A local family is issuing a challenge to Hockomock Area YMCA members, donors and businesses to match their donation to help provide summer camp for local children.
The Spier family will match every donation made between July 31 and Aug. 14 up to a total of $25,000, resulting in a potential of $50,000 to provide more kids with a summer camp experience in August, Y officials announced.
On average, 1,300 youngsters attend camp each day at the Y’s camps in Bellingham, Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield and North Attleboro.
In 2016, the Hockomock Y awarded more than $147,000 in confidential scholarships for summer camp with more than 20 percent of campers receiving some form of financial assistance.
Through July, camp enrollment has increased by 600 campers over last year. But tight family budgets are placing a hardship on children in the area, Y officials said, especially in the summer when they have reduced access to quality care and healthy meals.
Additional information is available and donations can be made at hockymca.org/camp-challenge.
Greg and Kathy Spier, Foxboro residents as well as Y members and volunteers, have long supported the Y and its programs. The family’s name is prominently displayed on the indoor and outdoor aquatics centers at the Y’s Invensys Foxboro Branch.
The Spiers are also benefactors of the SPLASH program which has resulted in teaching hundreds of local school children how to swim and about water safety.
“Our family always believed in giving back to the community, and our Mom and Dad modeled the importance of paying it forward,” said Greg Spier.
“There is something magical about summer camp that every child needs and deserves.
“Through this challenge, together with our community, we can provide more kids an opportunity to experience their best summer ever at the Hockomock Area YMCA camps.”
The Spiers have a passion for supporting children’s and family programs that help build a community.
“Kathy and I give because our hearts feel good when we do so, and we advocate for the Y because we know the Y strengthens families and communities,” Spier said. “Summer camp provides a special opportunity to shape a kid’s life while building confidence and self-esteem.”
Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA, said the Spiers’ challenge is greatly appreciated.
“We are so grateful to the Spier Family for their continued commitment and confidence in our YMCA,” he said.
This challenge will be part of the Y’s 2017 Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign, which provides scholarships and subsidies to those less able to pay for Y camps and programs. In 2016, the Hockomock Area YMCA provided more than $2 million in scholarship assistance and program subsidies.
To learn more and make a gift, visit www.hockymca.org/camp-challenge or call Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA at 508-643-5230.