YMCA plans to keep South branch open

Realizing that closing the South Toledo YMCA may have been a rush in judgment, YMCA President of Greater Toledo Robert Alexander apologized to South Toledo residents as he announced a campaign to keep the "Y" open.

The YMCA & JCC of Greater Toledo has developed a campaign to keep the South Toledo YMCA branch open until Thanksgiving Day.

The 'Save the South Y' campaign runs from now until Thanksgiving with a goal of selling 500 new South branch memberships by that time in order to keep the location open.

The memberships will be sold as 3-year passes for the South YMCA branch and Morse Center, located at the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC). They will be sold at a reduced rate of $40 per month for individual memberships and $50 per month for a family.

The revenue generated from the new memberships will be used to keep the South branch open as the organization plans to gain support for a new Healthy Lifestyle Center at the UTMC campus.

The YMCA says that while it will be a full partner in the campaign it has asked community members, who have been vocal about the closing of the branch, to assist in membership-drive efforts. Yard signs and member mailings will made by the YMCA to promote the campaign.

The non-profit organization says they will also provide 50 scholarships to South Toledo area families for memberships. This is in addition to scholarships that are already available to the Toledo community.

Community members are encouraged to join the campaign to save the South branch by buying or selling memberships, or by making donations.

A town hall meeting Wednesday night filled the Teamsters Union Hall to capacity and then some overflowing out the doors. The majority of those in attendance were ready to hear about Cedar Creek Church's future in South Toledo.

Those residents with South Toledo ties were happy to hear about the YMCA staying open and felt the 500 new memberships were doable. However, critics feel that an extra $400 to $500 a year out of families pocket could be tough considering the times we live in and the uncertainty of the economy.

Cedar Creek Church who was planning on moving into the South Toledo location, said they will continue to work with the city of Toledo to find a suitable South Toledo place to expand.