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Bedell Family YMCA announces major projects

By Staff | May 16, 2014

SPIRIT LAKE – The Bedell Family YMCA and Northwest Bank have announced a partnership to create a healthier community. The Healthy Living Program Center in Spirit Lake (a part of the Bedell Family YMCA) will move its location to the former Northwest Bank building on Lake Street in downtown Spirit Lake.

“This opportunity is a win/win for both organizations, and the Iowa Great Lakes Community”, said Norm Johnson, CEO of the YMCA of the Okobojis. “We are excited to move into the downtown business area, and reach additional residents in this very unique location.”

“This partnership is a perfect fit for a strong organization in the community to expand its programming, and utilize a building with a proud heritage. We are very excited what the Y will bring to the downtown area, and how it meets our community needs”, said Joe Conover, Northwest Bank regional president.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, said Jeff Vierkant, YMCA board president. “This partnership will allow the Y to grow its values and mission deeper into the Lakes Region, and this collaboration with Northwest Bank will benefit thousands of people.”

The Bedell Family YMCA also announced the launch of its facility expansion project specifically designed to promote “Youth Development”. The 12,000-square-foot expansion will have a gymnasium, game area, climbing tower, cafeteria and welcome center. In addition, two racquetball courts and a program studio are also part of the expansion project.

“A vibrant, strong community is one where everyone is welcome, each person has a role and neighbors support each other,” said Johnson. “We are blessed to be a part of a community that is just that. To meet the evolving needs of our community, specifically youth and teens, as well as to motivate greater health and well-being, it is time for us to invest in our facilities. We are excited to channel our energies in this new initiative as the Bedell Family YMCA approaches its 10-year anniversary.”

“This project will meet some critical needs facing our youth and teens in our community,” said Sonja Hamm, Bedell Family YMCA development director. “It will provide a safe, secure place to recreate, increase academic enrichment, have a meal and develop deeper relationships with peers and adults.”

“Throughout the Lakes Area, countless people know the YMCA of the Okobojis,” said Johnson. “But there’s so much more to our Y than one might think. The Y is more than a gym. It’s a cause. As a charity, we’re dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and giving back by providing support to our neighbors.”

Andrew MacLennan Construction of Spirit Lake is general contractor for the Healthy Living Program Center. He said the project, which includes remodeling of the 10,000-square-foot main level, should take about four months.

“We are so inspired to be a part of the downtown Spirit Lake location,” said Johnson.

“What a great opportunity,” said Vierkant. What a great chance to expand Y programming.”

“We are so excited about our being able to return to our mission,” said Johnson. “Take a look at this great facility now and where it’s going to grow.”

The 12,000-square-foot YMCA expansion will cost $1.2 million with groundbreaking this June.

The Bedell Family YMCA hopes to raise $1.6 million. To learn more about how you can support the Y’s cause, please contact Norm Johnson, CEO at 712-336-9622, or go to www.okobojiymca.com.