Flanagin’s Spreads Community Awareness for the 2017 Valpo YMCA Annual Campaign

Flanagin’s Spreads Community Awareness for the 2017 Valpo YMCA Annual Campaign
By: Jessica Campbell Last Updated: April 24, 2017

There is more to the Valparaiso YMCA Annual Campaign than collecting money from the YMCA's year-long list of fundraising events. It gives an opportunity to influence and teach the community on the importance of all the Y does for the Valparaiso community.

“In the end, it is about raising the money,” Donna Flanagin said. “But step one is the awareness part: showing the community what the Y does. Step two is getting people to understand why they do it and the value of it, so that they want to support the campaign.”

This year for the Valpo YMCA Annual Campaign, Monica Decker and her mother Donna of Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service volunteered to serve as co-chairs of the Annual Community Support Campaign.

The Annual Community Assistance Campaign is the Y’s opportunity to raise funds financially assisted memberships for low income individuals and clients of over 10 area group homes. The Y provides subsidized childcare for low income families, and creates programs for special-needs individuals and programs that meet the challenges of our community. To name a few, LiveSTRONG at the Y, is a 12-week rehabilitative program for adult cancer survivors, the Diabetes Prevention Program, and the “Can-Do-Kids," which is a program for special-needs children from age 3 to 11.  Proceeds from the campaign benefit over 2,500 members of the community.

The 2017 goal is to raise $275,000, and as of mid-April, the goal is already over half-way there. As of April 24th, they have raised $184,461, which is 67% of goal! The campaign continues for the entire year and there are numerous events planned. Mark your calendars for the following ways you can support the Valparaiso Family YMCA.

Future events include:

  • April at Culver's: Through the entire month, the Valparaiso YMCA is the Charity of the Month at the Culver’s in Valparaiso, located at 2101 La Porte Avenue. Stop into the Culver’s for your next meal and round up your purchase to support the Y.
  • May 11 – 12th Mother’s Day Plant and Gift Sale: From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. head to the Y to shop for Mother’s Day. Vendors and crafters from local businesses will be there providing gifts, flowers, flower-hanging baskets and other plants, like succulents, ferns, and container gardens.
  • May 1 – 26th Wagner’s Rib Sale: The Y is bringing Wagner’s to Valpo! Pre-orders taken only and are due by May 26th. Then on June 10th at the YMCA Pavilion, come pick up your baby back rib meal.
  • June 10th Community Garage Sale: From 8 a.m. to Noon, check out the large, community-wide garage sale, held at the Valparaiso YMCA Pavilion. Stop by to shop, or Spring Clean your house and rent a table at the event for $50.
  • July 27th Golf Outing: - The golf outing will be held at the Valparaiso Country Club for both men’s and women’s divisions.

What the Flanagin duo does, is round people up for these events.

“It has been super fun, motivating people,” Monica said.

To raise awareness, the two have been calling, sending out emails, and using Facebook. So far, the two have done a great job rallying support and participants, but the job is still a learning curve, they said.

“We feel, in my own words, green,” Donna said. “ We didn’t know what to expect or what to do. We are just seeing how the process goes.”

“Yes, we are learning as we go,” Monica added. “Our job is to spread the word and you never know what is going to touch somebody. You just have to talk to everybody and know what they are passionate about.”

As the two take on the Annual Campaign, they are learning more and more about the Y’s many contributions to the community, and the more they learn now, the more they will know in the future.

“If we get asked for next year, now we know what to expect and we have more to bring to the table,” Monica added.

For more questions or to make a donation gift, contact Donna Demko at demko@valpoymca.org  or call 462-4185 ext. 351.