YMCA Past President Bob Dahlke Jr, along with CEO/Executive Director Howard Schultz, accepted the award from Chamber President Tensley Garris. He reflected on the Y’s remarkable success over the last six years, which included an intense drive to revitalize and renovate the once-ailing facility. In 2006, the Y was on the verge of closing its doors due to crippling debt, plummeting membership, deteriorating infrastructure and the potential revocation of its charter from YMCA of the USA. A “Save the Y” campaign built on the Y’s deep roots in the community and then reached out to new potential partners and supporters, eliminating the institution’s mortgage obligations and then raising an additional $5.8 million to date for essential renovations. Phase II of the renovation project, completed in September 2012, included new locker rooms, enhanced lobby and public areas, improved accessibility, and a host of other upgrades throughout the building. The renovations and surrounding publicity have yielded huge returns: through February 2013, membership has grown over 35% since 2009, including a 19% leap since the completion of major renovations in September alone. The Y now boasts over 2100 dues paying member households.
At the same time, the Y maintains a commitment to keep its services available to all by providing financial assistance to families enable participation in membership, child care, day camp, and other programs important to their family needs, through its Strong Kids Financial Assistance Fund. Approximately one out of five participant members, approximately 2000 people, receive some level of assistance, with roughly $490,000 in aid being distributed in 2012 alone. The Y’s annual Ken & Alta Thiel Strong Kids Dinner has been the primary source of the over $1.8 million raised for financial assistance since 2006.
Dahlke thanked the Chamber for its consistent support of the Y’s efforts and pledged that the Y would continue to be a strong partner to area businesses. In accepting the award, he commented, “We are going to be here forever to help Northbrook, support the Chamber, and be a great place for everybody.”
Amplivox Sound Systems has been an integral part in supporting the North Suburban YMCA. In addition to financial support, Amplivox has supplied portable audio systems and presentation equipment to meet its every need, whether it's group fitness, sporting events, corporate presentations or day camp.
For more information regarding the North Suburban YMCA, visit www.nsymca.org.