Pay­ing it for­ward

Benalla Ensign - - News -

A group of lo­cal ladies who at­tend the Be­nalla Aquatic Cen­tre each week are prov­ing to pro­vide a ma­jor ben­e­fit to the health and well­be­ing of many across our ru­ral city.

Dur­ing reg­u­lar vis­its to the Mair St cen­tre they join in pro­grams in­clud­ing aqua, tai chi and healthy hearts, how­ever, the de­ter­mined mem­bers have also do­nated their time and money to help sup­port the com­mu­nity through YMCA Open Doors.

The open doors pro­gram is a com­mu­nity-based ini­tia­tive that aims to ad­dress health in­equal­i­ties by en­sur­ing no-one is de­nied ac­cess to YMCA pro­grams and ser­vices.

Fundrais­ing be­gan in 2015 with a ‘‘swear jar’’ be­fore the ladies moved to­wards other av­enues to raise money for their cause.

On the last Fri­day of ev­ery month a gold coin do­na­tion is pro­vided upon en­try for lunch and any spare change is also col­lected on Thurs­day morn­ings dur­ing cof­fee be­tween aqua and light yoga ses­sions.

The funds have helped a num­ber of lo­cal chil­dren learn life-sav­ing skills by pro­vid­ing al­ter­na­tive pay­ment op­tions for swim lessons to those who could not af­ford it.

This has sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to the Swim to Sur­vive pro­gram for lo­cal schools.

At the end of 2017, the group had raised more than $3500 and Be­nalla YMCA man­ager Elise Wood said thanks to these funds the YMCA was now in a po­si­tion to pos­i­tively in­flu­ence all seg­ments of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We can’t un­der­es­ti­mate how much the money raised has ben­e­fited lo­cal peo­ple who sim­ply would not be able to af­ford to at­tend the cen­tre,’’ she said.

‘‘In a world that is in­creas­ingly about tak­ing rather than giv­ing, we re­ally want to thank and ac­knowl­edge the time and ef­fort con­trib­uted to our cen­tre by this de­light­ful group of ladies.

‘‘YMCA Vic­to­ria’s mis­sion is to build strong peo­ple, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties and YMCA Open Doors sup­ports this by pro­vid­ing ac­cess to pro­grams and ser­vices that have a pos­i­tive im­pact on health and well­be­ing.’’

For more de­tails on YMCA pro­grams and ser­vices at the Be­nalla Aquatic Cen­tre, visit­ or phone on 5762 2154.

Proud: This group of lo­cal ladies (pic­tured with their trainer Tim) have raised more than $3500 for pro­grams at the Be­nalla Aquatic Cen­tre.

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