Western Plains Medical Complex announced Thursday a significant donation to the Dodge City Family YMCA for expansion of what will be known as the Western Plains Medical Complex Fitness Center.
The donation of $150,000 represents a pledge of $50,000 per year for three years.
"Health and wellness are what we're all about at Western Plains," said CEO Mike Burroughs. "In fact, keeping people healthy is vital to our mission. When we look at a project like the YMCA, it's a natural fit."
YMCA Board President Dr. Mladen Perak, also a Western Plains board member, said the partnership makes sense.
"As a physician, I often see physical inactivity and obesity as a source of many medical and mental problems. This wonderful gift will help improve health and spirit of many Dodge City citizens," Perak said.
"This gift put us over the top on our fundraising campaign," said Chad Knight, CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Kansas.
The donation made by Western Plains put the campaign in a position to ask for funding from the Mabee Foundation, based in Tulsa, Okla. The foundation prefers to make the final donation to put a campaign over the top after all other pledges have been made.
The Western Plains gift will allow the YMCA to purchase new equipment for the fitness center. It will also fund expansion of the facility's space.
"The Western Plains gift meant that we were able to purchase $75,000 worth of new cardio equipment, which will be a huge addition to the Fitness Center," Knight said.
Ready to go
The successful completion of the YMCA fundraising campaign positions the organization to take over operations of the Sheridan Activities Center beginning Jan. 2.
"We'll have the building closed from Dec. 28 to Jan. 2 to install equipment and get ready for the changes," Knight said.
The campaign's goal was to raise $1.2 million in gifts and pledges, an amount equal to four years of operating expenses for the YMCA.
"We'll have a four-year period to build our programs, build membership and evaluate what direction we need to go in the future," Knight said.
"And in four years, we'll have a new plan and we'll have a new campaign," Perak said.
People who currently use the facilities at Sheridan will not notice significant changes right away.
"Our agreement with the city calls for us to retain the staff, keep rates essentially the same and transition those users to the new system with as little confusion as possible," Knight said.
But some changes will be immediately noticeable.
A new child watch facility will be open by the beginning of the year. The free nursery for children ages 6 weeks to 7 years will provide care while parents work out.
Page 2 of 2 - "They will be able to go from the child watch area directly to the fitness center via a new ramp," Knight said.
"We will expand the hours of the fitness center to 24/7 in the spring," Perak said.
"If the numbers are there," Knight added.
As part of the Western Plains contribution, the YMCA will make discounted memberships available to Western Plains employees.
"We provide discounted memberships to a number of groups, including corporate and military discounts as well as discounts for Christian community leaders," Knight said.
"We're grateful to the community for supporting this project and for their contributions, which exceeded our expectations. We will work toward becoming self-sufficient in the next four years and in working with our community to provide the services they need," Perak said.