Gulf Coast Community Foundation offers suggestions to save YMCA locations
SARASOTA - "What we would be looking at is a long-term sustainable plan,” said Jon Thaxton.
Members, instructors, and community leaders filled the gymnasium at the YMCA in Potter Park demanding answers from interim CEO Steve Bourne and propose ideas to keep the Y open past the scheduled closing date.
"Right now we need to put our efforts on what can we do to save these branches,” said Jim Becherer.
Becherer moderated the town hall meeting and co-organized the group Save Our Y. He says with limited time to save the Y the community needs to act fast.
"We need to get more time and that means we need money, we need a champion, and we need help from other organizations,” said Becherer.
Former County Commissioner Jon Thaxton is the Senior Vice President of Community Investment at The Gulf Coast Community Foundation, a non-profit that gives grants to community organizations needing funding for their projects.
"This is a very complex problem, it requires long term solutions and short term activities are not going to get you there,” said Thaxton.
Thaxton says neither the YMCA nor the Save Our Y group have reached out to him yet but welcomes both parties to discuss how the foundation can help out if possible.
"I think probably the best suggestion that I would have to them, is they need to seek leadership that would help them organize all the activities that are necessary to first make the assumption that this is something that should be safe or something that should be reconstructed,” he said.
Becherer has put out the bat signal to members and community leaders willing and able to help.
The group in the meantime continues to meet at the YMCA in Potter Park on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m. to proceed to look for resolutions before it’s too late.