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Iraq, Afghanistan Vets, Families Being Offered Free Montebello-Commerce ‘Y’-Membership

The Montebello-Commerce YMCA and Vons are partnering an initiative to help returning veterans and their families.

The Veterans Enrichment Initiative, made possible by a $25,000 grant from The Vons Foundation, aims to empower and improve the lives of recent returning war veterans and the communities to which they return.

“Thanks to the support from Vons, up to 200 veterans and their families will be provided with a free Y membership at our branch,” said Montebello-Commerce YMCA Executive Director Mike Newton in a written statement. “We want to ensure that these special individuals and their families receive full member benefits, including use of all branch facilities, and free participation in dozens of member classes and engagement opportunities.”

The program’s main goal is to move veterans toward employment. The initiative will include a job-training component and the Y is working on creating opportunities that will be offered exclusively to veterans, such as a YMCA Veterans job fair and mental health resources.

“The Y will be inviting veterans to participate in onsite training to gain skills applicable to careers at the Y, Vons and other for-profit organizations,” said Carlos Illingworth, Vons Director of Public Affairs and Chair of The Vons Foundation.

Vons hired over 1,300 veterans in 2012 and has pledged to hire another 1,100 this year, Illingworth added.

For more information or to sign up for the initiative, contact Stephanie Marron, Membership Director at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA at (323) 887-9622, or email her at StephanieMarron@ymcala.org.

The previous version of this story had a typo in the amount of the grant provided by The Vons Foundation for the Veterans Enrichment Initiative.