YMCA kicks off

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Encouraged by loud applause and cheers from the Selma High cheerleaders, YMCA fundraising team member Mamie Solomon kicked a small inflatable football toward a goalpost.

She missed the field goal, but in essence helped to kick-start the final leg of the YMCA’s nearly two-year fundraising campaign for its new building.

The goal of the YMCA fundraising teams are to raise $360,000 in eight months, and have at least $50,000 of that money by May 19.

Juanda Maxwell, a member of the steering committee, said she has little doubt the teams will be successful.

So far the teams have already surpassed the YMCA’s original goal of $2 million for the construction of the new building, which is already underway on Medical Center Parkway.

“We have raised around $3.6 million for the building so far,” Maxwell said. “Once we got motivated, everyone started working together.”

Maxwell said she hopes the new YMCA building, and the fundraising campaign, will help bring the community together for a cause.

“This YMCA building will be for the entire community, which is the reason why I’m a part (of the fundraising campaign),” Maxwell said.

To get the teams ready for the fundraising challenge, the YMCA hosted a campaign kick-off party Tuesday night at the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-op. The conference room at the Co-op was decorated like a mini football stadium, complete with a field, goalposts and cheerleaders.

There was an attitude of competition during the event, with the promise of prizes for the team members who raised the most amount of money.

Bill Porter, a team captain, said the members of his fundraising team were ready to meet their latest goal.

“This campaign is going to be the most successful campaign in Selma’s history,” Porter said.

Angie Miller, YMCA chief executive officer, said the ongoing construction of the new YMCA building during the last fundraising campaign may be helpful to the team members.

“As they go into the community to raise dollars, people can see the building coming up,” she said.

Currently, the site of the new YMCA is not much more than a field of dirt. Miller said several weeks of rainy weather delayed laying the foundation, but the initial stages of construction should start soon.

“We are praying for it to quit raining so we can start on the foundation,” Miller said.

Miller added that the citizens of Selma have been “enthusiastic” about the new YMCA building.

“The community wants this new Y,” she said.