Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — What’s new at the Southeastern Indiana YMCA? “As part of our Healthy Youth Initiative, we will be making available free youth memberships to sixth-grade students in Batesville, St. Louis, Milan and Jac-Cen-Del middle schools through the end of May,” reports executive director Angie Johnson.
The rec room has been upgraded with a 28-foot horizontal rock climbing wall, and exer-bikes arrive soon. She says, “These are bikes where kids pedal, competing with one another to advance through the activity shown on a large screen.”
According to Johnson, “This summer we renovated two child care playgrounds, replacing the 15-year-old black tire chips for a cleaner and safer pour-in-place surfacing. We have also redone fractured concrete, and added ADA-accessible doors to our front entrances, welcoming those visitors with walkers, wheelchairs or less strength to join us with ease.”
Adults have two fresh group exercise choices. Barre (pronounced “bar”), offered Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., is a core and strength class with a fusion of ballet and Pilates using a bender ball. Turbo kick, a cardio and core class, returns to the Y Mondays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 a.m.
A capital development assessment is underway. She explains, “Due to the growth of our membership and program involvement, we have found the need to explore additional options to accommodate our growth. We are in the process of seeking community feedback on how the Y can best deliver programs and services addressing critical issues in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” A committee consists of Guy Folkman, Dennis Harmeyer, Denette Callahan, Luke Kaiser, Tim Dietz, Geralyn Litzinger and Ted Harmeyer.
In June focus groups of over 30 community leaders discussed what they felt were the area’s most underserved age groups and the center’s greatest challenges. In the next few months, a survey will be accessible for residents in the service area of Ripley and Franklin counties.
Fund development coordinator Sharon Hollowell fills a new role. The director says, “Sharon’s responsibilities will include strengthening our Y’s long-term financial strength and program viability through the awareness and growth of our YMCA Endowment Fund.” She previously served for 10 years as the Decatur County Community Foundation executive director.
Johnson reflects, “Even in our challenging financial times, the community continues to voice their confidence about our impact through their generous contributions” to the annual support drive, called the Strong Kids Campaign. According to the SIY 2012 Annual Report, 21 volunteers raised over $139,000. “We were able to provide more than 452 scholarship opportunities totaling $72,088 for children and families in our community through membership and 34 children received $49,997 in assistance for child care due to financial hardship .... Our record-breaking year allows us to keep our program and membership opportunities affordable and accessible for all.”
This month the annual campaign kicks off again with the theme “The Y. So much more.” The director explains, “So often people think of us as a ‘gym and swim.’ We truly are so much more and we want our community to know we are a cause worth investing in. As a charity, we are dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the community’s health and well-being, and giving back and providing support to our neighbors. We hope our community will join us in our mission to strengthen our community by giving generously to our campaign so we can continue our services and programs to those in Ripley and Franklin counties.”
Persons may donate by going to the Web site www.siymca.org and clicking on Give on the left side of the home page. Tax-deductible checks made payable to YMCA Annual Campaign may be dropped off or mailed to SIY, 30 State Road 129 S., Batesville, IN 47006.
The nonprofit gained an abundance of grants last year: $35,000 from the John A. Hillenbrand Foundation for a school bus, $7,500 from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation to resurface the walking track, $3,000 from the Ripley County Community Foundation to install ADA entrance doors and agility equipment and $2,000 from the Pamida Foundation for a NuStep fitness piece. In addition, Enterprise Pipeline awarded the facility $50,000 in a contract to use some of its underground space – $25,872 for right of way and easements and $24,128 for replacement landscaping and a donation toward the general fund, which was used for capital repair and replacement needs. A $3,600 Duke Energy rebate was re-invested to help fund the purchase of a new chiller and boiler.
The Y is known for its learning center. Last year 126 children needed full-day child care, an average of 43 were tended to before and after school and 76 youths enjoyed summer camp. Some of the offerings: character development class for ages 2-12 (teaching the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility through Bible stories), swimming and field trips for ages 3-12, music class for ages 3-6 and Hooked on Phonics for those 4-6.
Johnson knows, “Our community needs a place where families come together and, with our help, stay together; a place where they can be active, confident and secure.” Family activities include an Easter egg hunt, father-daughter ball, mother-son event, Halloween extravaganza, Thanksgiving family luncheon and letters to Santa. Once-a-month Family Fun Nights range from Minute to Win It games to movie night with popcorn.
It takes an army to manage all facets. In the annual report, she wrote, “Together, our team members and board of directors have been strengthening the foundation of community through our strategic plan, looking to the future to ensure that our work today prepares us to support children and families tomorrow.”
In addition to Johnson, four are part of the administrative team: Ted Harmeyer, chief financial officer; David Hoover, senior program director; Pauletta Meyer, membership director; and Jenny Salyer, child care director. Team leaders are Dawn Denny, child care assistant director; Christina Farrall, community relations coordinator; Connie Fledderman, office manager; Kristen Fletcher, aquatics director; Angela Hurley, wellness director; Cathy Sullivan, volunteers and senior adults coordinator; and Ron Williams, maintenance director.
Tim Dietz leads the board of directors, assisted by Andy Jaisle, Lea Ann King, Geralyn Litzinger, Chris Lowery, Clarence McGowan, Larry Montgomery, Dennis Murphy and Tom Tepe.
The director concludes, “I’m most proud of the difference we made in 2012 improving the quality of life for the residents of our southeastern Indiana community. Teaching children to swim; providing safe, quality child care for working families; and sharing healthy lifestyle alternatives to help members overcome obesity are just a few examples of the impact we made.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
By the numbers • 2012 revenue totalled $2.16 million: child care fees, $935,243; membership fees, $830,031; program fees, $189,017; campaign and contributions, $138,265; grants and other income, $65,112. • 2012 expenses added up to $2.08 million: child care, $859,599; administrative, $441,015; general programs, $226,901; depreciation, $206,074; aquatics, $199,133; and fitness, $151,974. • Instructors taught many fourth- and fifth-grade students how to swim - 308 at Batesville and 97 at South Ripley schools. In addition, 70 junior and senior high special needs students at Batesville, South Ripley, Milan, Lawrenceburg and Sunman-Dearborn schools visited the pool monthly. • Kids picked their favorite interests in whopping numbers: swim lessons, 320; gymnastics, 260; sports leagues and clinics, 200; New Year's Eve Bash, 90; Kids Kick Drugs Karate Day, 75; and tae kwon do, 70.