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YMCA Celebrates Successful Scholarship Campaign

YMCA BREAKFASTSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) —  This morning at the Basketball Hall of Fame, the YMCA of Greater Springfield celebrated the culmination of a very successful scholarship fundraising campaign — raising $500,000 in five months.

“It goes toward a lot of things,” says Kirk Smith, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “It makes the YMCA accessible to all people.”

Smith adds, “You know, one of our mantras is we turn no one away due to the inability to pay.”

This morning, event speakers Dan Shaughnessy, a sports writer for the Boston Globe, and Rick DesLauriers, an FBI agent in Boston, spoke about how the money gives kids across the region the opportunity to participate in programs that keep them out of trouble and focused on their well being.

“Springfield has gone through some difficult and challenging times,” says DesLauriers. “We’re going through times with violence in Springfield right now, so the YMCA is an organization that is key to bringing about a true renaissance in Springfield.”

“People need these services, kids need these services and in my profession, you see professional athletes and they’re big on giving back, and a lot of them came from cities where they used or needed the services and it’s important for our communities to have this kind of thing,” says Shaughnessy.

“It is tremendously important, not only in Springfield, but Greater Springfield as a whole,” adds Smith. “What we’re learning in all of our communities, rural, suburban and urban is that the economic challenges are significant and they seem to be on the rise, so it’s very, very important that we makes the Y accessible through these types of fundraising efforts to all people, everyday.”

This is an annual fundraising campaign. The scholarship money will go to kids and families in 14 cities and towns across Western Mass.

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