The YMCA of Metro North hosted its annual Where in the World celebration at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody on Thursday, September 21. During the event, the YMCA raised funds to benefit the Scholarship Fund for Kids so they can access the educational and athletic programs they need at the YMCA.

“In the past two years, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of requests we receive for financial assistance for kids to attend our Y Academy, Summer Camps, Youth Programs, and our Y Level Membership Program,” says Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “This fundraiser is our biggest of the year, and it helps us to ensure that everyone can belong at the Y regardless of their financial situation.”

The YMCA of Metro North Association distributes more than $1.6 million in financial assistance to make its memberships, programs, and services accessible to children and families throughout the region. The amount is a 30% increase over the amount of scholarships and financial aid the Association has provided in the past. They have also recently launched a new initiative to offer free memberships to 7th and 8th graders in the City of Lynn to give them a safe space to be in after school.

“The YMCA is a great place for children to grow up,” says Dave Gravel, President and CEO of GraVoc Associates and YMCA of Metro North Board member. “This year, the need is greater than ever to provide financial assistance so every child can take full advantage of all of the services that the YMCA offers. I want every family to know that they can always come to the YMCA for whatever they need to help their children learn and grow, and this fundraiser is a big part of making that happen.”

The YMCA of Metro North reached its goal and raised $300,000 at the event this year.

The YMCA of Metro North is inviting the public to join the event and bid on items, purchase raffle tickets, and make donations to the YMCA’s Scholarship Fund that supports its Y Academy Early Learning and Out-of-School Time programs, summer camps, youth and teen drop-in centers, food and nutrition services, aquatics safety classes, and youth sports programs.

“When you join our fundraiser, you are supporting our program that goes directly to helping local families get access to the YMCA programs they need,” says Kathleen Walsh. “All of the proceeds from the event go right back to helping our neighbors.”

KISS 108’s Justin Aguirre served as special guest emcee and auctioneer.

You can learn more about donating to the YMCA of Metro North: