Marion YMCA’s capital campaign reaches $1.4 million, community phase launched

YMCA OutdoorAt an April 11, 2016 Kick Off for the Community Phase of its $2 million capital campaign, the Marion Family YMCA announced they surpassed 70% of goal prior to the day’s Kick Off event. With pledges turned in at the Kick Off, the YMCA has raised $1,439,000 towards its goal of $2 million.

The Community Phase of the campaign involves nearly 80 volunteers and will run for two weeks.

The YMCA’s capital campaign is raising funds to reduce the current building debt and to help with needed improvements to the facility and grounds. Improvements may include adding an outdoor walking / running track (pictured) available to the entire community. The track will be made of crushed gravel, encircle the sport fields and community garden, and be just over a half mile in length.

“The addition of an outdoor walking track, available to everyone in the community, is rising to the top of our priorities once we reach our campaign goal” said Theresa Lubke, YMCA Executive Director.

In addition to facility improvements, the YMCA plans to use funds currently going towards debt payments to add programs and services that strengthen the Marion area community. A priority for new programming is a Second Grade Learn to Swim Program, whereby Marion City and County school second graders would come to the Y for a swimming lesson as part of their physical education curriculum. The program would start with a pilot classroom and expand over several school years to include all second graders from area school districts who wish to participate

“Learning to swim is not only an important safety skill, but also gives children self-confidence. This can translate to better overall school achievement. We are looking forward to the YMCA meeting their campaign goal and partnering for this exciting new program” said Gary Barber, Marion City School Superintendent.

The Community Phase of the campaign is led by volunteers CJ Assent and Jackie Concepcion.  This phase of the campaign launched on April 11 with a kick off dinner and involves over 80 volunteers. According to Campaign General Co-Chair Larry Babich, CJ Assent and Jackie Concepcion were selected to chair this phase due to their involvement in the YMCA and leadership skills.

“We are extremely fortunate to have these two community minded leaders at the helm of this phase of the campaign,” said Larry Babich. “They both care about our community and are invested in ensuring the YMCA is doing our best to serve Marion families.”

The Marion Family YMCA has remaining capital debt from the 2003-2004 construction of its current facility of $5.7 million. Annual debt costs are $500,000. This is paid from three sources of revenue: 1) approximately $150,000 annually from Alber Funds at the Columbus Foundation; 2) $150,000 annually from the Wopat Family’s YMCA Fund at the Marion Community Foundation; and 3) $200,000 annually from daily operations of the YMCA facility.

“Reducing our debt will reduce the amount of resources we have to use from our daily operation to pay debt. We can use these instead to increase our programs and services to the community,” stated Lubke.

The Marion Family YMCA has been in the Marion area communities for 124 years. Its programs and services focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year, the Marion Family YMCA engages approximately 15,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

For more information on the YMCA, visit; or call 740-725-9622.

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