County supports YMCA

Darrell Cole
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$35,000 grant rounds contribution to $60,000

AMHERST - Things are definitely looking up for the Cumberland YMCA.

The Municipality of Cumberland added its voice to those supporting the beleagured organization by committing $35,000 during its October meeting here Wednesday. This money is on top of the $25,000 it provided the organization in July to help it meet payroll obligations.

"I think most councillors realize that the YMCA is not just a local thing anymore," Warden Keith Hunter said following council's October session on Wednesday. "It serves the whole county."

The YMCA has done a lot over the last decade to expand its programs outside Amherst to the county including a satellite child care program in River Hebert and various other health and fitness programs in Parrsboro and Advocate.

"That goes to tell you the YMCA is more countywide and that's why council voted unanimously to support this important organization," the warden said.

YMCA board chair Robert Nixon is thrilled with the county's decision to support the organization, adding that contribution guarantees the facility will not only remain open but will also finish the fiscal year in a positive cash flow situation.

"It gives us a big boost," Nixon said. "We left last month's meeting feeling confident and they've come through in flying colours. We appreciate the decision being unanimous."

The YMCA has already received a total of $112,000 from Amherst and recently received a $20,000 commitment from the Amherst Y's Men. It's also hoping from similar $20,000 pledges from both the Amherst Lions Club and the Amherst Rotary Club.

YMCA officials began taking drastic measures earlier this year to deal with a $200,000 deficit that threatened the organization's survival. The situation came to a head last October when the YMCA had difficulties meeting its payroll.

At the same time as it works to bring down its debt, the YMCA board is also about to begin an ambitious capital program valued at $500,000 in necessary repairs and upgrades including a new roof, gym floor and air-handling unit.

Organizations: YMCA, YMCA board, Amherst Lions Club Amherst Rotary Club

Geographic location: AMHERST, River Hebert, Parrsboro

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