Teams of local golfers gathered at The River Golf Club on Thursday to participate in the Family Y of North Augusta’s golf tournament.
The tournament raised money for the annual Community Support Campaign, said Katie Lyle, the district vice president for the Family Y of Downtown Augusta and the Family Y of North Augusta.
“The campaign is a scholarship campaign that we do in order to provide scholarships for anybody that wants to use the Family Y services but may not be able to afford it,” she said. “If someone comes up and wants to use any of our services, but aren’t sure they can afford the dues, then we, with proof of their inability to pay, scholarship the difference.
‘‘It’s what YMCAs across the country do. It’s what we’re known for. It’s a part of our mission. It’s a part of the reason we are who we are because we help the community.”
The campaign kicked off Feb. 21 and continues through March 27.
Last year, The Family Y of Greater Augusta gave out $842,000 in financial assistance through all of its branches.
The Family Y of North Augusta raised $35,000 for scholarships and by the end of 2011, it had disbursed all of it.
After-school child care accounted for 28 percent of the scholarships given out in the greater Augusta area in 2011, followed closely by memberships, at 27 percent. Scholarships are provided for other services such as day and resident camps, full-day child care, youth sports and aquatics.
Age also isn’t a factor when giving out scholarships, Lyle said.
“I think people often hear scholarships and the Y and envision children’s programming, but we scholarship seniors as well,” she said. “If we have a senior that wants to join the Y but can’t afford the membership fee, we’ll scholarship the membership for them.”
Those who receive a scholarship do so for one calendar year. At the end of the calendar year, they can reapply and their eligibility will be re-evaluated. If they meet the eligibility requirements, then they can continue to receive a scholarship, said Lyle, adding that there is no limit on how long people can receive scholarships so long as they are eligible.
This year, the Family Y of Downtown Augusta and the Family Y of North Augusta have joined efforts and have a goal of $48,500. However, all the money will remain with the local branch that received the donation, Lyle said.
“If you pledge in North Augusta, the money stays in North Augusta,” she said. “It doesn’t go anywhere else. Every penny raised in our local community stays in our local community.”
In the campaign’s first two weeks, more than $19,000 has been raised in North Augusta, she said.
“It’s truly the community helping the community,” she said. “The Y can’t do it alone. We have to have the help of everyone around us to help us help our North Augusta residents.”
Individuals and organizations can make donations through March 27 by going online to www.thefamilyy.org and selecting the branch of their choice or by contacting Lyle to make a donation to the Family Y of North Augusta or Family Y of Downtown Augusta. Lyle can be reached at (706) 922-6193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other fundraisers planned for North Augusta are a Zumbathon and Spinathon. Contact the Family Y of North Augusta at (803) 278-0882 for details.