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Y's 'Amazing Race'
Priceless Gifts campaign kicks off
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The Effingham YMCA's Priceless Gifts campaign got under way Thursday morning. The theme for this year's seven-week-long drive is "The Amazing Race." - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The Effingham YMCA kicked off its Priceless Gifts campaign, with a goal of $54,500.

Last year’s campaign helped to provide more than $107,000 in financial assistance to help children, families and individuals with the Y’s programs and memberships. The campaign also helps 80 kids attend summer camp out of a total of 276, and the YMCA’s Fun Club cares for up to 178 children every day after school.

The campaign provided assistance to 55 kids in the program. It also provides outreach exercise classes to the Effingham Senior Citizens Center every Tuesday and Thursday through its Y on Wheels program. This year’s theme is “The Amazing Race,” and the campaign concludes in seven weeks.

Evelyn Helmly, who retired after 41 years of working in a school lunchroom and 33 years of driving a school bus, said her grandson urged her not to sit down after she retired. So she joined the Y last year.

“It’s been one of the most enjoyable years of my life,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place. If I can do it, anybody can.”