Three years ago, Chad Zaucha came to the Kosciusko Community YMCA looking for an opportunity for growth and to impact more lives as the executive director of the organization. He had made the move from a smaller YMCA branch in Brazil, Ind.
Now in midst of leading a very successful capital campaign to build a new Y facility, Zaucha says the choice was a good one, and Warsaw has become a great place to raise his family.
“We enjoy the Warsaw environment and how the community takes pride in itself and wants to make itself better,” said Zaucha. “It has a bigger city feel, but in a small package.”
With 8,300 members, the Kosciusko Community YMCA serves 26 percent of the county’s population. Due to crowded programs, insufficient space for members, and an aging Warsaw facility, the Y secured 36 acres of property on US 30 and Mariner Drive in 2012, and began to embark on a major capital effort to build a new Y facility.
With $1.2 million left to raise, the capital campaign is in its final stage. Zaucha says the hope is to break ground on the facility this year, and open the new Y in late Fall 2014.
“It’ll be a better environment and we’ll be able to provide additional services,” said Zaucha. “We hope to serve 12-13,000 members at the new facility.”
Although a lot of his concentration is currently aimed at fund raising, that is not Zaucha’s only responsibility at the Y. He is charged with developing and leading a board and staff of over 160 employees both full time, part time and seasonal. He also makes sure the Y is addressing each unique community need.
A program he is especially proud of is the K21-funded Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increase physical activity and lose a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. The program reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With the recent announcement of a partnership with Parkview Health, Zaucha says there will be more opportunity for health related programs in the new building. He hopes to especially focus on the senior population and their unique needs.
“We want to be proactive with our programming,” said Zaucha. “Our goal has always been to work with partners within the community to meet the community’s need.”
In fact, mentioned Zaucha, if the current Y building does not sell, there are plans to donate it to some non-profit within the community.
When not at the Y, Zaucha enjoys time spent with his family: wife Ashlee and children Reece, 6, and Brecke, 5. He is also a member of the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club and the Rotary Club.