatever is needed," Stephenson said.

Caldwell said the Partners with Youth program is being conducted on a volunteer basis. Committee members are the people out raising the money.

Donors are considered "friends of the YMCA," so Caldwell said the fundraiser is really a "friend-raiser."

Caldwell and Stephenson said the YMCA is a Christian-based organization with a mission and goal of instilling character and ideals into young people.

Any individuals interested in donating to Partners with Youth or becoming involved with the YMCA are urged to call 382-0550.