The Reach for the Stars 3rd Annual Gala on Sept. 21 will raise money for two signature programs offered by the Southeast Ventura County YMCA—Find My Genius and Safety Around Water.

Find My Genius, a free five-week summer program for low- and moderate-income students who are not reading at grade level, guarantees all children in the community an opportunity to realize their full potential, says Megan Glynn, Chief Development Officer.

“The Southeast Ventura County YMCA is committed to reducing summer learning loss,” emphasizes Glynn, noting that this program provides academic instruction, healthy meals, physical exercise and enrichment opportunities for these students. “When every student returns from summer break ready to start the school year, all of our children achieve more.”

The Southeast Ventura County YMCA also believes all children deserve an opportunity to learn water safety techniques, because every day, two children die as a result of drowning, which is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14. The Safety Around Water program, which teaches water safety and basic swimming skills, is open to the public and offered to participants free of charge.

“We are committed to making drowning prevention a priority for our community,” Glynn says. “Not only will we prevent these tragic events, but we will also ensure all children can safely enjoy the health and recreational benefits of swimming.”

Guest of Honor

The gala will honor community leader, David H. Murdock, CEO of Dole Food Company, who was instrumental in the opening of the new Yarrow Family YMCA at 31105 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Westlake Village.

“Mr. Murdock was our major contributor to the project and is a huge supporter of the YMCA and what we stand for,” Glynn says.

Community Programs

Like all branches of the Southeast Ventura County YMCA, the Yarrow Family YMCA enriches children, adults, families and communities through afterschool childcare, youth sports and day camp programs.

“We are proud to partner with the community to provide, health, fitness and wellness programs, swimming and aquatics, programs for seniors and teens, and other activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities,” Glynn says. “At the Y, we help build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all with core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do. With a commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility, the Y ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.”

The gala on Sept. 21 will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village. Event highlights include a silent and live auction, gourmet cuisine and a live band.

“Guests can expect an incredible program with inspiring moments and an after-party they will not forget,” Glynn says.

The Southeast Ventura County YMCA, which has three branches serving the Conejo, Simi and Santa Rosa valleys and Moorpark, also offers a range of other programs, including youth and government, in which delegates are 63% more likely to earn their bachelor’s degree than their peers, as well as adventure guides, a summer camp and afterschool care. The YMCA also provides scholarships, financial aid, long-term disaster relief and community support.

“In 2018, we distributed nearly $500,000 in financial assistance to provide our programs and resources to all families and children in our community,” Glynn says.

Above all, “the Southeast Ventura County YMCA builds relationships, impacts lives and strengthens the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Glynn adds. “We want to continue to make a positive impact in our community.”

Purchase tickets at SEVYMCA.org/Gala. For more information, contact Megan Glynn at 805.497.3081 x1008 or visit SEVYMCA.org.