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Attorneys committed making a difference during the holiday season, and year-long

Raleigh, N.C—Sixteen attorneys from Manning Fulton came together to raise funds for the Triangle YMCA during the organization’s annual “We Build People” campaign. Eight attorneys volunteered time to spearhead the initiative as “campaigners” for three Triangle YMCA branches—the Alexander Family YMCA, the Kraft Family YMCA and the A.E. Finley YMCA. Eight additional attorneys participated in the fundraising initiative.

The “We Build People” campaign raises funds for a variety of community outreach programs that benefit families across the Triangle, including:

Camp High Hopes/Camp High Hopes Upward Bound

Camp High Hopes is a seven-week summer camp at St. Augustine’s University and Shaw University that serves almost 400 children and teens from our most at-risk neighborhoods. The summer experience includes two meals a day, transportation, character development, health screenings, swim lessons, positive role models and academic enrichment focused on eliminating summer learning loss.

Y Learning

Participants are students from at-risk neighborhoods that are performing below grade level. They meet after school at one of our 10 sites for tutorial and homework assistance. The Triangle YMCA’s goal is to improve academic performance and develop character in every child. Each site will serve between 25 and 100 children (about 400 students total).

Community HOPE

A faith-based mentoring program that serves more than 200 at-risk youth. Each student is paired with two volunteer mentors for in-depth, educational enhancement, positive role modelling and character development.

Teen Programs

This funding is used to support participation in YMCA Youth and Government, Leaders Club, Blue Ridge Leaders School, Lightner Y Achievers and Middle School United Nations. These programs engage teens in leadership development, fitness and life-changing relationships. We will serve approximately 90 teens in these programs, many of whom will have a partial or full scholarship.

Y Program Scholarships

Y scholarships provide financial assistance to qualified families for most programs, including after school, summer day camp and swim lessons. Last year, we served 621 children with youth program scholarships.


LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a twelve-week, small-group program designed for cancer survivors. It provides the opportunity for survivors to pursue health and fitness outside of a medical setting. Participants are part of a safe, supportive, respectful environment that promotes meaningful relationships and physical and emotional health.

Swim for Life

A community-wide swim instruction and water safety program that targets adults, teens and children who have little or no swimming experience. This program is offered for free to those who cannot afford it. Last year, 254 people participated, improving their swimming skills and confidence.

Southeast Raleigh Initiatives

Additional programming in Southeast Raleigh, funded through philanthropy, includes fitness classes, sports leagues, wellness programs, teen leadership and healthy-eating initiatives.

Of the 16 participating attorneys, three attorneys served local branches in leadership capacities. Stephen Byrd served as the Alexander Family YMCA board chair and Sandra Clark served the Kraft Family YMCA as campaign chair.

“My first job was at the Alexander Family YMCA,” said Stephen Byrd. “I worked as a day camp counselor for five summers, starting in high school. I can never give back as much as I’ve received from the Triangle YMCA in life lessons, an extended family of great friends and servant-leadership opportunities with great community impact.”

Byrd has continued his involvement with the Triangle YMCA over the years, coaching 14 team seasons of youth basketball and spending nine years with his children in the Y Guides program.

Another active YMCA campaigner is Sandra Clark, who has been involved for 18 years.

“The first year I volunteered on the campaign, my daughter was in Kindergarten,” said Clark. “The Kraft YMCA did not even have a building, but it did provide tutoring and before and after school care for children. I saw firsthand how great the YMCA was for my daughter, particularly with before and after school care while I was working. The funds raised through the campaign provide an opportunity for more children to participate in summer camps, swimming lesson, tutoring and before and after school.”

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