Local News

Ottawa YMCA seeks $1 million in community donations starting Nov. 1

‘Opportunity now for everyone to get involved’

The Ottawa YMCA is down to needing its last $1 million dollars for the capital campaign to build the new riverfront YMCA at the former location of Central School.

YMCA Executive Director Joe Capece said the community campaign for that final million will begin Monday, Nov. 1.

“This is an opportunity now for everyone to get involved regardless of your capacity to give,” Capece said. “We all have a capacity to give, which I understand that, but the point here is we all have to support this. It’s a huge project for this community that will transform the riverfront and we all need to be supporters, so we’ll be asking the community now for support.”

Most of the $24 million needed for the project has already been raised elsewhere, such as through a grant from OSF HealthCare and from new market tax credits that the project qualified for, to large donations the Kiest family, the O’Brien family and Sharon Eschbach Coleman.

Capece said the last $1 million is the most difficult to obtain but there’s now an end in sight and the people working on the project know how they’re going to get there.

There will be no interruption in service while the new construction is going on: The second the old YMCA is closed, the new one will be open, and Capece said construction should take about 16 months and will start in the spring.

The new riverfront building will feature a world-class competition pool, spaces for group classes, a community kitchen for healthy eating, a children’s adventure center, family locker rooms, an elevated indoor track, and a multi-use gymnasium among many other things.

To become a supporter, call Capece at 815-433-2395 or go to https://www.ottawaymca.org/support-the-y/ymca-capital-campaign for more information.