The Madison Area YMCA’s Celebration of Impact barbecue, held on Sunday, June 24, drew more than 200 members, board members, donors, staff and friends to the grounds of the Family Center to highlight and celebrate the Y’s impact in the community.  

“The event was a wonderful way to bring people together to celebrate the impact that the Y has in our community,” said Madison Area YMCA Sr. Director of Organization Advancement Amie Herman. “Powerful stories of impact shared during the event by Y members and health and wellness programming participants underscored the Y’s purpose—we’re here for everyone in the community whether it is for health and wellness needs, childcare and early childhood education or a sense of belonging.”

Pam Cucco, a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participant, shared how the program was a game changer for her cancer recovery. “I was able to move past hesitancy and apprehension…and see myself whole again. It gave me optimism and a sense of purpose,” she said, noting that she is indebted to the LIVESTRONG coaches. “They opened their hearts and hands in friendship.”

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Madison Area YMCA fitness instructor Carolie Johnson spoke about how her mother who had Alzheimer’s disease for 18 years was always welcomed with open arms and treated like family when she came to the Y to work out. “My mom would sing as she did her exercises—and her trainer would sing right along with her.” Carolee cited many “beautiful acts of kindness” that the Y did for her mother.

“We always feel welcome at the Y” was written in a letter by a family that expressed their gratefulness to have the ability to participate in Y programming and summer camp through the Y’s financial assistance program.

Another letter was read on behalf of a family who has a Y gymnast with a hearing impairment. The family is appreciative that she is “treated like a member of the family.” Because of the gymnastics program, she is “pursuing her dreams and is confident and secure.”

The free family-friendly barbecue also included a DJ, a bounce house and games for children.

As a cause-driven charitable organization, the Madison Area YMCA is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, and improving the community’s health and well-being and giving back by providing support to our neighbors.