The day many folks found out the Terre Haute YMCA pool would be closing due to financial concerns was the day they decided they weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer.
A group formed calling themselves “Y Make Waves?” For the past four months that the pool has been closed, they’ve been working to raise funds to turn it around.
There was a check presentation today at the YMCA for $15,600. The group “Y Make Waves” reached out to the 100 Women Who Care who presented the check today.
Although the pool closure was a big decision for the Y and the future remains a bit unknown. CEO Ryan Penrod says this is a step in the direction they want to go.
It’s pretty clear no one is making waves at the YMCA’s pool at this moment. However, waves were made just down the hall Friday.
The 100 Women Who Care presented this check to help reopen the pool.
“We’ve lost something, but we also found community in our activism,” Vera Kyle, member of “Y Make Waves?” said.
“And found friendships,” Brenda Williams, also with the group said.
Kyle and Williams are two founding members of the group. They’re the ones who worked toward seeing these community funds go toward the pool.
Kyle says she used to be paralyzed, couldn’t even feed herself and this pool changed her entire life, which is why she needs it back.
“The access to the pool really made a difference for me. It decreased my pain meds, it was an ability, it helped me to walk a little further, and of course the social relationships that you gain by seeing somebody every day. I was coming to the pool every day for an hour to two hours to be able to get my physical therapy in to do my cardio and now i’m falling apart.”
CEO of the YMCA of the Wabash Valley, Ryan Penrod hasn’t made any promises toward seeing the pool reopen.
“Because you made the tough decision to close it. And to reopen it is always another difficult conversation because we don’t want to have to say, ‘yes we’re reopening it’ and then being a situation where we have to close it again,” he said.
It’s an expense that the y had to cut in order to help maintain their other programs.
“It’s close to 200,000 dollars a year to operate it, and the YMCA doesn’t want to just raise enough money just to get it open, we need to really make sure we can open it and keep it going for years to come.”
But Penrod’s excited to see this kind of community effort.
Already “Y Make Waves?” has raised close to 18 thousand dollars for the pool. Which is a good start.
The group plans to work closely with the Y to push more fundraising campaigns.
“Why make waves? To make a difference,” Williams said.
The ladies with “Y Make Waves?” tell me that over 500 people used the pool weekly at the Y.
Rose-Hulman and the Aquatic Center offered to open up their pools for Y users, but the one at the Y is more accessible for people with disabilities who use it as physical therapy.
Ryan Penrod says starting next year the Y will have a better idea of how much money they need to raise and they’ll work toward those goals.
If you’d like to donate you can write a check to the Terre Haute YMCA directed toward the pool.