United Way increases local YMCA’s funding by $15,000

$31,000 out of $48,000 will be used for youth programs.

Doug Lineberger, executive director of the United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison counties, said the funding, which is designated from July 1 to the end of June 2013, will go toward child care, the Camp Journey program, and healthy youth and adult development programs.

“Our funding is very much program specific,” said Lineberger.

Vince Chase, executive director of the YMCA, said the majority of this year’s funding will be used for healthy adult and youth development programs. He said in previous years, adult and youth programs shared funding. This, year the funding will be divided into separate programs.

According to annual reports released by the United Way, the Springfield YMCA received about $33,000 in funding last year, about $29,000 less than the previous year.

Chase said the YMCA had to cut some of its youth programs last year. This year, $31,000 of the funding will be dedicated to youth programs.

Chase said the main goal of the youth programs is to focus on teaching kids proper nutrition and exercise habits for the future.

“(We) give kids set goals and work on achieving them,” Chase said. “We’re trying to develop skill training.”

Chase said $11,000 of the funds will go toward adult health programs. Similar to the youth programs, Chase said the focus is on health and nutrition.

SilverSneakers, a national fitness program for senior citizens, is one of the programs that will be funded. Classes are designed for older adults who want to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.

“A lot of our SilverSneakers members have never exercised,” Chase said.

The remainder of funds will be divided between child care and Camp Journey, a program for the developmentally disabled. The daytime summer camp allows its campers to participate in various activities including swimming, martial arts, archery, crafts and science experiments.

The decrease in United Way funding last year was not punitive. The funding is determined yearly based on information that the YMCA gives the United Way and is not influenced by what was given out in previous years, according to Lineberger.

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0262 or andrew.mundhenk@coxinc.com.

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