|Articles - Town N Country News|
When the citizens of Hillsborough County, Florida from the Town ‘N Country community area wanted a public swimming pool they turned to the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation & Conservation Department (HCPR&C) for a solution. The citizens learned that HCPR&C does not do swimming pools as the City of Tampa, Parks and Recreation.
The solution was to partner with two other private organizations, the Boys & Girls Club and the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) and HCPR&C. The County provided three million one hundred thousand dollars toward delivering a community recreation center with a pool and a gymnasium for Jackson Springs Park.
One million dollars was given over for the development of the gymnasium and 2.1 million dollars for the building of the YMCA building on Waters Avenue.
The main focus was on the staffing of the gym with Boys & Girls Club staff and the YMCA was to run the pool aspect for Town ‘N Country community. Both facilities were to be accessible to the residents and that no one would be turned away for their inability to pay.
The Town & Country Alliance along with Commissioner Ed Turanchek worked with the parties private and public to see that this project was successful. It was the first of its kind of deal. Eventually the deal was finalized and we now have the YMCA serving the Town N’ Country once more.
The YMCA has been here before. Bob Gilbertson closed down the YMCA because it was not profitable as a business. The truth be known, Bob did not think that the community could financially support the YMCA. Yet to his surprise all has gone well.
The YMCA is now bursting its seams with activity and growth has expanded to surrounding community agencies. The YMCA now partners with the Children’s Home, Florida Institute of Community Studies, Hillsborough County Children’s Board and others to provide services to the community. All in all this partnership has been a resounding success.
The Town & Country Alliance partnered with the YMCA and raised money for their Annual Giving Campaign before the building was ever erected. The community provided over thirteen thousand dollars sight unseen for an idea in the making. It was all good and the pay off justified the investment.
Since that first year of fund raising the opening of the YMCA gave the community a goal to aim for. Each year the Central Office of the YMCA ask more and raise the level of Annual Giving. The Annual Giving Campaign is approaching the one hundred thousand dollar level for the Northwest Family YMCA.
This year’s Summer Programs have registered four hundred youth with seventy percent of them on Scholarship. The money is there for the youth because the people of Hillsborough County have given generously to keep the programs running. The Town N’ Country youth scholarship is the largest in the County and we need the community to step up once more to help.
The Northwest Family YMCA is one of the most culturally and ethnically rich organizations of its kind. The flag program gives the members an opportunity to showcase their heritage and pride with the purchase of a flag representing their country. When the flags are displayed in full array they give the building an awesome appearance.
This article is by Carlton Lewis Jr.
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Last Updated (Friday, 26 March 2010 18:11)