Dickinson Capital Campaign Kicks Off


Northern Lights YMCA Center Director addresses Capital Campaign volunteers at Thursday’s kickoff event at Pine Grove Country Club. The YMCA Capital Campaign runs through June, as officials try to raise the final $650,000 of a $2.4 million overall goal.

The Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center kicked off a Capital Campaign Thursday, January 25 at Pine Grove Country Club., announcing a public goal of $650,000.

The Y has already raised $1.8 million toward a $2.4 million goal that will allow for a complete renovation of the YMCA pool, locker rooms and other renovations and upgrades to the Crystal Lake Community Center building.

“We couldn’t be more excited to officially kick off the public portion of our campaign,” Center Director Jonathan Ringel said. “We’ve worked really hard over the past two years to get to this point. Our volunteers are excited to ask for the community’s help to complete our goal.”
The campaign theme is: What’s Your Y?

“The Y means so many things for so many people in our community,” Ringel said. “And our future Y is going to depend on what the community wants to support. We will not borrow any money to fund our project. What’s Your Y allows us to tell our story. It allows other to share their stories and it will determine what our future becomes.”

The first $1.8 million of the $2.4 million dollar goal was raised over the past two years through private donors and corporations. The Y and volunteer campaigners will attempt to raise the final $650,000 now through June.

Since opening in 2010, the YMCA has housed itself in the Crystal Lake Community Center building through a lease agreement with Dickinson County. In November, the YMCA will purchase the building from the county for $1.

“This building and the pool are nearly 50 years old,” Ringel noted. “We have immediate needs to repair and modernize this facility so that it can serve the community for the next generation.”

The YMCA pool, the only full-size community pool in the county, has experienced a rash of closures in recent months as the aging infrastructure continues to fail. With funds from the Capital Campaign, the entire pool and mechanical systems will be replaced.

Other improvements to the building will include complete remodel of the locker rooms and showers; all new doors, windows throughout the facility and updated HVAC systems. The Y also plans to purchase all new fitness equipment.

The Community Center Building was originally built in the early 1970s with the aid of a state grant. The pool was funded with a public fundraising campaign.

“Our community understands the value of this facility,” Ringel said. “They came together once before to get it built, and I’m confident they will rally again to help us continue to serve the next generation.”

Since opening as a YMCA, the Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center has experienced tremendous growth in programming and membership. From an initial membership of around 100 people, the facility boasts a growing membership base of more than 2,500 people, accounting for nearly 8,000 visits each month. More than 50 youth, aquatics, fitness and special event programming opportunities are available each session to members and non-members alike. The Y annually provides more than $100,000 in membership and programming assistance to the greater Dickinson County community.

To donate to the Capital Campaign, call (906) 774-4076 or visit www.whatsyoury.org.