Donors give Eugene YMCA $ 650,000 for a new facility

The Eugene Family YMCA is closer to its goal for a new facility thanks to recent donations from four different supporters totaling $ 650,000. The YMCA ultimately hopes to raise a total of $ 42 million for the project.

Most of the funding last winter was $ 350,000 from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, a private not-for-profit organization based in Vancouver, Washington. The organization supports community-oriented organizations “at every level of their development,” according to the YMCA press release.

“Last year’s events have only served to further highlight and crystallize the importance of community organizations that support and assist children and families every day and in times of crisis,” said Jeremy White, program director for the Trust.

Another $ 100,000 donation came from Herb Merker and Marcy Hammock, longtime friends of the YMCA who fondly remembered visiting them for social events and table tennis in the 1950s.

“It was a social center when we were growing up and having positive experiences,” Merker said. “We are sure that the new Y will serve future generations in the same way.”

Joe Karcher and his wife Cathleen donated $ 50,000 to the campaign. Joe served on the YMCA’s board of directors during the 1990s, which shed light on his awareness of the breadth of the YMCA program. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the “adaptability and resilience” of the 134-year-old YMCA.

“We believe in giving back to the community, and the Y is a critical part of a strong community,” he said.

Most recently, there was an anonymous donation of $ 150,000 recently.

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A breakthrough date for the ribbon cutting will be announced once the required funding for the project is completed as per the release. The Eugene Family YMCA received $ 15 million from the state during the 2019 legislature. Due to COVID-19 and its impact on legislation and its ability to fund projects like this one, those funds have yet to be completed, according to the YMCA, Development Leader Danielle Uhlhorn.

“Legislators have to meet certain thresholds in order to sell the bonds that fund these projects,” she said. “With restaurants and bars closing, lottery revenue has declined and they have not been able to sell these bonds. We are essentially in the process of either selling these bonds as planned in the spring or our project will.” be considered for the upcoming legislative period. “

The design for the new YMCA includes a teaching kitchen that focuses on nutrition education. a high-tech manufacturing room with STEM equipment; a splash guard in the water sports center for families with younger children; special playgrounds for YMCA preschool classrooms; additional rooms to offer programs to treat chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, and diabetes; and double the number of classrooms for group exercises.

Louis Krauss reports on the latest news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at [email protected] or 541-521-2498 and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews. Do you want more stories like this one? Subscribe for full access and support local journalism.