The Lake Highlands YMCA doesn’t officially begin their 2016 Annual Campaign until February 2nd, but volunteers kicked off their advance campaign with a push to remind their neighbors of the great work the Y does in the community and the many ways they need help.

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“Lake Highlands is a lunch pail carrying community,” said board member Jody Zorn. “We work hard and we give back to the community. At the Lake Highlands YMCA, we provide scholarship or income-based membership to 40% of the folks who come in. We teach kids in apartment communities to swim. We keep kids safe after school and in the summer by bringing them in to play basketball and other sports. Most people do not even know that the Y is a charity, and it is our job to spread the word.”

“This year has been a really good one,” said Executive Director Clint Elliott, reporting strong participation in programs like Child Watch, Adventure Guides and Princesses, fitness classes and the Livestrong program for cancer survivors. “Our programs are really healthy, this is a growing branch.”

Members know the exercise area stays busy, and the staff is counting the days until Dec. 17th when 11 new high-tech treadmills arrive. Santa makes an appearance on Dec. 15th, and I’m told parents will find that he sounds eerily familiar to “Voice of Lake Highlands” Bob Johnston.

If you’d like to make a donation, you can contribute online here and designate the LH Y as the recipient. You may join the Y here.

If you’d like to make a request of Santa, visit the LH YMCA, Stults at Greenville Avenue, Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for milk & cookies and arts & crafts. And bring your camera. Santa doesn’t do selfies.