Because of the adaptive aquatics program at the Park Cities YMCA, Sage Snyder gets keyed up at the mere sight of his swimsuit.
“He is so excited on those days, he can’t even eat breakfast,” said his mother, Terry.
Six-year-old Sage, who has cerebral palsy, remains just as stimulated as he approaches the Y.
“When we turn that corner to get into the parking lot, Sage starts hooting and hollering,” said Barbara Cravey, director of children’s services at Ability Connection Texas, “and he’s moving his chair to get in the water as fast as he can.”
Thanks to Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Sage and other disabled children served by Ability Connection have 5,000 reasons to remain excited. Last week, the firm presented a check in that amount to cover a year’s worth of swim lessons.
The $5,000 check is a step up from the $3,500 that Wells Fargo Capital Finance presented last summer. And it comes on the heels of a $5,000 check given to the Park Cities Y to cover such lessons for people not associated with Ability Connection.
“Wells Fargo understands the need for programs like this,” said Mark Denzin, Ability Connection’s chief development officer. “And they understand that cooperation and collaboration are key.”
The link between Wells Fargo Capital Finance and the Park Cities YMCA is Highland Park resident John Reniger, a senior vice president with the former who sits on the latter’s board of management.
“Every cause needs a volunteer champion,” said Greg Pappas, executive director of the Park Cities Y, “and that champion for us has been John Reniger.”
Andrea Petro, an executive vice president with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, said her team invested $300 million in nonprofits last year. But she attributes the firm’s support of the YMCA-Ability Connection partnership to Reniger.
“John is so important to us,” Petro said, “because he helps us understand the value of this organization and what it does.”
In fact, last week’s donation went beyond the $5,000 check. Members of Petro’s team are allowed to wear jeans on Friday if they donate $5 to a designated charity. Thanks to Reniger’s advocacy, Ability Connection was the July beneficiary. Forty-two team members times four Fridays added up to $840.
That money means even more special-needs children have a shot at learning to swim. Cravey said two such kids are right on the verge.
“Their parents never thought that was going to be able to happen,” she said, “so we thank you from the bottom of our heart.”