YMCA Critz Tybee Run benefits community programs

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 3:27 PM EST
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Thousands of runners lace up for the YMCA Critz Tybee Run every year.

One of the best things about it is the money you spend on the race goes back into the community.

WTOC talked to one teacher involved in a YMCA program to which some of the money goes.

Susana Elizabeth Chavez moved from Mexico to Savannah 7 years ago.

She didn’t know English well but was motivated to learn.

She wanted her son to learn English to avoid any language barriers she once had.

She signed him up for a bilingual learning program at the YMCA to prepare him for school.

“He did that, this one, when we were at school,” said Chavez.

She says she instantly fell in love with the results of the program.

“I got to see how much he grows and how much he started talking because he is a late talker. The way he was evolving and learning new things that I couldn’t do by myself.”

Susana said she benefited from the program alongside her son, and she learned enough to even be a teacher for the program.

She said she wanted to help people like herself.

“The happiness it brings me to see little ones growing and start doing more things. Not only the families the caregivers that come to the school involving what they saw what they know now is a joy,’ said Chavez.

Shannon Horst, the race director said the Early Learning Readiness program is one of many programs the funds from the race will benefit from.

“Discounts on after-school care, summer camp programming, child care, child care, membership for families and seniors as well as free programming that’s offered such as early learning readiness programs, our teen outreach programs, and our live strong program.”

She said the money is collected and spread through all 10 YMCA branches.

“Everything you spend on the race stays here in coastal Georgia for residents of coastal Georgia for those that in coastal Georgia.”

People interested in participating in the early learning readiness program or in other programs can reach out to the YMCA of Coastal Georgia’s outreach program director Laura Schmarkey at laura.schmarkey@ymaofcoastalga.org.