Fruits of First-Ever LBCF Funders Collaborative to Support New YMCA Youth Program • Long Beach Post

The Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF) and nine local philanthropic partners recently established the LBCF Funders Collaborative by pooling their charitable resources to create a one-time $75,000 grant award. Out of more than 25 grant applications, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach’s new Health Engaged Youth! (HEY!) program will be awarded the funds to support deserving Long Beach youth.

“The YMCA has a tradition of efficient, impactful programs in Long Beach that address the holistic needs of youth, which is a perfect match for this grant,” LBCF Board Chair Gary DeLong said in a statement. “Additionally, they have the experience and sustainability resources to successfully achieve the collaboratives’ goal of funding Youth Empowerment; Health, Education and Opportunity, and Community Improvement.”

The HEY! Program aims to empower 30 to 40 at-risk youth in downtown and North Long Beach by teaching participants physical, social, emotional, cultural and workforce skills. The program fosters future community leaders by giving youth the opportunity to attend camps focused on team building, youth and government leadership programs, internships and club memberships.


“The grant applicant pool was phenomenal and many qualified organizations submitted proposals,” LBCF President & CEO Marcelle Epley said in a statement. “Our selection committee deliberated intensely about whether the best recipient for this type of fund was an established nonprofit with a demonstrated track record or a smaller nonprofit who could make tremendous strides with an influx of funding at this level. Philosophically, the grant was established to fund either type. The YMCA’s program leverages their existing resources; best addresses the inter-related areas of health, education and opportunity; creates a new service model; and will be sustainable.”

The following partners made financial contributions to support the LBCF Funders Collaborative: The California Endowment, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, The Adams Legacy Foundation, The Johnson Family Fund, Dameron Family Foundation, Robert Brush Foundation Fund, The Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation, The Barbara Bixby Blackwell Foundation Fund, and The Long Beach Community Foundation.

“Obviously, we are thrilled to receive a $75,000 grant award,” YMCA Executive Director Alfredo Velasco said in a statement. “But more importantly, we are honored to be the first recipient of the LBCF Funder’s Collaboration grant. Being selected is a testament to the community’s confidence in our abilities to strengthen the community through youth development.”

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