Rally to save Y draws large crowd

By Jonathan Walsh - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - More than 150 people rallied outside the south YMCA in Toledo, asking for more say in the future of the branch location.

The troubled site was originally set to be given to Cedar Creek Church. Backlash and political mongering saved it from extinction--at least for 90 days.

"We're here in response to the announced closing of the south Toledo YMCA," says Cooper Suter, co-founder of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

Members of the Coalition are not happy with the decisions being made. In the past, dozens have shown up for rallies. Wednesday afternoon many more showed, letting their voices be heard.

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens stood in front of the YMCA and demanded more transparency, more accountability, plus more communication especially when it comes to the 90 day halt on closing the Y.

"What we're hearing is pretty sparse from the leadership," says Gary Batts of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens. "What we're hearing from the community is 'we don't understand this offering.'"

Mark Brunsman, VP of Associated Services for the YMCA says, "We've tried to be as open and communicative as we feel that is necessary. At the same time, we're willing to talk."

In fact, the YMCA announced its official membership campaign kick off has been postponed. It was supposed to start Thursday.

According to Brunsman, it was delayed to, "maybe have some more dialog with the community group and our board and some of the south Y board members."

Suter got the crowd clapping when he said, "So they can get together with all of us and we come up with something we all agree to and we can all get behind."

Those at the event Wednesday afternoon said the rallies are important.

"I just think it's a start to getting a cohesive plan together," says Lisa Clark, a coalition supporter.

Marypat Savord, another supporter, adds, "I don't know what we would do without it. It's such a good thing for the community."

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