The YMCA of the Northwoods has been working on expanding to meet community needs since early 2018.

With strategic planning, community needs assessments and early work on a capital campaign, the YMCA is seeking community support in closing their Building For The Future capital campaign.

YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow said the campaign “will support bold initiatives at the YMCA of the Northwoods that will directly impact the community,” including:

• Finishing work on the new Youth Development Center. This renovated former elementary school will double capacity in early learning child care, further filling a lack of child care that impacts economic development.

• The launch of the Generation Center, as well as academic and enrichment spaces for youth in out-of-school time. Through repurposing of space within the YMCA, these spaces will provide a drop-in location for youth and teens and increase the ability to provide academic and other enrichment support and growth. During the day, these spaces will support adults and seniors with additional services, maximizing the community investment.

• A new 8,000-plus square foot gymnasium to the current YMCA facility. The gymnasium will launch a full gymnastics center to build and feed middle and high school teams, allow gym space to be always open for our youth and families, and expand adult recreation opportunities at all times of the day.

• An outside pavilion addition. The pavilion will provide space to expand summer day camp opportunities for youth. Building on the YMCA summer camp program, the pavilion will allow the YMCA to leverage additional camp opportunities for youth access to the outdoors, right in the city limits.

• A low ropes course addition on the YMCA property. This addition will be leveraged by Summer Day Camp, youth, families and businesses.

• Leverage the ability to offer around-the-clock access in portions of the YMCA to all, giving youth and families of all ages access to quality time together in their journey on a healthy lifestyle.

“With a $2 million dollar goal, the YMCA has raised over $1.8 million, seeing strong support on the impact this vision will have,” said Zietlow. “Knowing how important the vision is on growing our community, the YMCA is reaching out to all in our area in helping to close the gap. We know that the world is more unpredictable than ever before, but one thing remains certain — the YMCA is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. Now more than ever our community needs the YMCA. And now more than ever your YMCA needs you.”

Access to the YMCA’s vision, plan and impact is available at ymcaofthenorthwoods.org/building-for-the-future/.

“We are deeply appreciative to all that have joined in on this vision so far,” said Zietlow. “The list of those in our community that see what impact this vision will have is a true testament of the generosity of those around us. On behalf of the YMCA staff team, the Board of Directors and all our early supporters, we ask that you consider joining us in making a difference. As we close in on the beginning of your future YMCA, every gift will make a difference to our friends and neighbors.”

Zietlow looks forward to the future possibilities that a successful capital campaign will bring to North Woods residents.

“Knowing the toll these last two years have taken on us all, we are excited to move in our next direction,” he said. “We know that while these projects add space to the YMCA, what really makes a difference is what can happen inside them. Positive character development will be incorporated into all aspects of our environment, culture and practices. The positive impact will be seen on adolescent and adult mental health, academic support, enrichment opportunities and self-advocacy. We are truly building for the future and ask all to be a part of it.”

Donations may be made online or mailed to the YMCA of the Northwoods, 2003 E. Winnebago St., Rhinelander, WI 54501.

For more information, contact Zietlow at rzietlow@ymcanw.org or (715) 362-9622 ext. 106.