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YMCA Willson Outdoor Center


Dear Friends,

Back in 1918, Alfred L. Willson was asked why he provided the money to purchase the YMCA camp property. He said: "Don't you love nature? Don't you like to get out in the fields in summer time, watch the grasshoppers kicking about, the bees buzzing, things that God and nature provided for our environment...I enjoyed them very much, and having reached the phase that I could afford to assist the young men and women of today to participate in some of these things I liked as a boy, I made this gift. That's my only motive." Eighty years later, the need to provide camping experiences for Franklin County youth is just as great as it was for Alfred L. Willson.

Each year, one in ten children who attend summer camp receive financial support from people like you. With the YMCA, these children have the opportunity to swim, boat, enjoy crafts, play sports, take canoe trips, and sleep under the stars. More importantly, they learn the value of being caring, honest, respectful and responsible while making new friends and developing bonds with great adult role models. Children grow by accepting challenges like riding a horse, reaching the top of the 25' climbing wall, swimming across the lake, and staying away from home for a week, enjoying the great outdoors. With your assistance, the YMCA is proud to be able to offer children the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe, exciting environment.

Who receives financial assistance? Families where the parent has lost a job, single parent families with limited financial resources, children in foster care and families affected by illness, family violence or other hardships. For many children, a week at camp may be their only vacation for the summer.

Campers who return year after year have the benefit of expanding upon their experiences. These experiences help children develop self-confidence and foster positive relationships in their homes and communities. Parents value these achievements and when capable, contribute to the YMCA Annual Giving Campaign as a way of giving back to the program.

With your help, many children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend camp will get the chance. Please sponsor a camper this summer by contributing to our goal of $25,000. We appreciate your support in this endeavor.


Anne Brienza
Executive Director

Larry Felsenthal
Annual Giving Chair