Brandywine YMCA raises more than $62,000 to support local residents

LaKeisha Harris and Jamia Raison at the Brandywine YMCA Annual Dinner

On Wednesday, May 3, more than 160 people gathered at the Brandywine Manor House for the Brandywine YMCA’s Annual Dinner. Approximately $62,000 was raised that will directly support residents of the Brandywine community who cannot afford youth and family programs. In addition, the funds will support Power Scholars, a five-week summer enrichment program that prepares low-income students for academic success. 

Paying It Forward

Brandywine YMCA Member Jamia Raison kicked the event off, sharing her personal experience, and was later surprised by a generous attendee at the event who was touched by her story. “Had it not been for the Brandywine YMCA, where I went as a child, I would have been home alone or outside on the block in the City of Coatesville when my mom was working. The Y was there when my mother could not be,” shared Ms. Raison. “Today, my husband and I have three sons. We work hard at entry level jobs to make ends meet, but it’s hard to provide all that we want for our children. Coatesville is home to me, but where we live is riddled with crime and poverty. As a mom, it is important that my children are exposed to something different, presented with opportunities and new experiences and a place they feel safe. That is why I chose the Y. If I didn’t have the Y, my children would not have adequate child care and the supervision they so desperately need.”

At the end of the evening, the winner of a $1,000 Summer Adventure Activities raffle basket, which included park hopper passes to Walt Disney World, accepted the basket, but then presented it to Ms. Raison and her family. An instant later, a dinner attendee spurred an impromptu auction that raised funds from event attendees to cover the cost of the family’s airfare to Florida! The family was overwhelmed by the generosity—and can’t wait to book their trip!

Community Partner Award Presented

Also during the evening, ArcelorMittal of Coatesville, PA was presented with the Community Partner Award for their dedication and generous support of YMCA programs like summer camp and Believe & Achieve, which provides free afterschool care, as well as an afternoon summer camp program for just $10 a week to families in need, most of whom live in public or low-income housing. LaKeisha Harris, Executive Director of the Brandywine YMCA and Kristian Washington, Youth and Government Teen Program Participant, presented the award to Al Fuller, Human Resources/Labor Relations, Manager at ArcelorMittal, as well as a member of the Brandywine YMCA Board. 

Also during the evening, Brandywine YMCA member Liz Venuto of Coatesville performed Mariah’s Carey’s “Hero”, which highlighted the night's theme to honor everyday heroes, especially the many individuals who generously give of their time, talent and treasure to the Brandywine YMCA. The evening’s emcees, Brandywine YMCA members, Tammy Wisk and Jeff Horton of Downingtown, kept the crowd entertained and laughing all night. 

Category: Press