YMCA to launch $500,000 capital campaign

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Members of the Cumberland YMCA are more committed to keeping the cash-strapped facility open than they've ever been.

AMHERST - Members of the Cumberland YMCA are more committed to keeping the cash-strapped facility open than they've ever been.

More than 100 members crowded into the YMCA gymnasium last night to hear an update on the facility's financial situation and provide input on how the board should proceed in keeping the doors open.

"I am very pleased with how things went tonight and I'm pleased with how enthusiastic and anxious the membership is to helping us find a solution," board chair Robert Nixon said following the meeting. "They want to be active in fixing this and the onus is on the board to put them to work."

Nixon told the members that the YMCA is working with both the town and YMCA Canada on financial plan and strategic plans to keep the organization operating while board member Ron Patterson said the town, the county, the province and the public will be approached about supporting a $500,000 capital campaign to address a number of concerns including a new parking lot, replacing the gym floor and the roof.

Interim CEO Divya Minocha said the strategic plan, which is 75 per cent complete, includes reducing the YMCA's hours of operation by eight hours, recruiting more volunteers and assessing all programs and services.

Longtime member Stephanie Allen said it's vital for the YMCA to remain a part of the community.

"It's very important because it's the glue that holds the community together. This is a prime example of a community coming together and we have to take advantage of that to keep this wonderful facility operating," she said.

Sharon Bristol called on members to go out and recruit new members even if it means sponsoring their membership financially to get them through the door.

"It's critical that this place stay open because it means so much to my children and my family," she said, adding it's up to the membership to take a more active role in the YMCA. "We're a better family because of it."

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: YMCA

Geographic location: AMHERST

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