SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - What a difference a few weeks makes. Both Sarasota YMCAs have been saved.
This Friday the 13th was scheduled to be a very sad day for members and workers at both Sarasota YMCAs, including the one on South Euclid Avenue and the one at Potter Park. It turns out instead to be a very happy day.
The Ys have been rescued after the members and the community pledging over one million dollars to keep it going.
“Amazing, this just indicates what a wonderful community we have here in Sarasota, that everybody would come together in such a short period of time also,it’s very gratifying,” said John Welch, a member of the Sarasota YMCA since 1970.
An agreement has been reached to have the Save Our Y committee take over operations. They are a group made up of members of the fitness center. The new leaders of the Y sharing the good news this afternoon.
“When the rubber met the road everybody was on board, we couldn’t be happier" said Jim Purdy, Interim President of Save Our Y. "I think the community is a real winner here.”
A longer term contract which will also include a new charter school called Dreamers Academy and Project Stoked will still need to be worked out. Just weeks ago, it was announced both Ys were closing because of major financial issues, that inspiring the large Sarasota Y community to come together to have it saved.
“The YMCA is a way of life, it’s social it’s friendships," said George Dancigers, a Sarasota Y member. "The equipment is important, for most people it’s secondary, it’s the relationships.”
Both Sarasota YMCAs closed at 5 o’clock this afternoon during the transition. It will reopen on Monday morning at 9 o’clock. The new leadership says they will use the time this weekend to rehire their staff and retain current members and bring in new members. At this time the exact details of the agreement are not being released.