The Mayor's proclamation marked Friday as the launch for the YMCA of Northern BC's Strong Kids campaign in which the non-profit hopes to raise $18,000 to send kids to camp.
"This is our third year of the Strong Kids campaign," said Mark Miller, CEO of the YMCA of Northern BC. "This is a grass roots type of campaign that we do across the country and we're very fortunate to be able to do it in our community where we get great support."
The Y will hold fundraisers like a Zumba-thon, Penny Drive and a silent auction for colourfully decorated bird feeders that on display in the foyer of the YMCA.
Last year the campaign raised $17,000 and the organization hopes to exceed that this year.
"The main purpose of the campaign is to send local kids and teens to both Camp Kanannaq and the Aurora Leadership program, which is a camping program that goes out into the community," said Miller. "About 25 per cent of the children that attend camp would not be able to go without this type of campaign and anyone can donate."
Strong communities have to have strong families and that's why we're here, said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount.
"I hope the Y knows how much we appreciate what a big difference it makes in our community," said Bond. "We encourage everyone to contribute to the Strong Kids campaign and we wish them much success to reach their goal of raising those important dollars."
Councilor Lyn Hall was in attendance to read the Mayor's proclamation.
"On behalf of Her Worship Mayor Green and council, I'd like to congratulate Mark and his staff for all the things they do, not only for children in this community but for families," said Hall.
The local Y has about 4,300 members of which approximately 1,000 receive financial assistance and 320 children are in licensed childcare, added Miller.
As part of the campaign the Y is in partnership with Shooters Pub at both their downtown and Ospika Boulevard locations, BX Pub and College Heights Pub where $1 will be donated for every order of nachos purchased.
New for 2013 is the Strong Kids Challenge. Seven volunteers collect points and pledges as they participate in a variety of YMCA activities, such as volunteering and fitness classes. Participants represent YMCA members, staff and volunteers and include Scott McWalter, Mark Miller, Malcom Dunn, Selen Alpay, Shauna Harper, Rob Traxler and Cecelia Parent.
With a commitment to nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility, the YMCA ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.