Take a look around the Ocala community—what is the one place where you and your family can learn about the core values of life? For Frank Deluca, president and owner of Deluca Toyota, the Marion County YMCA is the obvious choice.
While most gyms are all about fitness, the YMCA is about so much more. With the help of volunteers and business professionals like Deluca, the YMCA operates on the belief of giving back to the community. As a major sponsor and supporter of the YMCA, Deluca has been a donor to the YMCA’s scholarship program for years, which provides financial support to hundreds of kids, families, individuals, and seniors who would otherwise not be able to take part in YMCA programs.
“When you give back to your community, not only does it feel good, but it’s the right thing to do,” Deluca says.
Last year, the scholarship program raised enough money for 432 kids to play youth sports, 221 kids to attend summer camp, 220 kids to participate in the youth achievers program at Howard Middle School, and 91 kids to learn how to swim. Through these programs, kids are provided with the leadership they need to build self-esteem and hope for the future, something that extends far beyond participation in clubs, sports, or a fitness regime. The impact on the community is huge, which is why members like Deluca believe in continuing to support the organization.
“The Y is one of those few organizations that offer those who are not as fortunate as others to be a part of a very essential means for all walks of people to share in fun, enjoyable, healthy activities,” Deluca says.
The YMCA’s 2010 scholarship campaign aims to raise $165,000—a $3,000 increase from the amount raised in 2009. While it’s a steep goal, YMCA Executive Director Ben Marciano says his staff and volunteers are dedicated to the YMCA’s mission: helping people, regardless of their financial circumstance.
“This is the one thing that truly separates the YMCA from any other facility in town,” Marciano said. “We’re about making a difference in people’s lives.”
Marion County YMCA
3200 SE 17th Street, Ocala
You can make a difference, too.
$50 = one session of swim lessons
$130 = one week of summer camp for a child
$360 = six weeks of SAFE Start drowning prevention for a child
$500 = one annual membership for a teen, adult, or senior
$1,000 = one annual family membership
$2,500 = one cabin for five kids at Camp Wewa
$5,000 = one year of youth sports teams
$10,000 = one full year of memberships for 10 families, 14 individual adults, 28 teens, or 16 seniors
To make a contribution or learn more, call (352) 368-9622.