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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday — February 4, 2004


Ketchum YMCA meets $1 million challenge

City will be asked to grant
additional $3 million

"We cannot thank the Works of Grace Foundation and the entire valley community enough for their unparalleled generosity."

CYNTHIA MURPHY, Wood River Community YMCA board of directors chairwoman

Express Staff Writer

Officials from the Wood River Community YMCA—the public recreational facility proposed for construction in Ketchum—announced this week that they have met the terms of a $1 million matching grant designed to put at least $2 million in the organization’s coffers.

Mike Wolter, campaign director for the Wood River Community YMCA, said the organization on Tuesday, Jan. 27, reached its goal of raising $1 million to meet a fund-raising challenge put forth late last year by the Works of Grace Foundation, a Texas-based nonprofit organization.

The foundation—which promotes family and children’s programs in Idaho and Texas—pledged in December 2003 to give a $1 million matching gift to the YMCA if the Ketchum-based organization could raise $1 million in new donations by Feb. 1, 2004.

Wolter said the YMCA surpassed the goal set by the foundation, raising $1.1 million in approximately seven weeks.

By reaching the goal, the YMCA not only qualified to receive $1 million from the Works of Grace Foundation, but also became eligible for an additional $3 million grant from the city of Ketchum.

The city has pledged a grant of $3 million to match the first $3 million raised for the project. The city grant, which would come from local-option tax revenues, is subject to voter approval.

With $1.5 million in its reserves from previous fund-raising activities, the earnings from the Works of Grace campaign give the YMCA a total of $3.6 million for the long-standing project.

If the city grant is approved, the organization will have raised $6.6 million toward the estimated $16 million project cost.

Cynthia Murphy, chairwoman of the Wood River Community YMCA board of directors, said it is "remarkable" that the YMCA was able to meet the fund-raising challenge.

"We cannot thank the Works of Grace Foundation and the entire valley community enough for their unparalleled generosity," she said.

The proposed 95,000-square-foot recreational facility—which was formerly called the Bill Janss Community Center—would be located on the city of Ketchum’s Park-and-Ride Lot, north of downtown. It would include an ice rink that converts to an events center, two swimming pools, a fitness center and a climbing wall.

The estimated $16 million cost of the new YMCA includes approximately $12 million in so-called "hard costs" to pay for construction of the facility and $4 million in "soft costs," which include design work, engineering, fees, contingency costs and a $1 million operating reserve.



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