YMCA expansion plans presented

Friday, May 26, 2006

SIKESTON - The Sikeston YMCA is gearing up for its building campaign by first building support.

Addressing the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce membership during their May monthly meeting at noon Thursday, Jeff Partridge, executive director of the YMCA, vowed a new, expanded YMCA was "going to happen." Early this summer, he continued, the YMCA would announce its campaign funding goals.

"But we need more volunteers. We need more contributors and we need you to spread the word," he told the Chamber members. "This is truly something that can have an impact on this community for years to come."

Partridge provided background on the process leading up to the capital improvement plan. He explained efforts were made to determine community needs and working with the national YMCA organization, a facility was designed to best meet these needs.

The design, which can be constructed in two phases, calls for an expanded youth center which will include a computer lab and a rock-climbing wall. There will be an area for aerobics, expanded fitness center along with an indoor walking/jogging track.

An indoor pool would provide water-park facilities along with the opportunity to offer swimming lessons year-round, water exercise on-site and swimming. Partridge said the nursery area would be expanded and several multi-purpose rooms and transition areas are part of the planned expansion.

According to marketing surveys support for such facilities are overwhelming. Partridge said it is estimated the expansion would triple membership and double program participation.

Already there has been "behind-the-scenes" fund-raising, Partridge said. "It has been amazingly successful up to this point," he said about the fund-

raising. "The momentum has been set to this point and I think it will carry through to the end. This is going to happen."

In other business during the Chamber meeting, SACC President Karen Henzi announced several upcoming events.

* A special Memorial Day program is planned for 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Park. Major Gen. James S. Livingston, a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, will be the guest speaker.

* May 30 is the kick off for the Sikeston Bulls Baseball team. The team will be playing at VFW Stadium in Sikeston.

* On June 2 the Sikeston Jaycees and Health Facilities Rehab will host Professional Bull Riding at the Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo Grounds. Also set for June 2 is the Ed Nunnelee Memorial Tennis Tournament.

* June 6-10 will be Springfest, sponsored by the SACC. Wristband nights will be Tuesday and Thursday with wristbands available at the Chamber office.

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