Posted on

When the Y asks for more money, people often react in three ways

The volunteer directors of the YMCA of Harrison County surprised many people — including themselves — with their fund-raising efforts during last summer’s “Founders Campaign.”
During the 11-week campaign, the group surpassed its goal of $300,000 in pledges.
“The Founders Campaign allowed us to officially found the YMCA of Harrison County,” said Catherine Turcotte, who spearheaded the group as its first president and is now director.
“It gave us the recommended amount of operating capital to start programs and sustain operations while we are fund-raising for and building the building.”
Now, in the midst of their Capital Campaign, the YMCA board members are realizing that some people don’t understand why they are asking for more money.
“There are three reactions to our asking for money for the YMCA again,” Turcotte said. “Some people expect it. They knew we would be back for more.
“Then, some people are happy to give this time because they didn’t give last year, thinking it (obtaining a YMCA charter) wasn’t really possible,” she said. “Their reaction is, ‘Now I believe it, and I want to get on board.’ ”
The third reaction is: “I thought the Founders’ Campaign did it all.”
Turcotte said. “I wish it were so. But we are building a facility that will cost about $5.5 million, and last summer we only raised $300,000.
“The YMCA national does not fund new buildings, nor do we have to give them part of our donated dollars,” she said. “The YMCA of Harrison County is an independent Y, which is a non-profit corporation that is locally owned and operated.”
Last month, the local Y directors kicked off the “Million Dollar Summer” campaign, and have raised about $100,000.
“That means we have $900,000 to go, in three-year pledges,” Turcotte said.
Jerry Reinhardt, president of the YMCA of Harrison County board, urges everyone to get involved in the Capital Campaign.
“We now must look to the residents of this area to help us realize our dream of a state-of-the-art facility for all to enjoy as soon as possible,” he said.
“In our Founders Campaign, over 1,000 families, churches and businesses contributed,” Reinhardt continued. “In the Capital Campaign that is now in progress, we need all of those people and many more to give us a helping hand.”
In the midst of fund-raising, the Y has started about a dozen programs, offering them at various locations throughout the county.
Turcotte said Y leaders hope to break ground this fall on the facility, to be built on 15 acres in north Corydon. The land was donated by Dennis and Kathy Jenkins and family.
The facility will include an Olympic-size competition swimming pool that will be available for high school swim teams to use; a heated therapy pool with separate locker rooms from the women’s and men’s locker rooms; two basketball courts that can double as volleyball courts; a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; walking/running track; classrooms, and a babysitting area.
“The success of this YMCA is up to us, all of us in the community who are helping to build it with our donations,” Turcotte said.