Richard Montgomery, co-chair of the YMCA's "Growing Our Future" capital campaign, said campaign members know how aggressive the goal is. "However, as of today, we have raised more than $3.6 million, and we have plans to talk to as many potential contributors as possible," Montgomery said.
Also today, YMCA officials announced another incentive for members of the community to contribute to the campaign. If the community can raise an additional $1.5 million, the Mabee Foundation based in Tulsa, Okla., will contribute the final $900,000 to complete the project through a challenge grant.
"Our success depends on our ability to enlist the help of as many volunteers as possible throughout the community to help us tell our story," said Jim Hux, co-chair of the YMCA's "Growing Our Future" capital campaign. "Obviously the $900,000 challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation has made our goal attainable."
The Mabee Foundation is a non-profit organization, which aims to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
From the date of Mabee Foundation's beginning in 1948 through fiscal year Aug. 31, 2003, its grants have totaled $640 million. Forty-one percent of the Foundation's giving goes to general activities including YMCA and other similar organizations.
"They're not going to commit that kind of money to something they don't think will be successful," YMCA Executive Director Jeff Partridge said about the Foundation. "They realized we've already raised a lot of money and that got their attention, and they know how much impact YMCAs can have on a community."
The YMCA won't be able to get the money from the challenge grant without additional support from the community, Partridge said.
"We've had tremendous success (with donations) to this point, but we've just scratched the surface in regard to people. The $3.6 million came from a small group of people, and we need the entire community to get behind this project."
The YMCA of Southeast Missouri still has fundraising divisions under development, Partridge said. Volunteers will be out between now and late spring so there will be ample opportunity for people to contribute both time and resources, Partridge said.
"We're going to need lots of volunteers," Partridge said.
When completed the facility will include an indoor aquatic center, fitness center, gymnasium, indoor walking track and class/meeting room space. The existing facility will be renovated and include a youth and teen center and aerobics studio.
Tom Robison, chairman of the YMCA Board of Directors, expressed his gratitude to all of those who have contributed to the campaign so far and to all the community leaders who have been involved in the planning of the project and the campaign.
"We have been working on this project for about four years," Robison said. "The first two were making sure we were building a facility that the people in Sikeston would support. The last year has been focused on intensive planning and organization as well as initial soliciting of funds for the campaign."
So far the YMCA is on target to reach its goal, Robison said.
"Our goal since we began this project has been to complete both phases of the master plan during a single construction effort," Partridge said. "This means only going to the community once for financial support."
Anyone interested in volunteering to help the YMCA raise funds toward its campaign goal should call 573-472-9622.