The Lethbridge YMCA received the largest donation in its history on Thursday, $3.75 million dollars. The money helps to kick off its community campaign which has a goal of raising six million dollars.
“I could have given money to the government, hospital or stuff like that, but I thought this had more of an impact directly on the community,” said businessman and philanthropist Cor Van Raay, who made the donation.
Phase two of the ATB Centre will now be known as the Cor Van Raay YMCA.
The money raised will help purchase equipment and pay for expenses as the organization expands into phase two of the ATB Centre.
“This is such a turning point for our YMCA,” CEO Jennifer Petracek-Kolb said. “It gives us so many possibilities, it means so much to us and it means so much to this community. We see nothing but the brightest of futures for this YMCA and the community and members who use our facility.”
Phase two of the centre will include an aquatic centre with water slides and a wave pool, a fitness centre with a four-lane track, multipurpose rooms, a daycare and a youth area.
“In 2012, we did a needs assessment with a variety of different groups and there are gaps all over the place, as far as facilities, that were required by different sport groups,” project coordinator Ashley Matthews said. “This will really help fill this gap.”
Further money raised will also help establish a legacy fund.
Phase two of the ATB Centre is expected to be open to the public in 2019.