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Santa helps out YMCA; you can, too

Santa made an early appearance in Corydon recently, bringing with him an early Christmas present for the YMCA and, ultimately, all the residents of Harrison County.
The $100,000 donation from the jolly man and his wife, also known as William and Gayle Cook, was a much-needed boost in the building campaign for the $6.1 million facility springing up in northeast Corydon.
The Bloomington couple’s gift has generated some additional donations to the fund-raising efforts. But, like shedding those last few unwanted pounds gained during the holidays, bringing in those last needed dollars has gotten tough.
After subtracting the Cooks’ generous gift, which they made on Nov. 22 during a private fund-raiser for the Y at Bud and Betty Bennett’s Cedar Glade home in Corydon, a balance of about $300,000 is still needed to pay for the 44,000-square-foot facility that will have a fitness center, two gymnasiums, locker rooms, classrooms, two indoor pools and a walking track. And, now that the Y and Keller Manufacturing have reached an agreement on the Keller Sports Park, an additional $500,000 is needed to purchase the 44-acre site where the work on eight soccer fields and six baseball diamonds is nearing completion.
Bill Cook, one of the wealthiest men in America and a major financial backer of huge restoration projects in Indiana, gave to Harrison County’s Y efforts, not because he could afford to, but because he has first-hand experience of what the Christian-based organization is all about.
The 72-year-old told the other guests at last month’s fund-raiser how his competitive fire was sparked as a youth when he played team sports at a YMCA. Years later, a Y provided him a place to go for therapy after he suffered a heart attack and had by-pass surgery.
After expressing his enthusiasm for Harrison County’s fund-raising efforts, Cook challenged others to give a similar gift to the Y’s fund-raising efforts.
While you may not be able to match Cook’s gift, it’s not too late for you to play the role of Santa and bestow a much-needed present to the YMCA of Harrison County. What you give now will help complete a wonderful recreational facility for you and your family to use. YMCAs have been around for 150 years, so you’re giving to an organization that has served, and will continue to serve, people for a long time.
The Harrison County Y has promised to teach every third grader in the county how to swim. That’s a valuable lesson that could possibly save a life someday.
Your gift is also tax deductible, which could come in handy at this time of year, providing you with a gift for your generosity.