It’s been a little more than a year since the YMCA of McHenry County was saved by Vince Foglia, chairman and CEO of Sage Products in Cary.
YMCA of McHenry County filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2011, blaming, among other other things, increased competition and a decline in membership.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago took over control of the YMCA of McHenry County in March 2011 after a judge approved the sale for $1.65 million.
In June of last year, the organization became the Sage YMCA with a donation from the Foglia Family Foundation.
Without the support from the Foglia family, it’s unlikely the Crystal Lake facility would have been able to continue its mission of strengthening the community through healthy living.
“I love, of course, the programs they have for the kids,” Foglia said last June. “The fitness and social responsibility, and all of those things, the core values they have here are the same as ours.”
The YMCA opened in 1976, and there was an addition in 1999.
It may not be state of the art, but there’s no lack of activity or enthusiasm at the Sage YMCA.
At 10 a.m. Thursday the large parking lot at 701 Manor Road was more than half full with cars. Outside was buzzing with summer camp activities – from one end of the grounds to the other.
Inside, an instructor was reading a story to a tot in the day-care area. Women were participating in a dance/aerobic class in the gym; a young girl who came with her mom was trying to keep in time with the music in back of the group.
In the indoor pool, three or four lifeguards kept watch as young swimmers practiced their back strokes.
Outside the pool area were shelves filled with trophies. One more award and they’re gong to need another shelf.
Weight and elliptical machines were humming in the exercise room.
This is all good, clean fun. It’s also what the Y is all about.
And it’s also why the YMCA is still relevant.
At the national level, Y-USA last week was named a preliminary awardee of a $12 million Health Care Innovation Award by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The Y is being funded to demonstrate how an evidence-based prevention program delivered by a community-based organization can lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and reduce the cost burden of the disease on the health-care system.
The national Y recently received a $500,000 grant to provide more youth in grades 6-12 with outdoor development opportunities through the expansion of the Boys Outdoor Leadership Development and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development programs.
The BOLD and GOLD programs are designed to get youth outdoors, help them build healthier lifestyles and create an appreciation for nature and ecological interdependence.
Local programs this summer at the Sage YMCA include aquatics, health ahd wellness, preschool, youth sports, dance, and – of course – summer camp.
Sean Nelson, who is the new executive director of the Sage YMCA, told the Northwest Herald last week, “There are great things on the horizon.”
Considering the heights the Sage YMCA has reached in one year, fasten your seat belt for what’s to come.
– Chris Cashman is business editor of the Northwest Herald. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.