Local group fights to keep YMCA from being sold to private company
PORT WASHINGTON - There's a rush to save a suburban YMCA, set to hit the auction block next month. A huge fundraising effort is underway in Ozaukee County to spare the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA from being turned into something else.
While we don't yet know the future for the Feith "Y," we do know that it will affect a lot of people. Members say the community center's so busy at certain times of the day, you can hardly find a place to park.
We spoke with Sarah Paque, who's not just a board member. She's been coming to the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA since it opened in 1999. Paque gets choked up, thinking about the programs her own children enjoy that could be lost.
"We have so much early childhood programming, we, so much early childhood programming," said Paque.
When the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy protection in June, four suburban Y's, including the Feith, went up for sale.
"At the end of the day it's gonna be money that saves us," said Paque.
Although the Kettle Moraine Y has offered to buy the Feith for $2 million, creditors would like to see whether that's a fair price. So, it will go up for auction next month.
"So I was saying just how awful it would be if we lost this Y. I'm here everyday, a lot of people are here everyday. It's more than just coming to work out like other fitness centers," said Laura Jasen, Feith YMCA member.
Kettle Moraine has $1.5 million in financing so far, and will need to come up more than $500-thousand cash to try to beat out anyone else who may bid.
"We are looking for donations from anybody and everybody. It's gonna come down to the wire and every dollar's gonna matter," said Paque.
Paque has set up a Facebook page with information about the Feith fundraiser. It's "Keep the Feith." They also have a website,www.keepthefeith.org
The auction is set for September 29th.