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Staff Spotlight: Mick Blume

Mick Blume sitting near the fireplace in the Y's lobby.

Age: 32
Resides: Keene, NH
Likes: Baseball, his family, video games, hiking, and the Y!

The Keene Family YMCA would be nothing without the generosity of our supporters and donors. Our mission is to be a place that this community to rely on, and our success is thanks to the donations we receive.

Mick Blume, Director of Development and Community Impact, for the last year has been the guy who handles all our fundraising and community impact events here at the Y.

Mick organizes all the donations and campaigns, specifically our events that work to educate, celebrate, or bring awareness to a cause or challenge our community is facing.

Although it’s a part of his job description, Mick is very excited about Sneakerball, the Y’s signature fundraising event.

“We brought it back for the first time in its original form since COVD [at the beginning of 2023],” he said.

Sneakerball is the Y’s annual fundraiser, a night of cocktails, food, and dancing while attendees show off their coolest sneakers and raise money for the Y through auctions and entertainment. The 2023 theme was A Night of Medieval Foolery because it was on April 1st. The 2024 Sneakerball is 1920’s themed, but as it is called “Sneakerball,” the dress code always comes with a twist.

“Obviously when you dress up for a gala you wear dress shoes or heels but having it in the gym you don’t want people to scuff up the floor,” he said. “It’s a lot of dancing… so sneakers is the way to do it.

The culture of philanthropy at the Y is something we are actively developing and it’s what brings the community together.

“Yeah, fundraising is important, but the culture behind it is getting to know our donors, understanding what they’re needs are and what they’re interested it, what we can do to help them achieve their goals not only financially with [their donations], but where we are able to achieve some health and life goals of their own,” he said.

Before joining the staff at the Y, Mick worked in Boston at for the Red Sox Foundation for 10 seasons, traveling all over New England overseeing their youth baseball and softball programming and development of those programs. Baseball holds a special place with Mick, and he said that sports have an important culture that kids everywhere can benefit from.

“I think sports offer a unique learning opportunity for life skills and teamwork, respect, leadership, all of that,” he said.

He’s worked with different Ys throughout New England through the Red Sox Foundation, but since coming to the Keene Family YMCA, Mick’s gained a different perspective.

“I realized the scope of everything, but here, I feel that we do so much more than so many of our counterpart Ys in the region,” he said. “There’s just so much that we offer, and of course, being able to have this state-of-the-art, amazing, facility is very unique and an amazing opportunity.”

Mick grew up as a Y kid, but he only knew the Y as the place he would go to for basketball and day camp. Joining the Y staff changed his perspective on how the Y functions, especially in our Y so rooted in the community.

“It doesn’t matter what level of support [donors, organizations, sponsors, or businesses] provide. We’re all in this community together, so having their support around our organization not only means they send their people to us, but we can send our members to them,” he said. “We’re not the experts in everything… but we have the connections and the ability to send members out to help reach their goals no matter what it is.”

There are a lot of common misconceptions about nonprofit organizations, but Mick wants the community to know that their donations are going where they want to them to.

“The support that our donors and supporters provide goes right back into our community. There’s a lot of nonprofits out there that are doing amazing work, and it’s even easier nowadays to donate to a national nonprofit that works through all of the United States, or even further across the globe,” he said. “But the money that’s donated here stays in this community and supports the families, everyone, in our community directly.”

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