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YMCA Quakertown community programs arise from fundraising challenge

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A fundrasiing challenge raised over $150,000 for the Quakertown branch of the YMCA of Bucks County.

In November, the Y announced a donation match challenge, where the board of directors and trustees for the Quakertown branch would match donations given by the community, up to $75,000. The challenge ended on Dec. 31.

The boost in funds will support the Y’s financial assistance program and free community impact programs including the Seventh Grade Membership Initiative, Second Grade Swim Initiative, and recently added Veterans Wellness Program. It will also enable the organization to look to the future and bring their signature community impact programs offered at other branches, like THRIVE cancer wellness, to the Quakertown branch.

“We are so grateful to the Quakertown community for their support,” said Zane Moore, president/CEO of YMCA of Bucks County. “Meeting this challenge means we are able to continue to offer much needed support to the Upper Bucks region and the surrounding community in the form of financial assistance and impact programs.”

The Quakertown branch currently serves over 200 teens through its Seventh Grade Membership Initiative. At a time when youth begin to make decisions for themselves, the program provides access to the facility and more structured programs to encourage health and well-being, leadership skills and volunteerism.

The branch also provides the Second Grade Swim Initiative, a YMCA safety around water program, to the community to ensure that every child is safe around water after graduating second grade.

The Y’s Veterans Wellness program was recently launched in Quakertown with 15 veterans participating in the first class. This free 12-week program is for veterans of all ages and abilities who are looking to get back to a healthier lifestyle.

This spring the Y will launch THRIVE, a cancer wellness program designed for anyone currently in treatment for or in recovery from cancer. The free, 12-week group personal training program provides guidance from specially trained personal trainers with the goal to build back muscular strength, increase flexibility and cardiovascular endurance and improve functional ability. For the duration of the program, THRIVE participants and their families receive a free, family membership to the Y.

At the Y’s Doylestown branch, where the program has been running since 2012, the impact is felt by the individuals it serves, as well as by longtime donors to the program.

One of many program graduates is William “Bill” Gruccio, who after completing 40 days of radiation oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2016, was recommended by his doctor to join THRIVE as a way of restoring his physical strength and mental focus. After successful completion of the program, he continued weekly sessions with a personal trainer and lost weight, increased strength, balance and mobility.

He continues to be dedicated to a life of wellness, nutrition and good health but he’s also choosing to serve the THRIVE program as a volunteer and program donor.

All branches of YMCA of Bucks County offer financial assistance to those who may need help affording membership and programs. In 2018, the Y granted $2.1 million in financial assistance with the largest percentage benefiting youth in summer camp and child care programs.

Individuals interested in any of the impact programs offered at the Quakertown branch are encouraged to visit the Y’s website for full information at ymcabucks.org or to contact Lisa Schwartzer, regional director of pathway initiatives at lschwartzer@ymcabucks.org.


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