California State Senator Ben Allen presented a check for one million dollars to YMCA Executive Director Jim Kirtley at the end of the Pacific Palisades Jubilee and Community Celebration on September 30 in Simon Meadow.
“Having grown up here and benefited from programs such as these as a kid, I know how invaluable the YMCA is to our families, and I’m so glad we were able to secure them this crucial funding.” Allen said. “This funding will help to make Simon Meadows a more vibrant and useful site for the YMCA’s regional programs that expose youth to the wonders of the outdoors.”
Kirtley said that the Los Angeles Y had worked with Ben Allen’s team to submit a budget request for the 2023 year.
“The L.A. Y has successfully received budget requests because of the good works and impact in the communities we serve and our relationships with local offices,” Kirtley said, noting that the money given by Allen’s office is “not an official application or grant opportunity in the traditional sense.”
The money the Y sought was for a shade/bathroom combo structure at Simon Meadow. “That means we will not need the eyesore portable restrooms we currently have for community events, Y Sports, summer day campers and Pumpkin Patch/Christmas Tree participants,” Kirtley said.
During the Jubilee celebration, emcee Sam Lagana said, “Senator Allen grew up in Santa Monica, but he transversed these grounds as a young man and wants to continue to keep them for the next generation.”
Allen told the people assembled that as a child he hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains and Canyons and that “This place is near and dear to my heart. This is a place for YMCA kids from all over L.A.”
The senator said there were limited funds provided in the state budget this year for certain local projects that will provide regional community benefits. “This project is being funded in that portion of the budget,” the senator said.
Kirtley plans to expand a teen program to Simon Meadow, because “We at the Y have a teen solution.”