News

Bedell Family YMCA to Celebrate 15 Years in Lakes Community in January 2020

Fri 12-20-2019 1900 41st Street Spirit Lake, IA

(Spirit Lake)- January 1, 2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the Bedell Family YMCA’s presence in the Iowa Great Lakes, notwithstanding Camp Foster, which made it’s home on the southeast shoreline of East Lake Okoboji in 1912.

In the late 1990s, a community needs assessment was conducted with financial studies and other analytics of the lakes area to see if harboring a YMCA facility was possible. The studies found that a facility was needed, but financial resources were not available. Then, the Bedell family stepped in with a $2 million donation for naming rights to the facility with the Hoien family donating the 25-acre site where the main facility sits today. Construction began in November of 2003, with the grand opening of the 42,000 square foot facility being held on January 1, 2005 (although the building was opened to the public through a ‘soft opening’ from December 27-31 of 2004). The original structure housed gymnasiums, wellness and aerobics centers, pool, track teen center and community room.

15 years later,  the Bedell Family YMCA has grown along with the needs of the community. In 2007, the skate park opened and in 2008 the Y added an upstairs area specifically for free weights. The Y opened two satellite locations, one in Spirit Lake in 2010 (which has since changed to a different location in Spirit Lake), and one in Milford in 2013. Additionally, the Y took on the role of Director for the North Area Special Olympics in 2013 and hosts multiple events each year. In early 2014, the Y broke ground for what is currently the Character Center, with the grand opening taking place in September of 2015. The Character Center includes two racquetball courts, a climbing tower, sport court, kitchen, resource center, game area, multi-purpose room and more. It’s also the hub for all YMCA youth and teen programming and the site for the free Community Table North meals that happen every third Thursday for the month.

“We’re thankful for the community support that helped make the Y a reality in the Iowa Great Lakes, and I’d like to personally thank all the volunteers, board members, members and donors that have helped make our mission possible over these past 15 years.” said YMCA CEO Andrew Fisher. “Our areas of focus are Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility - and I can proudly say that within the last three years alone we’ve provided over $375,000 in financial assistance to subsidize memberships, camperships and program fees. We’re proud of our past and look forward to serving the community and growing as the needs of lakes area residents evolve.”

In honor of reaching the 15-year mark the YMCA will honor their 15 most active members of all-time. These members will receive a commemorative 15th anniversary t-shirt. The most active members are: Aaron Jones, Anthony Poncelet, Beverly Petrick, Cathy Kuker, Chris Spaeth, David Peelen, David Petrick, Diane Kroese, Harland Berguson, James Simmons, Jan Plunkett, Joy Pritchard, Melode O’Neill, Ray Miller, and Scott Orpen.

Those wishing to join the Bedell Family YMCA can take advantage of the best pricing of the year by joining during New Member Week, January 10-17, 2020. During this time, the joiners fee will be waived for all new members. Additionally, at the conclusion of New Member Week, one new member and one current member will win a free, year-long individual membership. Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants at all times.

For details click here