YMCA to celebrate successes with event

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BELOIT - After serving a record number of people last year, the Stateline Family YMCA is planning its Annual Celebration to recap a successful 2018 and announce details of its three-year strategic plan.

The celebration, presented by First National Bank and Trust, will be from 5-6:30 p.m. on April 25 at the Beloit Club, 2327 S. Riverside Drive.

The night includes an opening cocktail reception with complementary wine and beer. There also will be a cash bar and heavy appetizers with a short program to follow.

Tickets are $25 per person, and the registration deadline is on Wednesday.

After opening the new downtwon Beloit site at the Ironworks campus in October of 2017, Ann Hankins, executive director of operations, said last year the YMCA had 800,000 visits at that branch as well as at the Roscoe-Rockton branch, the Youth Sports Complex and Gymnastics Center. Hankins said the Stateline Family YMCA has close to 15,000 members at this point.

She also said the YMCA has been partnering with the City and School District of Beloit to offer programs like free swimming lessons to fourth graders and yoga lessons to 80 students at Todd Elementary School.

In terms of the future, she said community leaders helped the YMCA develop a strategic plan spanning the next three years. Hankins said two of the goals for the YMCA include improving literacy rates and access to mental health services. She said the YMCA is in the process of kicking off a program to incorporate reading incentives into existing programs. Hankins said this could even include swim lessons.

In regards to mental health, Hankins said the YMCA is going to look at ways to raise awareness for local mental health needs and the local services being offered to "connect the dots" for clients.

"Our mission is to build health for the mind, body and spirit for all, and we want to make sure we look at everything that's involved with healthy living," Hankins said.

In addition to detailing past and future operations, the event also will kick off the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign and recognize members of the staff and community with various awards, including family of the year, volunteer of the year, distinguished citizen, community partner and more.

The Strong Kids Campaign helps the YMCA offer financial aid to youth and families who couldn't otherwise afford programs. Hankins said the overall goal of the campaign is $55,000. She said the YMCA will be asking for campaign donations during the event and will continue to raise funds until about mid-May.

Those who are interested in donating funds to serve a particular YMCA program may do so by reaching out to Hankins or CEO Doug Britt.

For more information or to purchase an event ticket, go to StatelineYMCA.org or visit the YCMA's front desk.

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