By Ed Harris
The Southington YMCA held its Annual Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast last week, with speakers highlighting the good that the YMCA has done in their lives.
Albert Stavidlo shared his story on how YMCA staff helped save his life earlier this year. Stavidlo, 39, went to the YMCA on Tuesday, Jan. 14 expecting a day like any other. He had come to work out, but woke up the next day in the hospital, surrounded by his family.
He had suffered a heart attack while at the gym and, thanks to the help of YMCA staff, he is expected to make a full recovery.
“We are very thankful to the YMCA,” Stavidlo said, including his family. “They are a great organization helping many people.”
The YMCA is looking to raise $260,000 dollars during the annual campaign. The money raised will be used to help fund the YMCA afternoon outreach program, offer a helping hand for those that have to face unforeseen circumstances, child care assistance, teen programs and provide for Camp Sloper scholarships.
“The Y is the only place in our community where so many people, from young children to seniors, can come together to develop themselves to be the best they can be,” Jackie St. John said. “Our Y is a very special place and there is just no other place like it.”
Jackie and her husband Stan are the chairs of the Blakeslee Society, which is a group of donors that donate more than $1,000 annually to the YMCA’s annual campaign. During the breakfast, Camp Sloper Director Mark Pooler and ESPN Director of Communications Mike Soltys donated bikes to three youths.
Anyone that was unable to attend the kick-off breakfast, but still would like to donate, can contact Donna Ayer, the community development director at the YMCA, at 860-426-9510 for more information.