MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Geneva YMCA helps hurricane victims

When local organizations raise money for hurricane relief 1,500 miles away in the Caribbean, it can be difficult to see the impact.

Thanks to some local connections on the Turks and Caicos Islands, however, members and staff at the Geneva Family YMCA have seen how funds raised earlier this year have, indeed, made a difference.

Following several September fitness classes at the Y that raised more than $300, former Geneva residents Ellen and Kevin Reeder used that money to buy much-needed school supplies for children on the islands. Kevin is general manager of The Somerset Resort on Grace Bay, a high-end boutique hotel on Turks and Caicos, while Ellen is a former longtime instructor at the YMCA.

“Receiving the photos of the children getting supplies purchased with the money we helped raise was wonderful,” said Mary Bakogiannis, the YMCA’s interim executive director. “Their smiles were infectious and our staff couldn’t help but smile right along with them.”

The Sept. 23 classes raised funds to benefit victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Three group exercise sessions were held that day, as well as a week-long food drive in partnership with Lyons National Bank.

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