IRON MOUNTAIN – The dream for the community is becoming a reality.
The Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center’s Capital Campaign, concluding this month, has recently surpassed its overall goal of $2.4 million, with additional gifts still arriving.
“Simply amazing,” Center Director Jonathan Ringel said. “The response from our community, businesses, neighbors and friends has been overwhelming and humbling. We are forever grateful to all of our donors. We are so pleased to officially announce that we are beyond our goal, and our YMCA will be modernized and on a path for a solid financial future.”
Planning for the Capital Campaign began nearly four years ago. After conducting feasibility and cost studies, YMCA officials and community volunteers conducted a quiet campaign beginning in 2016 that resulted in nearly $1.8 million in donations toward the project. In January of this year, the YMCA campaign went public for the final $650,000 of the overall goal. With help from more than 75 volunteer campaigners, the community has responded with hundreds of individual gifts totaling more than $700,000, pushing the overall total to near $2.5 million as of the end of June.
And while the campaign is winding down, the YMCA is still accepting and receiving additional gifts to push the final tally even higher.
As pledged by the YMCA Board of Directors before the campaign began, the organization will not finance a single dollar toward renovation. The money raised from the community is fully funding the project.
The success of the campaign is going to allow the YMCA to truly transform the building. Along with modernizing and improving the energy efficiencies of the nearly 50-year old Community Center, the project will – at a minimum – involve a complete rebuild of the pool and locker rooms. The fitness Center will also be remodeled and furnished with all new cardio equipment.
“I would imagine we’ll be able to show the community exactly how far this money will go by the fall, and we will begin construction shortly after that,” Ringel said. “As we finalize our plans and assess how to best distribute available funds for the project, we hope to have some additional positive announcements in the coming weeks regarding the future of the Y and this building.”
Since opening as a YMCA in 2010, the organization has been in a lease agreement with Dickinson County for use of the Community Center Building. As part of that agreement, the YMCA has an option to purchase the building in November.
Taking ownership of the building will present the YMCA with additional operating costs, but officials are hopeful that with a renovated building and new pool coming online in the fall of 2019, those costs will be absorbed through increases in both membership and programming enrollment.
“Other than the pool being shut down for a few months in the summer of 2019, we will keep the building open to members,” Ringel said. “We’re hopeful that in a show of support for our future and what is to come, our dedicated members will stay with us throughout the remodel phase.”
For more information, please contact the YMCA at 774-4076 or visit www.WhatsYourY.org.