News Staff Report
At first glance, the six banners that hang in Atmore Area YMCA’s fitness center look like paid advertisements for the various businesses whose names appear on them and in a way, they are.
But officials of the local nonprofit are quick to point out that the banners, which first appeared last year, are actually a way for the Y to express its gratitude to its largest supporters.
“The YMCA initiated in 2017 a recognition program for our contributors by hanging banners in our fitness center and entryway,” YMCA CEO Paul Chason said. “We put these up in our fitness center so patrons can see the businesses that contribute to the Y. Obviously, we’d like to have more banners up, but this is not just about banners.”
Chief Volunteer Officer Robert Heard, who presides over Y board meetings, agreed.
“It’s about the organizations that are in a partnership with us,” Heard said.
Three local lending institutions — First National Bank & Trust, Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union and United Bank — are the longest-tenured donors, having provided financial support to the local Y for the past five years. Two others — Alto Products Corp. and Poarch Band of Creek Indians — have made the Y part of their community outreach effort for the past four years.
The sixth banner represents the Y’s newest benefactor — Davis, Bell & Amerson LLC, a local certified public accounting firm.
“These banners show a willingness to support the Y and be in a partnership with us,” Chason said. “They are a small token of our appreciation and of recognition.”