Craig McCarthy
Submitted photo

"Impactful, rowdy and rewarding” (and maybe a little tiring) is how I would describe the experience I had last year serving as a team captain for the 2012 Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA “Frames for Families” initiative. That’s a fancy way of saying “fundraising event,” which translates to “bowl-a-thon!” I was so impressed by the event and the result that I agreed to chair the event this year, along with my friend and fellow YMCA board member, Jim Hunt, local Farmers Insurance agent and all around Renaissance Man. In all seriousness, I am passionate about it because I have seen and heard the testimonials of families, kids and seniors in this community who have benefitted from the proceeds of this event.

This month more than 65 community volunteers, including our very own Ahwatukee Foothills News staff team, will embark on the 2013 Frames for Families challenge. These incredible volunteers will seek people to sponsor their team as they bowl 100 frames on May 2 in support of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA Annual Support Campaign. If you haven’t been on a bowling team and always wanted to, now is the time. You even get a shirt; just not two-tone polyester special like the real weekend warriors. It doesn’t matter if you are the next Dick Webber or if you are in need of some bumper assistance. It is going to be a fun and rewarding experience for all the volunteers. The event last year was a blast and we get to celebrate while making a real difference in our very own community.

The YMCA Annual Support Campaign supports those in need by providing a variety of social responsibility programs in our community to include:

• Financial assistance (the Y has a policy that no one is turned away due to inability to afford services/programs).

• YOPAS-senior services that help Ahwatukee seniors maintain independent living.

• Drowning prevention programs (free and subsidized water safety education and swim lessons).

Hunt, my event co-chair, said it best recently: “I am bowling for the single parent who is working desperately to make a living for his or her family and is need of financial assistance for quality, safe childcare while they work. I have personally seen the impact this has on a single mom and the feeling I received from knowing I was able to make this happen through giving of my time, treasure and talents.”

Our team bowlers will also be bowling for the senior who is trying to maintain independent living and has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness and has no means of transportation to get to medical appointments. The YOPAS, or the Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors, program ensures that he/she will make it to that necessary appointment and they will make sure that senior makes it to the grocery store so they are given the nourishment needed to fight any illness.

These are just a few of the stories of individuals we will touch through our Frames for Families event. We encourage everyone in the community to get involved by being a team bowler and raising money or by simply making a donation to support your community members who are making a difference.

To get involved or make a donation, call Julie Martinez at (602) 212-6085 or email her at Donations may be made online at and click on “contributions” on the left side of the screen.

As the YMCA board chair and “Frames for Families” co-chair, I would like to personally thank our Ahwatukee Foothills News team and all the community volunteers who are stepping up to make a difference through the Y. For those interested in community leadership and potential service on the YMCA Board of Directors, please feel free to contact me at or Connie Nelson-Askew, YMCA executive director, at

• Craig McCarthy is chairman of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA Board of Directors and co-chair of this year’s “Frames for Families.”

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