Donations roll in — Bayside YMCA community challenge nears $150K mark

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Two more donors recently stepped up and added to the growing total in the Bayside YMCA community fund-raising challenge.

People from all across the East Bay have just a few weeks remaining to raise $$250,000 before the May 1 deadline. If they hit the mark by that date, a separate group of donors will match the funds. All money will be used to pay for the first phase of a significant renovation project currently underway at the West Street facility in Barrington

Earlier this month, 23 people had pledged a total of $112,000 for the fund-raiser, but according to an e-mail from Ethan Kehoe, the chief development officer for the Greater Providence YMCA, two more donors stepped up and increased the total.

"We're now at $148,000 from 25 donors," wrote Mr. Kehoe on April 9.

The 12-week program had a bit of a sluggish start, but that has not concerned officials.

“We’ve got a couple things planned for the final weeks. It will be a big finish … we’re going to pull out all the stops. I’m very, very confident, extremely confident,” Mr. Kehoe said when asked if he thought the challenge would be met. “There is no way that this community doesn’t respond to this challenge.”

Volunteers at the Bayside YMCA are looking for anyone interested in participating in the community fund-raising challenge. A minimum pledge of $2,500 can be made by individuals or groups of people — the pledge can be spread out into five annual payments of $500. For more information or to donate, call Joe Martino at 245-2444.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.