Youth recreation and sports activities are the latest focus of the Bexley Community Foundation.

Youth recreation and sports activities are the latest focus of the Bexley Community Foundation.

The Bexley Youth and Recreation Fund is the Foundations' latest fund, aimed at helping community groups provide more opportunities for the city's youngest residents.

The kickoff to the new fund was held in May at Jeffrey Mansion.

Organizers wanted the "Meet Me at the Mansion" event to generate excitement for the new fund. They plan to make it an annual program aimed at community members age 30 to 50.

"We were looking to involve younger people and this was a great way to do it," said Susan Quintenz, chairwoman of the foundation's board of directors. "That age group is the one with children involved in youth sports and recreation and many of them were also participants in some of those programs growing up."

More than 150 people came to the Meet Me at the Mansion event, said event co-chairwoman Kate Giller.

Giller, a lifelong Bexley resident, said she got involved because "recreation opportunities are vital to a community."

"Every volunteer we asked to help with the event gladly accepted. That's a sign of a community of people willing to pitch in and better their community together," Giller said.

In order to start a new fund through the Columbus Foundation, who manages the donations received by the Bexley Community Foundation, organizers needed to raise at least $10,000.

The support was overwhelming, Quintenz said.

"Through the generosity of our residents and their understanding of the importance of sports and recreation activities in our community, we have been able to raise that initial money and then some," Quintenz said.

To date the fund has garnered more than $18,000 in support from community members, Giller said. She hopes to see it reach $25,000 by the end of the year.

For more information on the fund, or to donate, visit bexleycommuntiyfoundation.org.