YMCA Fresno Closing?

May 3, 2009 6:42:26 PM PDT
There's a chance it could be gone within the next several months.The YMCA facility has been in Downtown Fresno for 75 years. But, there's a chance it could be gone within the next several months.

For 121 years, the YMCA has been a fixture in the Central Valley.

"I like playing racquetball and basketball."

"I come in here a lot."

But ongoing financial problems and declining membership have forced the Downtown Fresno facility to consider filing for bankruptcy. There's a chance the YMCA national committee may also pull their charter, which means there will no longer be a YMCA in Fresno county.

"It's the saddest thing to see some entity that's helping people be lost." Fresno YMCA board chairman John Shehadey said he's done everything in his power to help the "Y" stay afloat, but time is running out.

"We've tried to get help from every agency we can think of, but they have more pressing needs." Boxing Nats Former YMCA board member, Paul Caprioglio said what they need now is the community's support.

"And I really feel they will step up once the message is sent out to the public that it just takes a little effort from everyone and we can salvage the YMCA and keep this facility going for another 120 years."

In order to do that, the Fresno YMCA has to raise some of the 500,000 dollars they're already in debt. They also need more members. Currently, they've got 465, but they need a thousand. Without those two things, hundreds of valley families will have to find somewhere else to go.

What would you do if the YMCA wasn't here anymore? Be sad, be bored. The YMCA is busy planning fundraisers. They're also pleading their case to the national committee later this month. If you'd like to help, they're holding a public meeting here in the gym on Wednesday night. That meeting starts at 5-30.

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