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For Immediate Release:  05/16/2006
For more information contact:
Joe Gurriere, Windermere Real Estate  joeg@windermere.com 206/527-3801
Monica Elenbaas, YMCA of Greater Seattle  melenbaas@seattleymca.org 206/382-5020

SEATTLE, Wash. – May 16, 2006 – The Windermere Foundation and the YMCA have partnered to create the first community service project supported by Windermere Real Estate’s entire Western office network.  Called Windermere Kids at the Y, the Windermere Foundation has designated more than $250,000 to provide hundreds of underprivileged youth with after school enrichment programs and quality child care at already-selected YMCA sites across the West.

For more than 17 years, the Windermere Foundation has focused its resources on thousands of individual community projects chosen by Windermere’s individual regional real estate offices.  Now in addition to these projects, the Windermere Kids at the Y program will use the resources of the collective network to offer child care services to in-need families while providing safe, stimulating and educational environments for children.  These enrichment and child care programs are stationed at pre-determined YMCA locations and elementary schools in neighborhoods across the West.

“The Windermere Foundation has always focused on supporting the needs of low-income children and families in the communities we serve.  Partnering with a youth-focused, national organization like the YMCA is a perfect fit for us,” said Christine Wood, executive director of the Windermere Foundation.  “Windermere Kids at the Y enhances our ongoing community support efforts and offers unique volunteer opportunities for the people of Windermere.”

The program launches at the 13 selected YMCA sites in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington (visit the press release room of windermere.com for site locations and contacts).  Each site is paired with a local Windermere office from which agents will volunteer their time and resources in support of the program.  Launch celebrations will introduce local Windermere supporters with participating children, parents and staff at each location throughout the coming weeks.  Future YMCA sites in additional states will be added as the program continues to grow.

 “The YMCA organization has a 155-year legacy of supporting children and families in communities across the nation.  We believe that quality child care should engage youth with positive experiences that broaden minds and teach social responsibility,” said Scott Washburn, Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, which will coordinate the effort.  “A large population of families simply can’t afford this critical need.  We’re thankful for Windermere’s support in making our programs accessible to even more children across the West.” 

The Windermere Foundation was created in 1989 as a way for Windermere office owners, agents and staff to give back to their communities.  A portion of each Windermere transaction is donated directly to the Foundation and these funds, combined with above and beyond donations, totaled a record-breaking $2 million in 2004.  These dollars are returned to the office in which they were generated and used to support the specific needs of that community.

About the YMCA
YMCAs are at the heart of community life in neighborhoods across the nation, working to meet the health and social service needs of 21 million million people, including 9.7 million youth.  YMCAs are collectively the nation`s largest providers of child care, after-school enrichment and youth sports programs and are working to incorporate physical activity into all aspects of youth, family and community programming.   The YMCA partners with corporations that share its vision of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities.  More information about the YMCA can be found at www.ymca.net.

About Windermere Kids at the Y
The Windermere Foundation and the YMCA have partnered to create Windermere Kids at the Y, a tuition assistance and volunteer program providing low-income children with quality child care and after-school enrichment programs through local YMCA sites.  The program is funded by the people of Windermere Real Estate, who donate a portion of each transaction to the Windermere Foundation in support of thousands of programs benefiting homeless and low-income children and families. www.windermere.com.