Posted on

YMCA campaign exceeds $300,000; more coming

With only a few hours remaining in the major fund-raising campaign for the YMCA of Harrison County, Catherine Turcotte was optimistic about the group reaching its $300,000 goal.
“We have more than 1,000 donors who have given over $276,000,” she said yesterday afternoon, the last day of the official 11-week “Founders Campaign.” “There are still some businesses who anticipate making a sizable donation.”
Then, less than two hours later, word was received that the Metro United Way agreed to donate $30,000.
“Metro United Way volunteers have discussed the (YMCA) campaign for several months,” said John Evans, a Corydon attorney who serves on the YMCA of Harrison County Board of Directors.
Traditionally, YMCAs are United Way agencies, but the Harrison County facility is not far enough along to apply as an agency.
“United Way had a very successful year last year with its campaign,” Evans said, “so it was able to make this one-time contribution. It is not cutting into other United Way agency funds.”
Evans said the YMCA of Harrison County will not duplicate services already provided by Metro United Way agencies that serve residents here.
And the YMCA of Harrison County, formed earlier this year, is still waiting to hear if the Harrison County Council will donate $75,000.
The Y initially asked the county commissioners for $100,000 but later reduced the request to $30,000. The commissioners voted to ask the council to donate $75,000 from the riverboat funds to the YMCA fund drive. The council is expected to reach a decision at its Aug. 13 meeting.
Turcotte said the council members asked “many excellent questions” when they heard the Y’s request July 23. “They were kind and interested. I don’t know how they will vote on our request for support.”
The Founders Campaign is a national YMCA office requirement. Normally, it takes a year to raise between $250,000 and $300,000. The Harrison County group challenged itself to raise the money in only 11 weeks.
Up to $300,000 will be matched by the Harrison County Community Foundation.
“At this point, I’ve almost forgotten the tired, overwhelming feeling from the middle of the campaign when there was too much to do and too little time to do it,” Turcotte said. “What I remember is the enthusiasm, the anticipation, the coming together of so many people. Izx remember the donors who told their stories about what the YMCA has meant in their lives, and others who dreamed of what it would mean in theirs … ”
Now that the fund-raising campaign is over, the YMCA of Harrison County will focus on finalizing plans for the facility.
At its next meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Lanesville Heritage Community Building, the group is expected to finalize the building plans. They will also hear ideas about racquetball courts, discuss program ideas and consider land donations.
The group is still accepting land donation offers.
“The YMCA of Harrison County is firmly founded because so many people — people who have lived here forever as well as newcomers — came together this summer with hard work, desire, generosity, caring and encouragement,” Turcotte said.