MARQUETTE — UP Health System — Marquette donated $10,000 to the Northern Lights YMCA for the mission of continuing to build healthier communities. Victor Harrington, Regional Director of Marketing and Business Development at UPHS, presented the check to Caron Salo, the YMCA Fund Development Director, on Wednesday.
“Whenever we look at opportunities to contribute to the community, we look at the mission of the organization,” Harrington said. “When you look at the YMCA’s mission, keeping the community healthier, supporting children, it’s very similar to what we try to accomplish as an organization. Our mission is to make communities healthier, and it’s a great partnership with the Y because they’re doing just that.”
The donation will be used to deliver financial assistance to individuals, fund swim lessons for children and other youth programs and assist in financing the Fall Family Festival.
“It helps us stay connected with the community,” Salo said of the donation. “It’s really about the positive impact and the positive well-being of the people in our community.”
In 2017, UPHS’s donation provided financial assistance to over 900 individuals. The contribution also assists in providing swim lessons to all third-grade kids in Delta County. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children between the ages of 5 to 14 and the fifth leading cause for people of all ages.
“Swim lessons are critical to reducing deaths, but costs prevent some parents from getting their kids lessons,” Salo said. “This gives us the opportunity for every kid in Delta County — which is surrounded by water — to get swim lessons. Studies show that if kids don’t learn to swim by the time they’re in the third grade, they probably will never learn.”
The UPHS and YMCA will be putting on the sixth Fall Family Festival on October 27th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Over 500 families attended the 2016 event free of charge.
“We appreciate our partner, UP Health System, in making this possible and want to continue to provide a great free family outing where families with pre-school and grade-school kids can come out and have a great time,” said Gary Nash, YMCA Executive Director.