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YMCA raising funds with auction

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The YMCA of Chilton County will hold its annual fundraiser on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Wyatt Barn, 6135 County Road 16 in Clanton.

This year’s theme is “Transforming Lives.” All funds raised will go toward scholarships to the Y or to fund the Lunch Box Rocks program.

YMCA of Chilton County CEO Lori Patterson said the event will include dinner, a silent auction and a live auction. Some of the live auction items will be beach visits and other vacations. Among the silent auction items will be hunts, rounds of golf, a corn hole set, and a handcrafted wooden sandbox.  Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the YMCA on Ollie Avenue in Clanton as well as from any Y employee or board member. Deadline to purchase a ticket is Feb. 25.

“It’s a really fun event,” Patterson said.

She said she especially enjoys seeing Y members get to know each other better and the community fellowship at the event.

This year will also feature guest speaker Gary Cobbs, CEO for YMCA of Greater Montgomery.

“We have patterned our Lunch Box Rocks program after his Brown Bag Bus program,” Patterson said.

Lunch Box Rocks provides weekly meals on Saturday at the E.M. Henry Community Center, 413 14th St. in Clanton. The program is designed to provide children, whose families may struggle to provide nutritious food, with healthy meals outside of the school day.

Patterson said the Y wants to help more people in the community understand the full scope of what the YMCA of Chilton County does.

“Though we are a gym … we’re first and foremost a cause, a charitable organization committed to the well-being of individuals and families from all backgrounds, income levels and walks of life.”

A mission of the Y is to make membership benefits “more attainable for all who walk through our doors, and that means providing 1 in 5 of our members with financial assistance,” Patterson said.

This assistance is awarded in the form of scholarships to those who apply based on income. Scholarships can cover part or all of a fee depending on income. Patterson said children are given the first priority for scholarship funds. Many of these scholarships are awarded for summer camp each year.

“In 2019, we awarded $25,410 in scholarships,” Patterson said, commenting that she hopes the event raises even more this year.

Auction items are still being accepted. Contact the Y at 205-755-2382 for information on how to donate an item.

Patterson said monetary donations will also be accepted from anyone who would like to give but cannot attend the event.