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YMCA delays groundbreaking

The Alexandria Area YMCA board of directors has decided to delay groundbreaking on their proposed 56,000 square foot facility until the "Com-plete the Dream" campaign goal of $8,885,000 has been met.

To date, $6,994,864 has been pledged to help build the proposed facility.

"Although difficult to accept, it was not a difficult decision to make" said YMCA board chair, Eric Rice. "We cannot afford to tie the hands of future boards and financially strap this organization by making poor financial deci-sions."

Rice added that the board is confident that the YMCA can raise the balance of the dollars from the community but it may not be in time to break ground in 2008.

"We need too have the campaign goal reached in pledge form prior to making the commitment to break-ground," Rice said.

The YMCA had hoped to raise the $8,885,000 in pledge form by early October and break-ground the same month.

"We developed a very aggressive timeline to build facilities and raise the necessary dollars," said YMCA Executive Director, Jeff Bar-tholomew. Although we are pleased to have raised nearly $7,000,000, we still have some work to do."

Batholomew added that YMCA leaders are confident that the concepts included in the project are all essential and they do not want to build lesser of a facility than planned.

"We feel that would be a tremendous mistake and not received well by the community and our donors," he said.

The good news, according to David Kjos, YMCA campaign co-chair, is that the YMCA has raised nearly $6,994,864 from 273 donors. The bad news, he added, is that it has raised nearly $6,994,864 from 273 donors.

"Based on these statistics, we are confident that there is capacity in our community to raise the necessary dollars to Complete the Dream," Kjos said. "If you have been asked to make a gift, please do so. If you haven't, don't wait to be contacted, pick up the phone and call the YMCA office. It is time that the entire com-munity, pledge a gift to the campaign, big or small."

The incentive to contribute could not be better, YMCA leaders noted.

Thanks to a pair of matching challenge gifts ($500,000 from an anonymous donor and $600,000 from Bud Peterson), all gifts pledged to the campaign are tripled in value.

"The time is now to make your gift to the campaign, said YMCA Co-Chair Larry Ortloff. "Perhaps, this is the incentive potential donors need! There truly is not a better time to consider a gift and positively affect the capital campaign."

"The strong Christian heritage of the YMCA will help build strong kids, strong families and a stronger com-munity," said YMCA Campaign Co-Chair, Vern Anderson. "The YMCA will have a considerable on the quality of life for our kids, adults, seniors and families. Please help us Complete the Dream."

Plans for the new YMCA, to be located on County Road 82 west of Alexandria, include a child care center, gymnasium, aquatic center, health and wellness center, walking/jogging track, aerobic studio, men's and women's locker rooms, special needs locker rooms, nursery, social lounge, outdoor field space and more.