Saffie Farris


For 23 years, I have lived in the Park Cities and realize how fortunate I have been to be a part of such a giving community. Many in our neighborhood volunteer tireless hours and support many different causes in both time and financial support.

Your phone is getting ready to ring with volunteers asking you to support the Park Cities Family YMCA Annual Campaign and I wanted to give you the heads up with the gossip at hand.  

The word on the street is that the YMCA is so flush with money that they are building a new facility.

This is gossip, and over the summer, I actually bought into it.

Like many families in the Park Cities, my kids got their start in sports at the Y. Robert, my oldest son (22), learned to swim and played soccer, football and baseball through the Park Cities Y. Now, I am repeating it again with my son Jack (7), and during swimming lessons over the summer, my eyes were opened as to how much more the Park Cities YMCA actually does.

Guess what I didn’t know about the Park Cities YMCA:

I don’t want to over-simplify, but think of three different buckets — they just all happen to be budgets.

  • Our membership fees are used to support the staff and the operating budget.  

  • The capital campaign is used only to support the cost of the new building.

Yes, I have heard the pros and cons, but let’s face it, that building had served its purpose and needed an overhaul. The parking alone will be a blessing! I can’t tell you how many times I cruised that parking lot for a space and then ditched to go to Bubba’s!  

  • The annual campaign is used to support programs.

Guess what I didn’t know about the Annual Campaign?

For me, while watching Jack at swim lessons and trying to avoid a Texas sunburn, I met Bobby Timmer and Roger Moon. They had just come back from “Make A Splash,” a free water safety instruction program for tenants in apartment complexes who can’t afford the trip to the Y, much less the cost of swim lessons, at a complex near Love Field. And guess what? This is just one of the programs subsidized through the annual campaign.

  • Nearly $160,000 of the annual campaign is used for membership subsidies for more than 1,500 families.

  • More than $70,000 of the annual campaign is used for the Active Older Adults program, helping those who normally cannot afford the Y services.

  • Thousands of children are subsidized through the annual campaign for youth sports and camp programs so that no child is ever turned away because of the inability to pay.

  • The Adaptive Aquatic program, instruction for those with disabilities, is subsidized by the annual campaign to offer both children and adults free swim lessons.

  • The Annual Campaign list goes on and on…

Guess what?

The time I spent watching Jack fine tune his swimming skills “made a splash” in our checkbook, but fortunately the expense is tax deductible and makes an impact on our neighborhood.  

Secondly, I am asking you to donate to our neighborhood YMCA by clicking here. Please remember to allocate your donation to the Park Cities Branch.

Here are a couple of examples of programs where the generosity of annual donors impacts our community of children and families.

  • Sponsor the Make A Splash Program – safety swim instruction for an entire complex - $1,500
  • Sponsor a Basketball Team – 6 children - $1,000

  • Sponsor Swim Lessons – Eight lessons per child - $410

  • Sponsor Swim Team – Competitive swimming for the beginner per child - $235

  • Sponsor Dallas Summer Musicals – Children have the opportunity to act in a musical - $529

  • Sponsor Glide and Ride – Teach a child to ride a bike, three 45 minute lessons - $175

  • Sponsor Basketball – A season of basketball per child - $159

  • Sponsor Adaptive Gymnastics – One session per child - $240

  • Sponsor Family Membership Park Cities – $71 per month

Thank you in advance and help us spread the word. Please share!  

Saffie Leedy Farris
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