The 20,000-square-foot Twin Pike Family YMCA in Louisiana, MO, kicks off its final fundraising efforts for a two-phase facility expansion with a challenge grant to raise $1.2 million in the next year. The $500,000 challenge grant from J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation stipulates that if the Y raises $1.2 million in the next 12 months, the foundation will contribute the last $500,000 needed to fund the center.

The first phase of the expansion, which began in 2001, doubled the size of the Y's fitness center and created child watch rooms, an aerobics area, locker rooms and administrative space. After the first phase was completed in 2008, the Y focused on raising $3.85 million for the second phase of the expansion, which is an aquatics center.

The drive for the aquatics center began in fall 2009 when the Y received a $1.4 million anonymous donation. Since then, the Y has raised more than $300,000 in additional money. The aquatics center will include a six-lane swimming pool with a zero-depth entry, wet locker rooms, a new lobby, a child care center and an elevated walking track above the pool.

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Twin Pike Family YMCA Executive Director Marsha Garrison told Club Industry that the facility's board decided to raise all of the funds needed for the facility before starting construction, which a lot of businesses do not do.

"Because of the economic times and demographics of the area we serve, we feel it is important to build the facility and have it paid for in order to allow our members to support and sustain it through their membership fees and not have to deal with overhead due to debt," Garrison says.

The Y's fundraising committee is working on raising its final $1.2 million through a Pool Founders First 500 campaign in which the names of donors who contribute a minimum of $1,000 will be placed on a permanent donor wall in the facility.

Even though the Y serves smaller, rural communities, Garrison says the Y should be able to raise the $1.2 million in 12 months.

"We have been very pleased with the support the community has given us because they are the reason we are here, and they are the reason for the success that we've made," Garrison says.