To the Editor:
I want to extend my thanks to all the area businesses and citizens who contributed to and cooperated with VYI in what was Vienna Youth’s 42nd annual Booster Day. Thanks to your generosity, patience and tolerance, we were able to raise nearly $50,000.
From some comments I received from area residents I think many may be unaware of what VYI does and why we do this fundraising. Allow me to briefly explain.
VYI sponsors youth basketball, football, volleyball, lacrosse, cheerleading, rugby, wrestling, track and field and cross-country. Since its founding in 1968, VYI has grown to be one of the largest youth sports organizations in the area. Approximately 4000 families have at least one son or daughter participating in one of our sports. Participants come from Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Falls Church, Reston and Fairfax.
Conducting sports programs is very expensive. Not only do we need to provide uniforms and the safest equipment possible but we must hire referees and pay to use fields and gyms. We conduct expensive training and certification programs for our coaches and conduct costly ongoing criminal background checks. We are even assessed a per-player fee by Fairfax County. In addition, we want everyone to benefit from our programs, so we cover the cost for those who may not be able to afford our registration fees. We also have a scholarship program that over the past 17 years has awarded $400,000 in college scholarships to hundreds of graduating seniors who formerly participated in VYI activities.
So that we will have safe and sufficient places to conduct our activities, over the past few years we have spent in excess of $1,000,000 to improve and maintain the athletic infrastructure of the community. Through our partnerships with Fairfax County, the Town of Vienna and other area youth sports organizations, the turf field projects at Marshall and Madison High Schools and Waters Field were made possible. We have renovated many area school gyms and we partnered with school and PTA to build the new track at Marshall Road Elementary School. In the coming years we will be an active contributor to the new Vienna Community Center and many other field and gym projects. These facilities not only improve the quality of life in Vienna, but they attract new residents and bring thousands of people from other areas to the town where they patronize local businesses.
Your generosity and the hard work of our volunteer coaches and administrators made this possible. With your continued support we will do our part to maintain Vienna’s status as one of the finest communities in the area.
Robert G. Forbes, president
Vienna Youth, Inc.