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The Carlisle Family YMCA has raised $6,213,971 during the initial phase of its capital campaign, the organization announced Tuesday night, as it kicked off the second, more public phase of its fundraising effort.

“This is an astounding number for our ‘quiet phase,’” said Hubert Gilroy, the YMCA’s capital campaign chair, during a kick-off event Tuesday night at the Allenberry Resort.

The critical message now, Gilroy said, “is to talk with your friends and family and tell them to join in on this, perhaps the most successful capital campaign in Carlisle’s history.”

The Carlisle Family YMCA has, for over a year now, been soliciting contributions from local businesses, foundations and other philanthropists for a major overhaul of its Carlisle facility. That less-public phase of fundraising was capped off in December when the state announced that the Carlisle Family YMCA would receive a $1.5 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Now, the YMCA will conduct a more public campaign over the next year, with community events and fundraisers aimed at finishing off its final dollar figure.

That number was initially quoted at $8.5 million to $9 million, putting the YMCA at least two-thirds of the way there heading into the public phase of the campaign.

“If we’re going to pull this off, we’re going to pull it off because of folks like you who are generous with their money and generous with their time,” said Buz Wolfe, campaign vice-chair and immediate past president of the YMCA board, told the crowd at Allenberry.

The ultimate goal of the capital campaign is to raise enough money to tear down and rebuild a significant chunk of the YMCA facility, located on South West Street between Walnut and Willow streets. Parts of the building date to 1899. The YMCA occupied and expanded the site beginning in 1960.

Although the YMCA had considered moving to a new site for an improved facility, Gilroy said that donors had encouraged the group to stay in the borough and re-vamp the existing property.

Plans for the renovated site include additional youth program space, new gym offerings and a wider variety of aquatic amenities. Although the design is not finalized, the YMCA has been circulating several preliminary plans and sketches for what the rehabilitated facility will look like.

The YMCA has almost 100 volunteers helping with the public solicitation phase of the campaign, according to a release from the organization. On Tuesday, Gilroy also thanked Carlisle Family YMCA Executive Director Marcia Drozdowski and Fundraising Coordinator Cate Mellen for their guidance and leadership in the capital campaign’s day-to-day operations.

“They do a fantastic job of keeping our eye on the ball,” Gilroy said.

He also thanked state Sen. Mike Regan and state Rep. Stephen Bloom for their advocacy in Harrisburg to get the YMCA’s RCAP grant approved, as well as all of the YMCA’s current and past board members for their input.

“This has been probably the most gratifying thing I’ve been involved in with the Carlisle community,” Gilroy said.


Business Editor

Business Editor for The Sentinel.

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