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.”