Kingston YMCA Announces Strong Kids Campaign Launch

Published on: 2019/08/15 - in Releases

RELEASE — One of the things that makes it nearly impossible to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of personal success is the ability to believe in oneself. Helping kids develop skills and resiliency is the purpose of Kingston YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.

The campaign was launched at a news conference this morning with special guest speakers including: Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands; Robert Kiley, deputy mayor; and Carolyn Blommestyn, president of CJM Property Management Ltd.

“Many kids in our community struggle with self-belief. It may be because they haven’t had opportunities to learn new skills or because they’ve been taught to believe that they can’t be successful. Sometimes, they just don’t feel like anyone cares,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “Our annual campaign raises money to subsidize kids who may not otherwise be able to access the opportunities provided by Y programs.”

Subsidies let local kids participate in sports and other programs that build fitness, leadership skills, resiliency and confidence in themselves and what they can achieve.

“We support the Y because we know how important it is to show kids that there is a place that they belong – a place where they can learn skills that improve their lives. When kids have better outcomes, we all benefit,” said Carolyn Blommestyn, president of CJM Property Management Ltd. with the CaraCo Group of Companies.

One of Kingston YMCA’s partnerships is with Pathways to Education. The Y provides subsidized memberships to all Pathways students.

“The YMCA gives kids a place to get away to. To make friends and play a game of basketball or swim,” said Hank Perrin, Pathways to Education alumnus and student at St. Lawrence College. “It’s really important that all kids have a chance to go to a safe, healthy place whether their parents can afford it or not.”

Kids can have great futures and help create strong communities, but only if they have the chance to reach their full potential. Donations to the Y’s Strong Kids campaign will help support proven programs that give kids the opportunities they need to live healthier, happier lives.

Kingston YMCA thanks Homestead Land Holdings Ltd. and The Estate of Larry Gibson for matching donated funds. The matching program allows donors to triple the impact of their gifts. Funds will be matched up to $35,000. This year’s campaign runs from August 15 to October 15 with a goal of raising $120,000.

Donations may be made at Canada Helps or by contacting Anita Mercier, manager of development at or 613-546-2647 ext. 249.

Release | Twitter embed: YMCA of Eastern Ontario