South Toledo YMCA will remain open until Thanksgiving

By Tim Miller - bio | email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Leaders of the YMCA & JCC of Greater Toledo held a press conference at the South Toledo Y Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said the South Toledo YMCA will stay open until Thanksgiving.

Also announced, the campaign called Save the South Toledo Y begins now.

At the press conference, leaders said 500 new memberships would have to be sold for the location to remain open.

The fight to keep the South Toledo YMCA open took a major step forward Tuesday evening.

Last month, because of state budget cuts, the Y announced it was closing the building and giving it to Cedar Creek Church. The church plans to spend as much as $2 million to renovate it and move in by next fall.

But neighbors aren't having it. They say the city was bound and determined to close the Y without giving members a chance to weigh in.

"The secrecy connected with the closing of this Y is a travesty," said South Toledo YMCA member Fran Rideout, one of dozens of members and neighbors who rallied in the parking lot against the closing.

They feel the Y's board has intentionally kept members out of the loop.

"The lack of planning makes us think there's something wrong. And if all of us are mad, then maybe there is something we can do about it," Rideout said.

Indeed, many folks say they're skeptical.

"Doesn't sound good to me. It sounds like typical Toledo politics and believe me I've seen it all," said Bob Sawyer, longtime YMCA fundraiser.

The leaders of this group have obtained legal counsel.

"Our goal in doing that is to obtain the YMCA's detailed finances and stop the transfer of this YMCA property away from our community," said Cooper Suter, member and protestor.

The group has a Senator Teresa Fedor on their side.

"I believe that there are some smoke and mirrors and some planning that happened a long time ago that we in the south end didn't know about. So we want answers," Fedor said.

YMCA leaders did not respond to News 11's request to comment on the rally but did issue this statement earlier.

"We met initially with this group of concerned individuals. It was our first face-to-face meeting, and we felt it was productive, and there are plans to meet again."

The group's leaders on Monday asked the Y leadership for a 90-day delay on plans to close and transfer the building. They say they were denied.

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