Cumberland YMCA hosting community day

Darrell Cole
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Three-year capital campaign comes to an end

The Cumberland YMCA is throwing a party on Nov. 24 to thank the community for its support of its $3.5-million capital campaign.

AMHERST – Thank you Cumberland County.

The Cumberland YMCA is holding a community day at its Amherst and Oxford centres on Sunday, Nov. 24 to thank county residents for their support of its $3.5-million capital campaign.

“For the past years we’ve been under massive renovations at the YMCA, making everything new and very functional for our members. During that time, we have had a lot of support from many community organizations and individuals, with both moral and financial support,” YMCA board chairman Dale Fawthrop said. “Community Day is a day to thank everyone and recognize all the support we’ve had and all the changes we’ve made.”

Cumberland YMCA Trina Clarke said the centre’s doors will be open to the public from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 24 with a number of free activities including swims and fitness classes, along with children’s activities and tours of the early learning centre.

There will also be an open house in Oxford at the YMCA’s satellite centre on the corner of Main and Water Street with free programming and demonstrations between 1 and 3 p.m.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. in Amherst.

The Cumberland YMCA in the final stages of a three-year capital project that saw a new wellness centre created, the establishment of a new child care centre and, more recently, upgrading mechanical equipment in the pool and replacing the roof.

The project had funding support from both the provincial and federal governments while the $1.3-million community campaign has come to a successful conclusion.

“We have made our goal and this is a celebration of that,” Clarke said. “We couldn’t have gotten to where we are today if we didn’t have that support. We couldn’t have gotten to where we are without our partnerships with the town and the county. They were the catalyst that moved us towards becoming a viable YMCA.”

Fawthrop said the community has given the YMCA a vote of confidence by its participation as members.

“You come in here on a weeknight at 7 p.m. and it’s difficult to find a parking spot,” he said. “There are people here on their own programs, or taking part in programs. I’m just amazed when I come in here and see the people using this facility.”

The YMCA’s membership has grown to more than 1,200 people since its new business plan averted closure several years ago.

“When we put our business plan together we hoped to get 1,000 members. Some of wanted to get to 1,100 but we thought that would be stretching it. It’s amazing to see that we’re over 1,200,” Clarke said. “We didn’t think it was possible for the size of our community.”

Of its memberships, 120 are subsidized through programs such as Strong Kids.

Fawthrop said this support, plus ongoing partnerships with both the Town of Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland, have made the YMCA a Cumberland County success story.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: YMCA, YMCA board, Strong Kids

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Oxford Water Street

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