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February 15th, 2011

YMCA and Cook Group Incorporated Announce Major Lead Gift Challenge to Community for YMCA Expansion

Bloomington, Ind. – As part of its continuing effort to provide cardiovascular health, family fitness education and leadership opportunities to residents of Monroe County, the Monroe County YMCA announced today the start of the “Strong Past, Bright Future” fundraising campaign to support plans to build a second facility to serve the rapidly growing northwest side of Monroe County and the renovation of the current facility.

To kick off the YMCA “Strong Past, Bright Future” campaign, the Monroe County YMCA has received a generous matching gift of $5 million from Cook Group, on behalf of Cook employees. The gift is meant to encourage the community to participate in the project by providing a dollar match for every dollar donated up to $5 million. This support will not only provide opportunities for family cardiovascular fitness, but will also feature an attractive and comfortable childcare center with room for up to 300 children. The new location will serve working families on the west side and the areas of the county that the current facility doesn’t reach.

“The YMCA is an important part of the community, encouraging family development, healthy lifestyles and community involvement,” said Kem Hawkins, president of Cook Group Inc. and honorary chair. “We are committed to supporting their expansion efforts. Our community will benefit immensely from a second YMCA.”

The new YMCA will be built on a 79-acre parcel on Innovation Court, just west of Curry Pike. This property, purchased by the organization in December of last year, was chosen after almost four years of searching and is a prime location to extend the Y’s services to residents of northwest Monroe County. The new location will also include a 45-acre tract of scenic woods, leased by the YMCA from Cook Group for $1 annually.

In addition, the campaign will fund a refurbishing of the existing YMCA facility on Bloomington’s southeast side, which has a membership of 10,200 and had more than 40,000 visits in January alone. The scope of the new facility and the renovation will ultimately be driven by feedback from the community, but with support from the current membership and residents of the county, Monroe County will have two thriving YMCA facilities.

“Thank you to Cook Group and the generous community and corporate leaders who recognize the value of supporting this community project,” said Roberta Kelzer, executive director of the Monroe County YMCA. “The support from early contributors has set the stage to make this vision a reality. We look forward to meeting the needs of adults, working families and youth in the area and are excited to foster the health, in every way, of the community.”

To learn more about the YMCA or to make a donation, please contact Erika Albert, development director at 332-5555, ext. 207.

About the Monroe County YMCA
The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment for innovative and effective programs that instill values and build character. It believes that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. With the commitment to a new facility in a growing area, the Y is on its way to strengthening the community through cardiovascular health, family and leadership.