“You’re all here representing your community and that’s really what the YMCA is all about,” said Chad Zaucha, CEO of Kosciusko Community YMCA, in welcoming the public to the kick off of the “Shaping the Future” community campaign.
Having served the community for more than 50 years, the Y is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $13 million for a new facility. Thursday night’s kick off of the final phase of the fundraising campaign welcomed members of the public as well as representatives of corporate sponsors that have already accounted for $12 million raised for the new facility, to be located along Mariner Drive and U.S. 30.
Among the top donors were the K21 Health Foundation, Dekko Foundation, Biomet, DePuy and the Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller Foundation.
Speaking on behalf of K21 Health Foundation was president Rich Haddad who told the crowd, “This is a great day for our community … K21’s mission focuses on three primary things. One is that health services are available to people in our county and that we are advancing prevention and health lifestyles.”
The K21 Health Foundation provided $2 million for the new facility which will include
a health and wellness center, lap pool, instructional warm water pool, multi-purpose gathering spaces, a youth and teen center, a double gymnasium and outdoor space for day camp. The size and scope of the new Y facility will ultimately be determined by the generosity of the community in support of this effort.
“One of the reasons why K21 really wanted to get behind this project in a big way is that the YMCA’s influence has such a wide spectrum in two different forms. One is in ages. They are dealing with youth programs all the way to up to senior programs. The other is the variety of programming.” Haddad noted such things as diabetes prevent programs, smoking cessation programs and, of course, fitness training.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also addressed those who gathered for the kick-off noting Warsaw as a whole has been trying to improve “the sense of play and improve livability” and a new Y facility will help accomplish that. “With this new place is the fact that one can come and find a sense of one’s self. ‘Mind, spirit, body,’ you’re all familiar with that,” he said. “What I see coming from this YMCA is the ability to develop a sense of self.”
Thallemer also said Indiana’s overall health ranks among the worst in the nation and with a new facility like the Y, everyone can find something to meet their needs.
Zaucha noted that the Dekko Foundation has recently awarded a $400,000 matching grant toward the project. That means every dollar, up to $400,000, will be matched by the foundation.
Groundbreaking on the new facility is expected to happen in late 2014. A sign marking the future location was unveiled in the closing ceremony of Thursday night’s campaign kick off.