There was lots to cheer about as more than 100 dedicated community members raised their pom-poms and voices to support the YMCA as they kicked off their annual fundraising campaign at M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom in Boca Raton Oct. 10.
“The crowd was highly energized and excited,” said Tracy Sussman, director of marketing. “We had red, white and blue pom-poms for everyone and throughout the program, the crowd would wave them around in the air like it was a pep rally.”
The excitement was all about breaking a new fundraising record. The Y has set a lofty goal – $462,000, which would aid them in their mission of strengthening the community through their unique programs and services, all of which stay right here in South Palm Beach County.
“The Y’s Annual Campaign raises funds to offer assistance to those who have the inability to pay for programs and services of the Y, including membership, sports, swim lessons, child care, preschool and more,” said Sussman.
The funds will also support specific initiatives such as Diabetes Prevention, Drowning Prevention, Education Enrichment and the YBike Program.
The pep rally atmosphere was intensified as participants learned about how the Y aids the individual.
“The event featured personalized stories about the Y’s impact in the community including a devotion given by YMCA of SPBC trustee, Reverend Percy McCray Jr., and the Pledge of Allegiance was given by our very own Y Kids for Mayor, Giada Caniza and Zepplyn Berry,” said Sussman.
George Patti, owner of M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom in Boca Raton and recent first place winner in the 5th Annual Boca Burger Battle played host to a very hungry crowd.
“It’s always my pleasure taking care of the YMCA,” said Patti. “Great people.”
On the menu, some of Chef Patti’s most famous food.
“The food included delicious sliders, fried shrimp skewers, a variety of cheeses, chips and salsa and mini-milkshakes. The décor nearly resembled a political pep rally – without the ‘political’ -with red, white and blue balloons, banners and pom-poms everywhere with the theme; Vote for your Community – Vote the Y. We had a live DJ and Master of Ceremonies pumping up the crowd throughout the evening’s program.”
Last year the Y raised $422,802, exceeding their $420,000 goal allowing them to help 10,000 individuals receive assistance for programs and membership. The funds also helped them to provide their signature programs including Sports, After School Care and Preschool to those in need.
Like any self-respecting campaign, there was a big finish – 500 balloons dropped into the crowd.
“Balloons were being bounced all over the place,” said Sussman. “You couldn’t help but have a smile on your face.”