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North Central Florida YMCA Will Continue Operations


Updated, 4:47 p.m. 

The North Central Florida YMCA announced Monday that it will continue operations.

The Board of Directors decided to continue operations after the Y had managed to raise $940,000 toward the $1.2 million necessary to continue operations.

The fundraising progress of the past 5 weeks is substantial justification to continue to provide the much needed programs and services to the community,” Robert Walpole, board president, said in a statement.

The YMCA filed for liquidation bankruptcy in December and originally announced it would close Dec. 31. After receiving an extension until Jan. 31, financial pledges from community members and fundraising events brought the YMCA closer to the $1.2 million needed to keep the doors open.

While the board has decided to keep the facility open, located at 5201 NW 34th Blvd., the fate of the YMCA is still dependent upon the US Bankruptcy Court and raising another $250,000 to pay off creditors and have the case dismissed.

“We are hopeful that our continued conversations with many pillars of the community will bear the fruit necessary to overcome the current shortfall and keep us here permanently,” CEO John Bonacci said in a statement. “I will continue to fight for the people we serve until they carry me out of here.”

Keeping its doors open will allow approximately 5,000 YMCA members to continue access to its programs and services including childcare, sports, and recreation and fitness facilities. It will also save the jobs of seven full-time staff members and 82 part-time staff members.

A meeting will be held tonight in the Orange Room at the YMCA at 7:00 p.m. to further discuss the future of the organization.

About Meagan Meredith

Meagan Meredith is a reporter for WUFT News. You can reach her by email at meagmeredith@ufl.edu or by phone at 469-734-8727.

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  1. The Y’s of the south should really get rid of the religious rhetoric, maybe they would attract more members.

    • I like the religious rhetoric. It’s nice to see a cross when you go to the YMCA.

      • So you like seeing ancient tourture devices? All I’m saying is, is that the Y (in the south) would do better if they were more inclusive of other religions and the non-religious.

        • The YMCA was founded as the Young Man’s Christian Association. If you don’t like that, there are plenty of other places to go. I think the Y should grow a pair and stick to its original values.

          • I suppose with your logic, the Y should not complain if they go bankrupt then. There are plenty of Y’s in the ATL area that are thriving and it’s because they are inclusive to all people, no matter what god (or no god) they choose. Although ATL is in the south, it is an outlier for the south’s crazy fundamentalist beliefs. The Y needs to adapt if they want to attract more memberes….that is it.

          • In a Muslim country, you wouldn’t go into a fitness club and demand that they remove symbols of Islam from the gym, because you’d be asked to leave at the very least, shot at the very most. That’s because their religion is more important to them than Christianity is here. If it were important, people would fight for it and make sure people like you didn’t have a voice. But, the opposite happened and now your voice is institutionalized.

            It’s cool man, we’re all gonna have chips in our brains in 50 years anyways, or be extinct from wars or pollution. Or maybe, just perhaps, neither of these nightmares will come true and we’ll live in your ideal world: a place where no religious symbols are displayed in public and most private places, where few people reproduce and where speech and freedom is tightly regulated. Practically no one will speak to one another and all true expressions of human nature will be curtailed to contextual nonverbal expression, like in many Asian cultures. Most human emotions will be squashed, and only the ones that are beneficial to private enterprise will be encouraged. Can’t wait to live in your elitist totalitarian wet dream, dude.

          • I said none of those things you stated. Seriously, what is wrong with society being more inclusive to those with other religions or no religion? You sound like a christian version of ISIS and honenstly, you sound like the problem with our country. I’m guessing you are xenophob and hates anyone that doesn’t have the same belief system. Everything you mentioned as far as having a bunch of automatons running around really applies to you since you don’t sound open to being more inclusive.

          • You are a hypocrite. You also fail to acknowledge that your belief system is just as subjective as other belief systems and perceptions about the world. Just because YOU feel that religion should be removed from our institutions doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way, your perspective isn’t the only one that exists in the world. You have no right to invalidate other people’s experiences or what is important to them, no right to tell others how to act.

            I get it, it’s easy to want to stamp out perspectives and ways of life that you disagree with. You think you’re right and that everyone else is wrong. You also make assumptions about my character that demonstrate your gross ignorance of everything else around you. You’re a danger to society and other human beings.

          • Wow….you really like to put words in people’s mouth. I never asked anyone to stamp out anything….you soumd like a danger to society with the venomous way you talk. I wouldn’t be aurprised of you were a violent person that probably owns guns. I’m not sure what triggered you so badly. Just fyi….I have no ‘belief system’ by the definition you hold. I care about other human beings and their right to worship whomever they please as long as it doesn’t interfere with others. You are the one that sounds like a hypocrite. Didn’t jesus teach you to pray in your room (Matthew 6:6). Why do you feel the need to rub your religion on everyone else. I surly hope you are not a woman that goes to the Young Mens Christian Associations. You have offered nothing to the conversation on how to help the Y stay afloat. I offered the suggestion that they should be more inclusive and not blatantly put christian paraphernalia all over the place. I also mentioned that the Y’s in the Atlanta area do very well and they don’t shove religion down people’s throat. They have all kinds of people that frequent the Y and they all feel loved and included. Serioisly, you sound very pissed off that I was liberated from christianity and you are still stuck in a cult. You also soimd like an intelligent person that should be able to research what they they believe and why. And, just FYI, I like the Y and have been a member for a long time (on and off). I noticed that in FL, the Y’s are much more religiois and perform poorly…..I’m just making a calculated observation.

          • “As long as it doesn’t interfere with others” = “I think religion should be removed from public and private institutions” = political ideology.

            You’ve called me a bunch of names. Grow up and be an adult or stop talking.

          • You have contributed nothing to the conversation…you have been offended from the start and have not been able to separate your christian IDEOLOGY from fact. Like about 95%ish of Christians. You wont be happy until we have a theocracy. I’ve been an adult from the beginning of the conversation….you however have put words in my mouth and tried to call me a moron (before you deleted your comment). So name calling? yeah….ok. Now you grow the eff up already. I’m done with this pointless discussion.

          • Christianity is a cult? I’m a violent person? Well, we see what your true colors are. Not a good person at all.

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