Top photo: First place winners were the Prattville YMCA Leaders Club.
The YMCA Emerging Leaders Council held its 5th annual Sinkapalooza at the Willis Bradford branch on Saturday. The atmosphere was chaotic but full of fun as those in attendance helped raise funds for the YMCA’s “Train a Kid” program. This year’s event was sponsored by Blue Haven Pools, BWS Technologies, Buffalo Rock and Caldwell and Sons Plumbing.
The Emerging Leaders Council was created to enable Prattville’s next generation of leaders to begin giving back to the community and the YMCA. This is their biggest annual event and every year it gets bigger and better.
The Coach-A-Kid program helps provide scholarships for children and families who may not be able to afford YMCA membership and services, which means children can still participate in sports and other Y activities, regardless of their ability to pay.
According to Keith Cantrell, Assistant General Manager/Development and YMCA Prattville Branch Manager, “Since 2005, over 30,000 children in the community have been helped through this wonderful scholarship program.
Emerging Leaders Council Chairman Kyle Shirley said, “I was blessed to grow up at the YMCA and a big part of who I am is due to the impact of the YMCA. My children are now members of the 4th generation. Not everyone has the ability to get involved in the Y, and I’m honored and grateful to be able to help the community by helping raise funds with emerging leaders for the Train a Kid program. It opens doors for kids to participate in all the activities we offer here at the Y.”
Sinkapalooza asks community members to become “boat captains” and fundraise for about a month before the event date. All captains are tasked with raising funds in order to “sink their ships” which are really just inflatable floating boats. All the captains are in their boats for an hour, and with the money they have collected, people are trying to “sink” them by throwing buckets of ice water, shooting them with water cannons and even by forcing some captains to “walk the plank”. Overall, it’s a fun, family-friendly event that encourages community members of all ages to come out and support the Coach-a-Child program.
There is also a dunk tank, affectionately called the “Flush Tank” sponsored by Caldwell and Sons, where community leaders sit for 20 minutes each to allow citizens to toss balls to flush them into the tank. The member who raises the most funds receives the coveted “Golden Plunger Award”. For $20, you received three chances to knock your target into the tank.
David Lewis, Keith Cantrell, Kyle Shirley, PFD Deputy Chief Josh Bingham, PPD Chief Mark Thompson, Mayor Bill Gillespie and many more participated in the flush. One of the highlights of the event was when Mayor Gillespie bought 15 Flush Tank tickets and handed them out to urge people to hit Police Chief Mark Thompson in the tank…again and again.
This year, the Council of Emerging Leaders elected Kasey Hope to lead the annual event. This is the first year Sinkapalooza has been held on a Saturday. Hope told us that “the goal this year is to raise $20,000 and we’ve got an amazing group of people putting that together, and I just know it’s going to be the best yet.”
She wasn’t wrong, as the unofficial totals reached over $27,000! This is the highest amount raised in Sinkapalooza’s five years, nearly doubling the previous highest amount of $14,000. Shirley told us “With this event, we were able to reach nearly 15% of Coach a Child’s goal this year.”
If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can still donate to your favorite boat captain by going HERE – the website will be open until August 27th.
This year’s group captains were:
Blue Haven, Exit Realty, First United Methodist Church, The Leaders Club, Prattville Police Department, P’Zazz Art Studio, Autauga County Bama Fans, Aronov Realty, WSFA, Prattville High School Junior Class, Prattville High School Senior Class and the Probate Bureau
The individual captains this year were:
Jessica Sedgwick, Steven Evans, Cody Hensley, Cassie Fields, Mark Riddle, Janice Stockman, Ellis Messick, Tara Vest, Shawna Short, Victoria Connell and Susan Carter
Gold Diver Award – Kyle Shirley; $700
Group Captains Division:
3rd place: P’zazz Art Studio; $1600
2nd place: Aronov Realty; $2,400
1st place: Prattville YMCA Leaders Club; $3,000 (their 3rd win in 5 years)
Individual Captains Division:
3rd: Janice Stockman; $1,100
2nd: Jessica Sedgwick; $1,200
1st place: Steven Evans; $1,600