The YMCA Buffalo Niagara officially kicked off its 2014 Annual Campaign Thursday night, setting a fundraising goal of $677,000.
Money raised will be used to support those in the region who need it most when it comes to issues that include school readiness, at-risk youth, chronic diseases, and quality of life for seniors.
"The Y's annual campaign ensures that everyone in Western New York has access to vital community programs and resources that support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility," according to YMCA officials in a news release today announcing the campaign.
Awards also were presented at the kickoff event, which took place at the Buffalo Convention Center:
William A. Rogers Award: Presented to the Ken-Ton Family YMCA for achieving the best collection rate in the 2012 Strong Kids Campaign (94.6 percent).
Thomas B. Bain Award: Presented to the William-Emslie Family YMCA for achieving the greatest growth in collections over the previous year (14 percent).
Donald H. Meyncke Award: Went to the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA for achieving the highest percentage to its 2014 fund raising goal so far (55.7 percent.)
To make a contribution to the Ys Annual Campaign visit ymcabuffaloniagara.org or contact any local YMCA Buffalo Niagara branch.
YMCA Buffalo Niagara is made up of seven branches, Camp Weona, and the YMCA Association office. Officials look to meet or achieve this year's fundraising goal by March 19.
Last year, the regional organization raised more than $650,000 and gave out more than $1 million in financial assistance based on the campaign. Officials said that equates to serving more than 21,000 people.