Regional YMCA receives $10M donation

Y officials thank international philanthropist Mackenzie Scott for ‘extraordinary act’

By Reader Staff

Tuesday afternoon, philanthropist Mackenzie Scott announced gifts to 384 organizations across the country. As a result of a thorough and detailed review, the YMCA of the Inland Northwest is set to receive $10 million in recognition of the work performed by the YMCA in the Spokane and Sandpoint communities.

“We are forever grateful to Ms. Scott for this extraordinary act of philanthropy. This gift is both an acknowledgment of our longstanding service to our community for over 136 years and a challenge to us to do more,” said Steve Tammaro, YMCA of the Inland Northwest president and CEO. “This did not happen purely by chance. The work of our volunteers, staff teams, and donors positioned us to be recognized for our deep compassion and stewardship.”

Added Alan Lesher, who will soon replace Tammaro: “We are humbled and honored to be selected by Ms. Scott and her team to receive this transformational gift, the largest ever received by our Y. 

“2020 has presented unique challenges and been a true test of our organization’s commitment to making an impact in areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Lesher added. “We look forward to working with our board volunteers and staff to determine how we may best expand our mission footprint through this incredible investment in our community.”

Plans for the use of this gift will be determined after a thorough review of the YMCA’s needs and goals for its communities. 

“This support recognizes the powerful contribution the YMCA plays in uplifting our Spokane and Sandpoint region by creating healthier, more resilient communities through our commitment to developing and supporting youth to reach their full potential, creating a place of belonging for all ages and backgrounds to create and nurture friendships, and to our never-failing belief that everyone deserves a safe place to learn, grow, and thrive at the YMCA,” the organization stated in a news release announcing the gift.

“We look forward to years and decades of continuing to strengthen the foundations of the communities we support and celebrate,” YMCA officials added. “It is our privilege to see transformation daily of lives touched, supported, encouraged, and championed.”

As a leading nonprofit, the Y depends on donors, membership dues and program fees to operate. Amid the uncertainty and upheaval of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the gift is intended to help stabilize the infrastructure of the organization while continuing to support its remote school learners, Y members in its child care programs, youth sports, health and wellness, teen leadership development and camps. The Y will continue to rely on its annual donors to help the community access critical Y services.

The Litehouse YMCA is located at 1905 Pine St. in Sandpoint.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.