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YMCA makes progress; donations still needed for 'challenge grant' phase

The Alexandria Area YMCA capital campaign recently passed the $8,138,000 mark in pledges and continues to march toward its goal of $8,885,000.

As of July 20, $8,138,026 has been pledged from 793 donors.

The YMCA presently has a $245,000 "challenge grant" available to new donors. All gifts will be matched dollar for dollar for all gifts given to the campaign.

So far, more than $84,000 has been raised from the challenge grant and the YMCA continues to focus on raising the remaining dollars necessary to reach its campaign goal.

"With the challenge dollars still available, now is the time to give and have your gift doubled," said Jeff Bartholomew, executive director of the YMCA.

YMCA leaders and volunteers are urging individuals, families, businesses and organizations who have not been involved to date to get involved in the campaign. They encourage residents to consider a number of giving scenarios:

•Pledging $8.33 per month for five years equals a $500 pledge. Donations via bank debit can be set up on the YMCA website.

•Pledging $16.66 per month for five years equates to $1,000 and would earn donors a place on the "donor wall" to be displayed at the new YMCA.

•"Progressive" pledges, small amounts for the first year, increasing over time, are another option for donors.

•Small one-time gifts or pledges are also welcome.

If 500 people would pledge $1,000 over five years - a cost of $16.67 per month - the YMCA would be at or near its total campaign goal, Bartholomew noted.

To give to the Alexandria YMCA, call (320) 763-9621 or visit the website,

The YMCA began construction on the new YMCA facility on April 14 and anticipates opening the facility around June 1 of 2010.