Support your local YMCA

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

The collective &uot;gulp!&uot; you heard around the county recently was in reaction to the news that the Greenville YMCA expansion critically needs $200,000 to bring the old Greenville Academy building up to code.

While some monies may come from grants, the majority of it will come from community support, right here in Butler County.

It may sound impossible, but we know the people of Butler County and we predict that it will get done, and then some.

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There are many positive things going on at the YMCA that makes us know we're right.

First, it's the Y. Everyone in our area is surely now aware of the phenomenal successful of the Greenville YMCA project. When the Y was first brought to the community's forefront, it was deemed a project that couldn't be done.

But the nay sayers were proven wrong now the Y is already bursting at the seams with long waiting lists for several of the Y's programs, including child care, which is a critical need in Greenville.

The Y stands for things almost everyone in our county can affiliate with - sound bodies, sound minds with a focus on building the spiritual aspects of the individual involved in the Y's many programs.

The second plus for the upcoming move from its current facility to the new building is that it's in Butler County. The county's spirit is strong and, importantly, it's an area primed to boom.

As the apparent economic recovery begins to gather steam, it is expected that Butler County's job and population growth should set the pace for the Interstate region between Montgomery and Mobile.

The third thing this project has going for it is that it is a public-private partnership. Instead of sidling up to the government trough for truckloads of cash, the Y folks are looking toward the private sector for financing of this project. Many people will choose not to use the YMCA and shouldn't be soaked for the cost via government spending. But through user fees and capital donations, this facility can be built on the backs of those who choose to support it as opposed to being coerced to do so.

Also, with capital funding coming from local folks, there will be a healthy dose of "buy in" from our friends and neighbors thereby giving true ownership of this Y to this community.

So, we throw our full support behind this expansion plan and ask the community to give what you can to help raise the funds needed to not only bring the building up to code, but to service the entire debt on the facility.

Whether you're a member of the Y or not, please consider what the Y does for this community and how it helps shape the minds of the youth it serves.

We're confident that the community will come together to lend support of all kinds, whether with cash or in-kind work but it will take a healthy dose of giving to get us there.