Patricia Driscoll, Operations Director for the Greater Providence YMCA’s Kent and West Bay locations, emailed me last week about a cool event today. The event took place at the West Bay YMCA located at 7540 Post Rd. One of her staff members, Anthony Orsini, had been raising money for the Y’s YFA or Youth Financial Assistance program with a bit of marketing angle. Anthony is helping to raise money for the youth program that offers financial assistance to our community members in need for things like membership, child care, and YMCA Programs. He thought up a cool angle. “Help me raise $5,000 and I’ll shave off my beard.” Anthony’s beard has been a fixture on his face for some 10 years, roughly since his high school days.
The YMCA is in the middle of their Youth Financial Assitance campaign and this event was a great reminder of the strong community presence the YMCA has here in North Kingstown as well as in Rhode Island. Their goal is to raise $40,000 to help support the programs and resources this assistance will benefit. Since its opening doors in North Kingstown in 2001, per Patricia Driscoll, “the YMCA has maintained a strong commitment to ensure that all individuals and families have access to YMCA programs, services, and activities regardless of their ability to pay.” Just how much as the YMCA’s Youth Financial Assistance programs provided to our community? An impressive $538,277 since 2010.
The mood at 11am this morning was festive to say the least. Anthony did not appear nervous at all. His smile was non-stop and his laughter could be heard throughout the front desk area. Members and staff were congratulating him and razzing him a bit, all in good fun. Anthony has always greeted members with a friendly “hello” and a smile and today was no exception. As staff and members counted down (just after 11am), the beard shaving ceremony commenced.
Local stylist and makeup artist Serena Cirelli from Salon Visage of East Greenwich plugged in her clippers and started buzzing off the beard. Cirelli mentioned that she donated her time for this most worthy cause and event. As the side of Anthony’s face became clean shaven, the crowd continued to watch with much anticipation and cheer him on. As stated earlier, Anthony had not been clean shaven for over 10 years. Most of the staff knew him to have this full beard. With each cut and buzz, Anthony’s beard fell to the ground until he was clean shaven. What had taken 10 years to build was shaved off in a matter of minutes.
Congratulations to Anthony Orsini for staying true to your word. You did raise $5000 (actually $5005) and that money will go to the YMCA’s Youth Financial Assistance Programs. A lot of families in this community will have the opportunity to use the YMCA’s services and programs to make themselves and their families healthier. Way to go, Anthony!!! And the YMCA’s Youth Financial Assistance campaign is still active so please donate, if you can, to help out those members in our community in need. As it reads on their website, “Where there’s a need, there’s a Y.”
To donate to the YMCA’s Youth Financial Assistance Program, simply stop into West Bay or your local YMCA. Or go to their website, www.ymcagreaterprovidence.org