The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

June 29, 2013

Bidding for a good cause

OTTUMWA — “Lights, camera, auction!”

The Ottumwa YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign dinner and auction brought out a crowd to the Indian Hills campus Friday night.

The Y’s goal, said executive director Tom Sisler, is to be accessible to everyone no matter their ability to pay. The annual auction brought out around 200 people who opened their wallets to give Ottumwa’s youth opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

“It’s amazing to see the community come together like this,” Sisler said.

Last year’s Strong Kids Campaign helped the Y give more than $125,000 in financial assistance and subsidies to more than 900 children, teenagers, adults and seniors. The summer food service program provided more than 9,800 hot meals to local children free of charge.

During the Y’s lifetime wellness program, 47 children lost an average of 2 to 4 percent body fat and 3 to 5 inches from their waistline.

The Y was also able to make some physical upgrades, including new handicapped-accessible fitness equipment and new treadmills, ellipticals and pilate reformers machines.

The new PROWD program also helped 75 special-needs adults lose an average of 8 pounds and 8 inches.

Volunteers and staff worked for months to launch this year’s campaign, raising $88,000 through phone calls and several events throughout the year.

Chelsea Davis, staff writer

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