Wednesday, August 3, 2011

YMCA Annual Classic is a benefit for all

Yearly fundraiser supports Y operating costs


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Photo by Tobin Lisa Brown, right, Whit Atkinson and Tim Brown enjoy an evening at the 2010 YMCA Classic.

Golfers will hit the links on the Elkhorn Golf Course in Sun Valley today in a special round of golf to support the YMCA in Ketchum. Today, Aug. 3, is the YMCA Annual Classic, which also includes a gala fundraising dinner and live and silent auction with live music at Trail Creek Cabin this evening. Tickets for the gala event are $300. A special entry at 9 p.m. for drinks and dancing to live music by the MVPs from Los Angeles is $75. The dinner and auctions begin at 6 p.m.

"We do this event because people need to support the YMCA," said Jason Fry, YMCA interim CEO. "There needs to be an awareness factor."

The YMCA in Ketchum has more than 3,000 members. Fry said 50 percent of those members are on financial assistance.

"These are everyday people working and making our town tick," he said. "The economy has been tough, and they need help and therefore the Y needs help."

The YMCA Annual Classic is a fundraising event to support operations, which include several free programs such as Y on Wheels, an after-school program for elementary school kids and assistance with social services and physical therapy. The funds raised from today's events provide 25 to 30 percent of the Y's annual operating revenue.

"The Y is more than just treadmills and swimming laps," Fry said. "It's about outreach in the community, summer camps and parent-and-child classes. We also help out with the Sun Valley Half Marathon and held a corporate fitness challenge for valley businesses to get in shape and feel good."

Some of the exciting auction items tonight will include a women's tennis clinic with seven-time Grand Slam Champion Mats Wilander, a trip to the 2012 Indy 500, a week-long stay in a penthouse in Punta Mita, Mexico, a private road bike ride with Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong and an unforgettable trip to Australia.

In partnership with St. Luke's Hospital, the Corporate Wellness Cup this spring attracted 10 local businesses and 279 of their employees to focus on getting in shape. The result was a fun and unique community competition to encourage lifestyle change among employees and bring awareness about the value of proactive health and wellness to employers. Over 500 pounds were shed by the participants.

For accessibility, and thanks to a generous donor, the Y has a privately funded partnership with Mountain Rides, the Wood River Valley's only bus system. Any Y member or employee can ride the bus to and from the Y free of charge starting as far south as Bellevue. Each month, nearly 2,000 socially responsible riders use this program.

To buy tickets for the Annual Classic or learn more about the Y, call 727-9622 or go to www.WoodRiverYMCA.org.




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