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YMCA Strong Kids fundraising drive nearing deadline

‘We’re doing much better than we did last year’

DIXON – The YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign is coming down the homestretch.

The YMCA had raised $40,722, or 62 percent of its goal, as of Thursday afternoon with a week left to go in fundraising efforts.

The YMCA set an overall goal of $63,000 in the annual campaign, which had been scheduled to end Sunday, but has been extended to May 10.

“We’re doing much better than we did last year,” said Andrew McFarlane, the YMCA chief executive officer. “We’re going to break last year’s amount. We have great support from the community.”

Last year, the YMCA raised just shy of $50,000, after setting its goal at $65,000.

The money helps the nonprofit to provide scholarships for underprivileged families and to develop youth programs. The facility offers a gym and swimming pool, and programs that range from preschool and day care to after-school activities.

McFarlane said some fundraisers are in the works for next week.

A team of YMCA board members will host a guest bartending night May 10 at Stables, 87 S. Galena Ave. Also, board members are working on a fundraiser at Culver’s restaurant, 1317 N. Galena Ave.

Last year, 6,914 people walked through the YMCA’s doors. Of those, 2,646 were younger than 18, and 1,264 received some form of financial assistance.

The YMCA’s goals are to ensure that every child is nurtured to reach his or her fullest potential; provide opportunities to learn, grow and thrive; and offer safe opportunities for youths during the critical hours when they are out of school.

McFarlane vowed that if $5,000 was raised on the first day of the campaign, he would let one of the board members push him into the swimming pool – suit, tie and all.

He did take that swim.

McFarlane said it’s not too late to donate; any amount is welcome.

Y not help?

To donate to the fundraising campaign, pick up a pledge form at the Dixon Family YMCA, 110 N. Galena Ave., go to, or call 815-288-9622.

Volunteers are also needed to help with the campaign.

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