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YMCA holds Special Ops fundraiser

The Warren County YMCA stays dedicated to serving their community.

The YMCA hosted their annual “Special Ops” fundraiser dinner last week to help support the free programs they run for the community.

“We have several programs at the Y that have no source of revenue, they have no fee. Those programs then need to find funding for them from the people of the community,” said Thad Turner, Warren County YMCA CEO.

The evening was held at the Conewango Club in Warren and consisted of a buffet dinner, a silent auction, an auction and a presentation of stories from people who have participated in “Special Ops” programs.

According to Turner there were between 80 and 100 people in attendance.

“It was a great turnout, we had a great night,” said Turner. “Everything [from the auctions] went for a really good price and we ended up fundraising enough to be able to fund almost all of the programs we were shooting to pay for. It was a really great success.”

Some of the programs that the evening helped fundraiser for are the Livestrong at the Y, free swimming for everyone, swim lessons for youth and programs for those with disabilities.

During the presentation at the event, some of the stories of those who have participated in these programs were presented.

“We got to hear from some of the people that have benefited from these programs, that was really interesting,” said Turner. “There are a lot of programs [we offer] now for those with special needs and we got to hear from some of them and how their lives were changed by participating in our programs.”

“What these programs really do is make the Y a place where everyone is welcome. There’s such a wide range of people that end up benefitting from these services.”

There was both a silent auction and auction with items ranging from sports game tickets to dinners at local restaurants. People donated vacation time at their condos and one gentleman donated a tour of his house guaranteeing the sight of a wild herd of elk. Gift certificates for services around the County, tools and car supplies were donated as well.

“There were all kinds of things that went,” said Turner. “We decided to try and have a fun way to fundraiser instead of just going around and asking for donations.”

The Y currently has around 5,300 members from the County and serves a large portion of the community. Anyone wishing to join the Y and can’t afford to can apply for their financial aid program.

“It is an incredible fitness and exercise facility and on top of that we have the ability to serve most anybody in the community,” said Turner. “I would like to thank Lincoln Sokolski, Mark Espin and the staff at the Y for making this evening possible.”

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