Since 1969, The YMCA has provided a vital service to our community.
"Everybody here is so friendly, so nice and so willing to work with you when you have small kids running around. Everybody is just so understanding here." Member Katherine Geary said. She and her family began coming to the Y three year ago.
"It's helped the growth and relationship with my children. Being able to participate in those different activities and things, but as well it's helped me. I've learned to be more healthy and lead a healthier life." Geary explained.
Geary and her family are just one example of how the club gives back to the La Crosse area. But now, with the announcement of its new expansion and renovation plan, the Y is asking for your help.
"I'm always amazed at the ability of this community to step up and to get behind and to push a good cause or effort to the top," Tom Brewer, YMCA board member said.
And the top is not far from reach. The nine million dollar project is just one million short of its fund raising goal.
Its new facilities will include a new gym, community teen center, and with the help of Gundersen Health System, an innovative new healthy living center.
"It's a YMCA-Gundersen Health System partnership that's going to bring medically based programs inside the walls of the Y. The idea is: let's transition people very smoothly from medically directed care into YMCA activities."
The idea, which came from De Moines, Iowa, will incorporate physical therapy, pain and weight management programs, and Diabetes education, among other things, into an everyday healthy lifestyle.
"This project is more than brick and mortar. It is the foundation of our future wellness. We are making a community investment in the building blocks of a successful tomorrow," said project chairman, Dan Weber.
The Y expects to break ground in April, providing it meets its fundraising goal.
If you would like to donate to project, stop by a Y branch to fill out a pledge form or go to www.laxymca.org/donation.