YMCA is nearing goal, but more is still needed

Friday, June 29, 2007

SIKESTON - Five years of planning and a year of fundraising have brought the Sikeston Area YMCA near their goal but a last boost is still needed to bring in additional matching grant money.

The details of the campaign and the approaching deadline to obtain matching funds were presented to members of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce during the monthly meeting Thursday.

The proposed renovated and expanded 50,000-square-foot facility will include a youth and family gym, indoor walking track, expanded teen center, new gymnasium, youth fitness center, indoor pool, expanded nursery, aerobics studio, computer and game room, additional program/classroom space and a lobby.

"If we can raise $5.1 million we are going to have a $6.5 million YMCA," said Jim Hux, co-chairman of the YMCA's Capital Campaign.

According to Hux, since beginning the fundraising, corporations, businesses, civic groups and individuals have pledged and donated $4.3 million to the capital campaign. If an additional $800,000 is pledged in the next three months, a $900,000 challenge grant will be awarded from the Mabee Foundation and locally an additional $500,000 will be given as a grant, he explained.

"I'm here to tell you I'm confident with community support we can make it," said Hux about the meeting the goal.

Deke Lape, YMCA board president, said the present facility offers programs for all ages, however there is not enough room for current programing.

YMCA Director Jeff Partridge pointed out that surveys conducted prior to beginning their capital campaign showed that the expanded facilities would enable the YMCA to triple its membership and double its programming.

When completed, the YMCA would be "much safer, family friendly and offer more programs for the people in the community," he pledged.

A communitywide outreach for the final funds is scheduled to begin soon. Those wanting to make a donation to the Capital Campaign can contact Patridge at the YMCA or any member of the board.

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