K21 Health Foundation provided a gift of $20,000 to Baker Youth Club as a way of continuing the foundation’s 20th year celebration, honoring its many years of serving the community.

Since BYC first opened its doors in 1926, it has provided a place for recreation, fellowship and friendship for youth in Kosciusko County, according to a news release from K21. Throughout the years, the staff has created, expanded and tailored programs and services to help children and young people navigate the challenges they face.

In 2007, BYC moved from the Pete Thorn Center to a new building on Market Street. This facility was funded by many in the community, including $200,000 from K21. When the YMCA moved from its Smith Street location in 2015, the BYC Board of Directors decided to purchase and renovate that building, which significantly increased program and activity space. K21 stepped up again by providing a $400,000 bridge loan so renovations could occur prior to moving and selling the Market Street facility.

To reach kids outside of the Warsaw area, BYC also hosts satellite locations at Claypool, Leesburg, Milford, North Webster and Syracuse elementary schools and Wawasee Middle School.

“When people in our community think about organizations that have served us for many generations, BYC comes to the top of the list,” said K21 President and CEO Rich Haddad. “Their programs and offerings have evolved over recent years to be more intentional in impacting the kids both educationally and in understanding and embracing a healthy lifestyle. We have been impressed by how much BYC’s impact on our kids has grown over the last 10 years.”

K21 has been a consistent supporter of BYC’s summer program, which focuses on fitness, nutrition and other health-related topics for the kids. Additionally, a recent K21 grant of $50,000 will allow BYC to blend technology and physical fitness with the purchase and installation of an Exergame room.

“Exergames are basically video games that require kids to be actively involved in the gaming process,” said BYC Executive Director Tracy Furnivall. “For example, one of the new additions will require the player to continuously ride a recumbent bike in order to keep the game moving forward. We can’t wait to see how the Exergame room helps improve our kids’ physical fitness.”

For more information about the K21 Health Foundation, call 574-269-5188 or visit www.k21foundation.org.