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Weather smiles on YMCA for its biggest annual fundraiser

| Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FARMINGTON - Mother Nature was unusually kind to the Mon Valley YMCA Partners in Youth Golf Outing Monday at the Mystic Rock course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

Dark clouds loomed and cool winds swirled as over 100 players readied to partake in the YMCA's largest event to fund its many youth and teen programs.

However, as the day wore on, dark clouds and winds gave way to sunny skies and warm temperatures, allowing the annual event to be a complete success.

"The golf outing is our single biggest fundraiser for the many programs we offer for children," said Randy Rodriguez, the co-chairman of the golf outing. "We have to make our biggest money from this. I'm just glad the weather cooperated with us. We had a great day for a great cause."

The event, which raises between $25,000 and $30,000 annually for the Y's children and youth programs, is crucial to allowing the Y to do what it does for thousands of children each year.

"We offer a number of programs to the community and we don't to turn anybody away. In order to do that, we need fundraisers like this to keep those programs going," said YMCA Executive Director Jeff Vitale.

"Just as an example, in this summer's day camps alone, we will have over 300 kids in the program. And that is just one of the programs we offer for children from the Mon Valley.

"We have over 50 kids in day care and a lot of them require scholarships, as we call them, to participate. We offer financial aid to a number of the children who need it."

"We depend so much on the Mon Valley community and that community comes through every single year," Rodriguez said. "Lee Supply has always stepped up to the plate for us in a big way. They are a great ally to the YMCA. And this year, Fagan's Supply also joined as a major corporate sponsor.

"And you look down our green sponsors every year and it seems like it's the same people," he said. "We really appreciate the steady and continued support we receive from our friends. The people in the valley really support the Y.

They really do."

Vitale noted that another big fundraiser for the YMCA will take place in November when the Charleroi Federal/John Barbero Memorial Sports Auction.

"That event was started last year and was a big success," said Vitale. 'This year, it will be held Nov. 6 and will play a big role in helping to underwrite a lot of our programs.

Rodriguez has been co-chairing the golf outing with Kevin Lee for four years now and admits it is one of the events that is dear to his heart.

"This is a labor of love for me," Rodriguez said "But I'll be honest with you, the YMCA board is one of the best around. Everybody at the Y handles everything. It's just a great bunch of people who really care about what they do. We direct them, but they really do the leg work."

And this year, Mother Nature chipped in as well.

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