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Prayer breakfast raises $4,000 for YMCA’s Changing Lives campaign

Posted 11/2/22

The annual YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley Prayer Breakfast held Saturday, Oct. 29, at New Beginnings Church in Wampsville raised $4,000 for the YMCA’s Changing Lives Financial Assistance Fund.

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Prayer breakfast raises $4,000 for YMCA’s Changing Lives campaign

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The annual YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley Prayer Breakfast held Saturday, Oct. 29, at New Beginnings Church in Wampsville raised $4,000 for the YMCA’s Changing Lives Financial Assistance Fund.

The breakfast supports the Y’s mission to welcome all who wish to participate in YMCA programs and services, believing that no one should be denied access regardless of inability to pay. The Changing Lives Financial Assistance Program of the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley aids youth, adults and families based on individual needs and circumstances.

In his welcoming remarks, Hank Leo, CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley, explained the Y’s mission to put Christian principals into practice through programs and opportunities that build healthy spirit, mind and body.

“This is what drives us and is front and center in everything we do,” Leo said. “Today’s breakfast brought varied ages, backgrounds and nationalities together to encourage and draw strength from each other. The event was an example of the accepting, tolerant and giving nature of the YMCA community and our community at large.”

Guest speaker Garang Ajak, a former South Sudan refugee and current community advocate and activist, spoke about the power of human resilience. Once considered one of Sudan’s “lost boys,” a group of 25,000 young men who fled the wars in Sudan since the 1980s, Ajak now considers himself “found.”

Ajak emphasized the importance of being a catalyst for people the world is leaving behind. He currently works for InterFaith Works in Syracuse.

Songs of hope, worship, prayer and love of their homeland were shared by the Saint Anuaritte Congolese Choir and the Ukrainian Vocal Ensemble Kalyna.

Norman Turbee of Clear Path for Veterans, and a YMCA member, closed the program with a poem, “The Train of Life.”

“I want to thank Randy Philips, associate pastor of New Beginnings Community Church, and the church members for hosting this event,” Leo said. “Their worship team and volunteers helped welcome guests and serve breakfast.”

The YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley expresses appreciation to all who attended the event; sponsors BME, Chobani, Community Bank, LaQuinta Inns and Suites, Madison Bistro, and NBT Bank; and committee members Russ Brewer, Lisa Campanie, Sharon Hoff, Marcus Larabee, Hank Leo, Janet Olney and Mike Ano.

More information about YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley programs and financial assistance can be found at www.ymcatrivalley.org.

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