Montreal YM-YWHA launches $20 million endowment campaign to secure the future
as it celebrates its 100th anniversary

MONTREAL, Dec. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Montreal Young Men's-Young Women's Hebrew Association (YM-YWHA), the oldest Jewish organization providing social and wellness services for the entire community, has launched a $20 million endowment campaign to secure its future as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2010.

"While we will have numerous events throughout 2010 to honour the Y's proud history and the role it has played in the past and still continues to play today in the lives of thousands of Montrealers, there is an urgency to raise funds that will ensure a bright and vibrant future for generations to come," Rickey Blatt, Chairman of the Y's 100th Anniversary Committee stated. "The Y has always been a home-away-from-home for generations of Montrealers, and its enriching programs and facilities must continue to be available and open to all."

Events to honour the Y's history include a musical showcase celebrating 100 years of entertainment at the Y, a sock hop reunion for club members from the '40s, '50s and '60s, and a centennial street festival.

The "Y" first opened its doors in 1910, when 13 leading members of the Montreal Jewish community obtained a charter from the City of Montreal. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Montrealers have used the facilities, programs, and services of the YM-YWHA Jewish Community Centres, which have always been open to the entire community. Those without means to pay for membership are offered partial to full subsidies.

Today, the "Y" comprises three branches: The Ben Weider Jewish Community Centre, the Harry Bronfman Y Country Camp and the West Island Jewish Community Centre.

Services and programs include:

    
    - Social opportunities and programs for immigrants to promote integration
      into Quebec society
    - The Harry and Nina Hart Computer Drop-In Centre where teens develop
      skills in a supervised setting
    - State of the art fitness and recreation services
    - The George Reinitz Wrestling Centre, training home of world champion
      athletes and an ever-growing number of youngsters
    - Community basketball program whose teams are consistent strong League
      competitors
    - Unique puppeteering program, 'Kids On The Block' visits elementary
      schools to promote acceptance of children with special needs
    - Camping experiences, both sleep-away and day camps
    - Early Childhood Development programs
    

The YM-YWHA 's first home was a rented flat over a laundry at 52 Ontario West. Then the association moved to St. Urbain Street. In 1929, the landmark Davis Y building opened on Mount Royal West corner Park. Today, the YM-YWHA's flagship facility, the Ben Weider Jewish Community Centre is located at 5400 Westbury Avenue.

The media are invited to tour YM-YWHA facilities and meet with100th Anniversary Team members, staff as well as members and users of the YM-YWHA.

About the YM-YWHA Jewish Community Centres

For 100 years the YM-YWHA Jewish Community Centres have provided exceptional programs and services to the Jewish community and Montreal as a whole. The YM-YWHA is one of Montreal's largest non-profit organizations providing social, cultural, physical and educational programming and world-class athletics facilities at the Ben Weider JCC in Snowdon; the West Island JCC in Pierrefonds and the Harry Bronfman Y Country Camp in the Laurentians.

SOURCE YM-YWHA

For further information: For further information: Gerri Barrer, Public Relations Manager, YM-YWHA 100th Anniversary Celebrations, (514) 737-8626 ext.549, gbarrer@ymywha.com

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YM-YWHA

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