Donation allows YMCA to purchase new bus help kids get to programs

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

Thanks to a recent donation, the Troy and Dollie Smith Family YMCA now has another bus to help transport children to its programs.

Tia Azlin, interim CEO for the Troy and Dollie Smith Family YMCA, said The Cleo L. Craig Foundation made the donation for the bus on behalf of Ed and Juanita Jezek in recognition of their ongoing dedication to the YMCA.

“This bus will be instrumental in us getting water safety out into our community,” Azlin said. “We'll be able to go out, pick children up, and bring them to the Y for our water safety training.”

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April Stobbe (daughter of the Craigs), far left, and Helen Craig, YMCA Interim CEO Tia Azlin, and C.L. Craig, all pictured at right, pose with the YMCA’s new bus and children from the After School Child Watch program. The Cleo L. Craig Foundation donated money for the bus on behalf of Ed and Juanita Jezek.

In the past, she said, they have been limited to doing training at pools that allowed the YMCA to send someone to them, and now they will also be able to bus children to the YMCA for training on site as well.

In addition to transporting children to the YMCA's Water Safety Program, Azlin said it would also help with the After School Child Watch program. Rather than the one big bus the YMCA had, they'll be able to use both buses to run more routes and cut down on the time it takes to get children from schools to the YMCA.