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It all came together at the Y

Looking back on the effort to create the new $6.5 million YMCA of Harrison County, it all seems so smooth, so effortless. In less than four years, the handsome facility on 15 acres of ground (donated by Dennis and Kathy Jenkins) above Big Indian Creek has been built, and now hundreds if not thousands of people will go there to swim in the big indoor pool, get needed physical therapy in another pool, work out in the fitness center, play basketball or volleyball, walk laps around the indoor track, socialize ‘ just make their lives generally healthier and happier.
Of course, it wasn’t smooth and effortless. It was hard work. There were some setbacks, some hurdles, what seemed like some very high mountains to get over along the way, but it happened, and it happened for many reasons.
First, in our opinion, there was inspired leadership. Anyone involved will tell you that the YMCA wouldn’t have happened were it not for executive director Catherine Turcotte’s diligent, positive, inspired, faith-full leadership. Always tactful and thoughtful, she was simply the right person at the right time. She received two standing ovations at Donor Night Thursday night.
She was assisted by another person who was at the right position at the right time: board president Jerry Reinhardt, the former Lanesville basketball coach, athletic director and counselor.
There were two very active boards of directors, full of capable, far-sighted, community-minded people who didn’t mind rolling up their sleeves and working hard and donating a few thousand dollars of their own money to the effort, too. The boards hired talented people to run the temporary Fitness Center, Summer Day Camps and various programs that make up the lifeblood of the YMCA.
Their work could not have happened without the huge amount of money raised by the campaign cabinet, led by Pam Bennett Martin, and the timely and crucial contributions of the Harrison County Community Foundation ($2.5 million), the Paul Ogle Foundation ($1 million), the Jenkins family (land worth $525,000), Harrison County government ($300,000), First Harrison and Community First banks ($260,000), Bill and Gayle Cook of Bloomington ($100,000), Caesars Indiana ($75,000), Lucas Oil Corp. ($50,000), Tyson Foods ($50,000), Carriage Ford ($40,000), Monroe Shine CPAs ($40,000), and James L. Shireman (the design builder) ($40,000).
The 15-acre YMCA facility has been built next to the Gov. Frank O’Bannon Park, which will include 44 acres of baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields to be ready next year. Together, the entire complex, owned by the YMCA and the Friends of Harrison County Youth, represents a family recreational mecca that will be used for generations. And one of the admirable things is that the YMCA guarantees that anyone who wants to join, regardless of income level, will be able to do that.