|Approximately 75 volunteer leaders and supporters gathered on Wednesday at the Soangetaha Country Club to celebrate progress on the $2.1 million capital campaign for the Knox County YMCA. Those gathered learned of the work underway by a small group of six volunteers. These volunteers paused in their work to celebrate progress and announce leaders for the next phase of the campaign. Leaders gave a progress report announcing commitments from 51 individuals, foundations or businesses totaling $1,219,850.
"I am delighted with our progress to date and the committed supporters in our community who have made this possible," said YMCA Board President Julie King. "It's a testament to the entire YMCA program and our dedicated team of volunteers and staff."
King pointed to the hard work and dedication already exhibited by those who have committed to the campaign. Campaign Cabinet includes Rick Danielson, Mark Kleine, John Polillo, Carol Kirkenmeier, Doug Sanders, and Guy Vitale.
In announcing the progress on the YMCA Campaign, Guy Vitale introduced representatives of the Galesburg Community Foundation and a new commitment of $250,000 over five years. This gift represents the largest commitment ever from the Foundation founded just five years ago. The emphasis on Foundation giving is to help the entire community focus on our common goal of becoming a healthy, thriving community.
"We're happy to be a part of this exciting community project," said Tom Maloney, Foundation Board President. "This gift places our total giving to the community at more than $1 million dollars since our inception. This project fits well with our focus on creating a healthy community and in encouraging a spirit of philanthropy in the Galesburg area. We hope that our participation inspires others to join in and help make this project successful."
The capital campaign is designed to create a new Soccer/Outdoor Sports Complex and an expansion to the YMCA building at its current location on West Carl Sandburg Drive. The soccer complex is designed with three fields including a lighted and irrigated field that will also be home for the Carl Sandburg College men's and women's teams as well as the teams from Galesburg High School. The expansion will add a new Youth & Family Multi-Purpose Gym to the YMCA and will expand the YMCA's popular Wellness Center, just opened in 2005.
"We're excited about the impact we can have on the community through these projects," said YMCA Executive Director Linus VanderWyst. "The wonderful collaboration with the soccer complex allows us to have a high quality facility in the area that will attract thousands of participants from our community and throughout the region. The expansion of the YMCA facilities will help the YMCA meet the needs of our entire community, addressing the health and wellness needs of kids, adults, seniors and families."
The campaign volunteer base will be expanded to include an additional eighteen volunteers. Their training started on Tuesday. This group, led by co-chairs Doug Mustain and Dale Teel will join the existing campaign volunteers to expand the efforts to seek support and eventually to meet the goals that have been established. Other Pace Setting volunteers include John Boydstun, M.D., Marv Dahlberg, Gene Denisar, Denise Foote, Carl Hawkinson, Eileen Inness, Mark & Deb Katchen, M.D., Ron Koehler, Bob Maus, Jim Purlee, Tom Schmidt, Peter Schwab, M.D., Jeanne Watters, Rick Welty, and Tom Whittle, M.D.
More than fifty donors have provided commitments that total over $1.2 million. The initial efforts have focused on the top potential donors to the campaign. Dozens of other gifts are currently under consideration and YMCA leaders hope that the announcement of the current status will spur many more to join in the campaign. The expanded cadre of volunteers will allow volunteers to contact even more donors over the next several months.
Eventually, YMCA volunteers hope to challenge the entire community to support this effort. Campaign work is expected to be completed by late-spring of 2010. Groundbreaking is planned for the spring, with construction taking approximately nine to twelve months.
(Submitted by Knox County YMCA)