SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA) launched the public phase of its Capital Campaign on Friday, May 5, at its Saratoga Springs branch located on West Avenue.
YMCA staff, members, major donors, volunteers and community partners gathered for a morning kick-off celebration, followed by a tour of the project’s construction site.
Since 1866, the Saratoga Regional Y has been a leading voice on health and wellbeing for people from all walks of life, connecting members to their potential, their purpose and to each other.
After years of isolation and lack of active living due to the global pandemic, the Y felt their community needed them now more than ever. The pressing need for greater socialization, increased healthy living programming, and safe and affordable childcare options was apparent. The Y knew that in order to meet the needs of their community, they had no choice but to expand.
"The world is dealing with social isolation," SRYMCA CEO Scott Clark said on Friday, "so the ability to come together - share time, sit down, exercise, a laugh, a coffee - it's going to just be great for our community."
This project officially broke ground last June, and attendees of the public kickoff event were able to tour the construction site to envision a renewed, vibrant and connected intergenerational wellness hub. The Y’s expanded facilities will include a new Wellness Center, housing several spaces for weight training, group exercise classes, athletic training and chronic disease prevention programming. A new Gymnasium will help accommodate the growing demand for pickleball leagues, summer day camp, youth sports and before and after school programming. Lastly, the new space will also include a new Youth Adventure Center; an indoor play space with a Saratoga/horse racing theme. Parents may use this space for supervised play for children six weeks to 10 years, enabling more families to take advantage of the Y.
The idea to expand its services through a capital campaign developed last year, when the Saratoga Regional Y and the Saratoga Senior Center partnered up for the project’s first phase. The Senior Center, in need of a larger space to provide for its ever-growing senior population, will move onto the Saratoga Springs YMCA’s West Avenue campus into a new 14,500-square-foot home. The campus’ new Shared Intergenerational Lobby will connect the Y and the Senior Center, creating a central meeting space for active older adults to easily access the valuable resources that both nonprofits offer. The lobby area will also be an integral way to connect all generations, from infant to elder, that the YMCA serves daily.
To begin development on this capital project, a generous lead gift of $3 million was donated last year by Bill and Susan Dake and Stewart’s Shops. Stewart’s and the Dake Family have been integral partners of the Y in past projects, and strongly support this expansion they believe will further strengthen the Saratoga community. The Charles R. Wood Foundation has also challenged the community and made a matching grant of $300,000 to support this endeavor. This grant’s purpose is to encourage local community members to join their support of this capital project, and uplift the YMCA’s mission to be a community space for all ages to build healthy minds, bodies and spirits.
These private dollars have made a significant impact on the campaign; to date, the Saratoga Regional Y has raised 76% towards its $8.9 million goal. Now, the Y is asking its community for support, and to consider donating towards the remaining $2 million. Gifts of any amount make an impact, and will help ensure that the YMCA will have the space and resources to answer the needs of the Saratoga and surrounding community for another 150 years.
"Every dollar that we raise is important," Clark said of the campaign, encouraging anyone interested in donated to contact him at the Saratoga Regional YMCA. "We'd be happy to meet with the, show them around the facility and explain the impact of how this is going to make a huge difference in our community."
More information is available at https://srymca.org/main/capital-campaign/.