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YMCA supporters expect to reach $300,000 goal

With one week left on its self-imposed deadline to raise $300,000, volunteers of the YMCA of Harrison County remain awed by the support they have received for the project.
“Although I am tired today, my overriding feeling is one of extreme gratitude,” Catherine Turcotte, president of the group, said recently. “I marvel at the Lord we serve and the community He has placed us in. I look at our volunteers and their attitude of service, their faith and their enthusiasm, and I am filled with awe.
“We are drawing to the end, and our cup runneth over,” she said.
It was less than a year ago that a group of county residents organized, first as Harrison County SOS (Sink or Swim), then YMCA of Harrison County, and began working to bring a recreational-wellness facility to the county.
In February, the group decided to pursue a YMCA rather than an independent facility, and it started the required “Founders Campaign” on May 15. While the national YMCA organization gives local groups one year to complete the campaign, the Harrison County people challenged themselves to raise the money in 11 weeks after learning that the small Hoosier Ohio River town of Vevay successfully completed its Founders Campaign in three months.
More than 700 individuals, families and businesses have donated to the local campaign, Turcotte said. One of the most recent donations — $1,000 — came from the Friends of Harrison County, the group that organizes the Little League baseball and softball in Corydon.
“I think it’s great that our groups are working together,” Turcotte said.
The YMCA board has repeatedly emphasized that it does not intend to duplicate services already offered by groups, such as the Friends and the Gerdon Youth Center.
On Saturday, Tyson Foods held a fund-raiser for the Y by selling cases of flavored rotisserie chicken at its Corydon processing plant. Ten percent of the proceeds were given to the Founders Campaign.
“The Tyson chicken sale was amazing!” Turcotte said. “When I arrived at 7:30 a.m. (Saturday), the line was all the way out to the (Grand Trails) RV park. This sale will generate between $2,000 and $4,000 for the YMCA.
“Thank you, Tyson employees!” she said.
With 10 days remaining in the campaign, Turcotte said $236,400 had been pledged. The group is still waiting to see if the Harrison County Council will make a donation. The county commissioners unanimously recommended giving the Y $75,000, but the council has the final authority.
The YMCA group made its initial presentation to the council Monday night, and will make its second appeal on Monday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m.
A site for the facility has not yet been selected, but Turcotte said four donors, each offering about 15 acres, have come forward. A site selection committee has been evaluating the parcels.
Turcotte said they will continue to accept proposed land donations through Aug. 1 and may announce a site location by early September.
The two-story Y will include a pool, atrium, gymnasium, walking/running track, meeting rooms, kitchen and multi-purpose room. Turcotte said a new volunteer is the president of the Kentucky Racquetball Association, who is showing the group how many ways racquetball courts can be used and how profitable they can be.
The Corydon Subway will continue to donate five percent of its sales to the YMCA through the end of the month. Diners must present a green YMCA card, now available at the Harrison County Public Library, the YMCA office at 117 W. Walnut St. in Corydon, and at Subway.
Donations to the Y campaign, which are tax deductible, may be sent to the Harrison County Community Foundation at: P.O. Box 279, Corydon, IN 47112. In the memo line, write “YMCA of Harrison County.” Donations made by 5 p.m. July 31 will be matched by the Foundation.
“What an amazing summer this has been!” Turcotte said. “We live in a place filled with kind, generous people. A year ago, the YMCA was only a vision for a very few people in this county. Now, one year later, thousands of us share the vision. We are so close to the goal, and I believe we will reach it.”