YMCA programs deserve community's support

YMCA leaders in Monmouth-Independence are starting their annual Youth Donor Drive. We urge people to contribute.

This is an easy pitch.

There is nothing controversial about the YMCA. In a country where people argue about everything including which picture of Elvis should go on a postage stamp, there is one thing we all seem to agree on.

The YMCA is a good thing.

No one is asking for tax money. No one is asking for money to benefit gun control, sex education or anything even remotely controversial. This is the YMCA.

How wholesome can you get?

The YMCA in Monmouth-Independence foots the bill for the pool next to Henry Hill Elementary school, children's gymnastics and a child care center. There are also a wide range of other activities -- almost all of them geared for kids.

The Youth Donor Drive kicked April 17. Team captains met at Volunteer Hall in Monmouth.

They picked up cards for people to call and ask for donations for YMCA programs that benefit kids.

Independence City Manager Greg Ellis, who is heading up this year's drive, said captains hope to raise $16,000 this year.

That seems a pretty modest amount in light of what the YMCA provides.

Look at just the gymnastics program.

YMCA gymnastics are a part of Americana. They have been a part of the YMCA since the first YMCA gyms opened in 1869. The YMCA itself started in 1851.

While the YMCA is celebrating its 150th anniversary nationally, the YMCA in Monmouth-Independence is celebrating its seventh anniversary. Gymnastics have been an important part of the program every year.

The local program just got $7,000 in new gym equipment from a Meyer Mini-Grant. The new equipment includes uneven parallel bars, a springboard and lots of mats to allow kids to roll and tumble twice a week at Independence Elementary School.

Independence Elementary gym teacher Meg Greiner also uses the mats in her regular classes.

The Monmouth-Independence Gymnastics program is open to all boys and girls ages 3 to 12. The program is designed to provide instructional skill levels at which kids progress at their own rate.

From basic discovery movement to fundamentals to an advanced instructional program, the Monmouth-Independence YMCA offers something for every child interested in gymnastics.

This remarkable program, however, will flounder unless the community continues its support. We urge people to support the YMCA and all of its endeavors.

More information is available by calling Ellis at 503-838-1212.


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