The YMCA of Cherokee County will soon start its annual fundraising campaign and wants to know from the community why the organization matters to them.
The organization will kick off its efforts Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the gallery of the Cherokee Arts Center in downtown Canton.
This year's theme is Why It Matters, which Executive Director John Hicks said will focus on promoting why the YMCA matters to the Cherokee County community.
On its Facebook page, the YMCA is featuring people who explain why the organization in Cherokee matters to them.
Hicks said the organization last year raised between $85,000 and $90,000, which he added was a "success."
"We would have loved to raise more, but it’s just been a tough climate in the last four to five years."
The YMCA of Cherokee County has three priorities it would like to use fundraising dollars for: to fund scholarships that less fortunate children can use to attend programs at the facility; to help fund the YMCA's Youth Fit For Life and to enhance its Teen Leadership Program.
The Youth Fit For Life program, which is free for elementary school students participating during after-school hours, has been introduced into four elementary schools in Cherokee County and Hicks added he hopes to expand that initiative into four additional schools.
The initiative introduces elementary school-aged children to a wellness curriculum designed to promote a healthy, active lifestyle.
He noted that between 3,500 and 4,000 children throughout Cherokee County have been touched by the YMCA program in the form of memberships their parents may hold or by participating in their programs.
Hicks said he's excited to kick off the campaign and to start the conversation of why the YMCA matters in Cherokee County.
"We’re excited," he added. We’ve gotten our campaign better organized and recruited a lot more volunteers to ask people to support the YMCA."
To donate to the YMCA of Cherokee County, visit the YMCA of Metro Atlanta's website or stop by the G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA in Canton.
For more information, call (770) 345-9622.