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NYC's YMCA Awarded Children's Health Grant from Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation

$75,000 Contribution Celebrated at Bronx Y Healthy Kids Day

BRONX, N.Y., April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 27, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation joined New York City's YMCA at the Bronx YMCA on Healthy Kids Day® to present a $75,000 contribution in support of the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Children's Health) Program at the Y.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield staff presents YMCA staff and kids at the Bronx YMCA with a $75,000 grant for children’s health. (Photo Credit: Christopher Ernst)

CATCH is a school health program that focuses on coordinating the efforts of teachers, school staff, and the community. CATCH aims to prevent childhood obesity by promoting physical activity and healthy food choices. Students in CATCH programs engage in 30 minutes or more of physical activity three days per week after school. Through this grant, 860 will participate in CATCH at six school sites and 10 pilot programs at YMCA branches.

"We are grateful for the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation's tremendous impact on our community and their ongoing financial commitment to the valuable programs at the YMCA," said Sharon Greenberger, President and CEO of New York City's YMCA. "Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and kids about the importance of staying physically and intellectually active. Because of the generous support from the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation, we'll be able to nurture more children by motivating them to stay active and to keep learning — important building blocks for a healthy future."

"Empire's mission is to improve lives and communities and to make healthcare simpler. Instilling the importance of smart food choices and physical activity in kids fosters healthy communities and helps fulfil our mission," said Alan Murray, President of Empire BlueCross and BlueShield. "We are proud to partner with the YMCA and Healthy Kids Day program. Organizations like the YMCA share our commitment to improving the health of our communities and working to change the lives of so many people throughout the state."

On Saturday, YMCAs across New York City held free community events to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA's Healthy Kids Day®, the Y's national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.

In 2018, more than 300,000 people improved their health at the YMCA, and 64,000 youth developed healthy habits in Y programs, such as swimming, youth sports, child care, afterschool, summer camp, and more.

The day-long event at all 22 YMCAs in New York City featured games, cooking demonstrations, and arts and crafts to motivate families to develop and maintain healthy routines at home in the summer months.

About New York City's YMCA
New York City's YMCA is here for all New Yorkers — to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. Founded in 1852, today the Y serves a diverse population of more than half a million New Yorkers who learn, grow, and thrive through programs and services at our 24 branches. Community is the cornerstone of the Y. Together, we connect active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ymcanyc.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation (and the Empire BlueCross Foundation), trade names of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation L.L.C., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State, promotes Empire's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Empire serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges.  www.empireblue.com

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