Last year, hundreds of donors contributed a total of $143,000 to allow disadvantaged youth and families to participate in programs at the Cherokee Outdoor YMCA at Lake Allatoona in Woodstock and the full-service G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA in Canton.
Through the money raised by the nonprofit organization's campaign, children and families can attend summer day camp, sports programs and aquatics programs and use exercise facilities.
The chairman of this year's campaign is Tony Perry of Woodstock, a longtime YMCA board member and supporter, who is starting a new aspect of the campaign called Cherokee 1000.
"In a time when so many are struggling to just maintain their normal lives, we are adapting a wonderful idea from the movie 'Pay It Forward' for this year's campaign," he said. "Growing strong kids to grow a strong community, our local Y does that day in and day out, one child at a time."
The idea for the new program is for 1,000 individuals to give $100 each to help the YMCA raise $100,000 toward meeting its overall goal.
A campaign kickoff meeting for potential donors and volunteers is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Rock Barn at 658 Marietta Highway in Canton.
Cherokee 1000 is just one aspect of the Partner with Youth campaign. Community and corporate sponsors also give to the campaign and include Wells Fargo Bank, Walmart, Publix, Regions Bank and a number of Cherokee County School District elementary and middle schools.
Returning this year to the campaign is the banner recognition program for major donors. Individuals or businesses giving $1,000 or more will be recognized with a banner featuring their name hanging in the lobby of the YMCA facility of their choice.
For information, call (678) 880-3501 or follow the campaign on Facebook by searching for YMCA of Cherokee County.