Funds will help Y to focus on diabetes

Donations sought for Feb. 19/20 drive

Afterschool children promote the Y's upcoming participation in the major countywide fundraiser, Give Where You Live Collier.

As fundraisers go, this one is a biggie for the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y).

In a nutshell, the Y collects money for a Countywide drive called Give Where You Live Collier, and then gets it back (and then some) by way of matching funds.

The major fundraiser serves 40 pre-selected non-profits (of which the Marco Y is one) that will benefit from the 24-hour fundraiser taking place noon Feb. 19 to 11:59 a.m. Feb. 20.

Aquatics, sports and specialty camps director Morgan Joseph instills the importance of physical activities to some of the Y's early learners (pre-school).

The participating organizations do their own fundraising, and money raised is swelled with matching funds from the Community Foundation of Collier County and Richard M. Schultze Family Foundation.

This year, Marco's Y is focusing its campaign on diabetes prevention and supporting its specialty summer camps for diabetic children.

On-site nurse Monica Ramos delights an early learning (pre-school) student by letting her hear heartbeats.

Described as a "growing epidemic," diabetes cases (including types 1 and 11) have risen more than 30 percent since 2000, with many more going undiagnosed until a medical crisis occurs.

The Y's development director, Charlie Vickaryous, notes that 2020 will mark the third year that the organization has partnered with Help a Diabetic Child and Core Health Partners to provide the camp.

Depending on money raised, a second camp is envisaged. In addition, the Y will incorporate an extensive diabetes prevention and intervention program into all summer camp sessions, which serve more than 600 children throughout southern Collier County.

The YMCA of South Collier is a major human service organization providing support for all ages and all income levels throughout Southern Collier County, including Marco, Goodland, East Naples, Everglades City and surrounding areas. More than 10,000 people – 2,000 of whom are children – benefit each year.

For more information, contact Vickaryous at - or call 394-9622.