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YMCA launches final phase in $3M capital campaign

WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA opened the final phase of its $3 million capital campaign with a dinner Monday evening for more than 100 community volunteers.

The volunteer community teams will be seeking pledges over a five-year period to raise $300,000.

The money will be used to expand the YMCA to meet growing demand for the Y’s services and programs.

Keynote speaker at the dinner was Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.

More than $1.6 million has already been raised during the first three phases of the YMCA capital campaign, which began with pledges of $300,000 from the board of directors, staff and campaign leadership.

The second phase has a goal of $2.2 million and has reached $1.4 million so far. A major gifts campaign also has been raising funds for the past six weeks and is close to reaching its goal of $500,000.

“We are extremely pleased with the response by the community and have every reason to believe that if the members of the YMCA and the community give a pledge worthy of their interest and ability, we will go over our goal,” said Jim Rieth, general chairman of the campaign, in a news release.

The planned expansion of the Y facility includes a new multipurpose gymnasium, expanded wellness center, specialized fitness room, large wellness studio and two racquetball courts. When the YMCA was constructed 10 years ago, it was designed for 3,000 members; today it has more than 5,800 members.

The additional space will create new program opportunities for youths and teens as well as active older adults, said Theresa Wittenberg, executive director.