YMCA golf tourney raises $13k for its charitable programs

CALERA – The YMCA’s 20th Swinging for Kids Golf Classic, which benefits the Pelham and Alabaster branches, drew 23 teams of four to Timberline Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Before the tournament began at 1 p.m., the 92 participants were treated to lunch and cold nonalcoholic beverages were available throughout the day. The net profit from the event is expected to amount to about $13,000 said Jason Beasley, executive director of both branches.

Calvin Gunn, Golf Classic Chairman of 15 years and a veteran Pelham YMCA board member, was honored for his years of service before the tourney began. He has served on the Pelham YMCA Board of Directors for the last 21 years and on the golf tournament committee for 20 years. Through his many years of service, leadership and support of the Y, the golf tournament has flourished over the years.

Beasley said just over $200,000 has been raised for the Y in the tournament’s 20-year history. The tournament is a part of the YMCA’s Annual Campaign to raise money for various programs.

Christian Rieseberg, executive director of YMCA of Greater Birmingham, said the organization consists of eight YMCA branches and one resident camp and two youth centers. Each branch is in charge of their own campaign. The Pelham and Alabaster branches have raised more than $135,000. Between all eight branches and camps, Rieseberg said a total of $1.2 million has been raised.

“All of the money stays within the community,” Rieseberg said. “It all goes back to the kids and the families it was meant for.”

Although most people may not think of the YMCA as a charitable organization, it definitely is, Beasley said.

“When most people think of the Y, they just think of the gym and swimming, but we try our best to make sure that no one is turned away for lack of financial resources. Sometimes we give out more than we raise.”

The money raised from the Annual Campaign goes toward providing membership and program scholarships and cause-driven programs. Some of the YMCA’s cause-drive programs include swim lessons for kids and adults, Y memberships for foster care families, a family reunification program that aides in supervised visitations, a blood pressure management program and much more. Each of these programs are offered at no cost to the participants.