Dr. Rex Dunn and Sgt. Geoff Macleod of the Cape Breton Regional Police Services were named co-chairs for the Strong Kids campaign at Monte Carlo Night at Centre 200, Saturday (May 23). Dr. Dunn had previously served as chair of the YMCA’s capital campaign for the redevelopment of what is now the Frank Rudderham Family YMCA in Sydney, while Sgt. MacLeod was the inaugural Strong Kids campaign chair, when a partnership with the Cape Breton Regional Police Service was first formed in 2008.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Dunn and Sgt. MacLeod return to leadership roles within our YMCA,” said Paul Moore, chair of the YMCA's board of directors. “Both have shown dedication to the values of the YMCA and have been selfless volunteers.

"We believe they are the right leaders at the right time to lead our community philanthropy campaign.”

As co-chairs, MacLeod and Dunn will be responsible for organizing a campaign team that would encourage businesses and individuals to donate to the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.

The Strong Kids Campaign raises money to enable children and families who need financial assistance to participate in YMCA programs to help them realize their full potential.

As a charity that has been in the community for over 125 years, the YMCA believes it is essential that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay for programs.

"We have an ambitious target," said Dunn. "Over the next two years, we have a goal of doubling annual donations to the Strong Kids Campaign so that we can provide more support to children and families.”

“Financial support for children is among the most important things that a YMCA does," added Sgt. MacLeod. "A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said that in Cape Breton, one out of three children live in poverty.  "That is an astounding figure."

Founded in 1886, the YMCA of Cape Breton serves thousands of people each year and provides programs and services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. One of Cape Breton’s oldest charities, the YMCA's primary program areas include: child care, health, fitness and aquatics and employment services.