No swimming: YMCA members fight to keep pool open

News 10 told you earlier this month that the Vigo County YMCA is shutting down their pool indefinitely in September. The CEO, Ryan Penrod first released that information in a newsletter August 1. Since that day, handfuls of YMCA members have expressed their concerns.

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 11:04 AM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 1:01 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – News 10 told you earlier this month that the Vigo County YMCA is shutting down their pool indefinitely in September. The CEO, Ryan Penrod first released that information in a newsletter August 1.

Since that day, handfuls of YMCA members have expressed their concerns. For example, Vera Kyle says she was once paralyzed.

She was going to physical therapy but the expensive bills made it a burden. She joined the YMCA to see if water exercises could help gain back some of her mobility. Kyle’s flexibility and mobility have increased thanks to the pool she says.

Kyle admits that if the board goes through with closing the pool she will end her membership. She says her health will suffer.
“This has been more beneficial for me than doing physical therapy and I can do that for the price for admission of the Y. I'd be willing to pay more but no one has asked me,” said Kyle.

We reached out to the YMCA CEO. Penrod says closing the pool is just one avenue they’re taking to stay viable. He says the pool is too expensive to remain open. It costs $175,000 to operate each year.

Penrod says it's not feasible to stay open because of low membership and a lack of donations.

There's a group of members who are not afraid of that price tag. They met with Penrod and the YMCA Board President this week. They’re hoping to raise money and get community support to keep the pool open.

They’re asking for a year from the YMCA to prove they can raise the money. If operations stay the same, they will need to raise $400,000. They say they are working on other options to save money, such as reducing hours and employment costs.

“I want to come here. This is where I want to do my water exercises and rehab,” said Pat Bringman.

“We’ve met with a lot of community leaders. We have a lot of ideas. But we still don't have action from the Y,” said Brenda Williams.

If you would like to donate to the YMCA, the CEO says you can call 812-232-8446.

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