Calgary, Edmonton YMCAs will help Red Deer effort

The Calgary and Edmonton YMCAs would help Red Deer get one started, but would provide no funding.

The Calgary and Edmonton YMCAs would help Red Deer get one started, but would provide no funding.

“We’d love to come to Red Deer and meet with whoever might be interested in getting the Y going again,” said Helene Weir, the Calgary YMCA’s chief executive officer and president.

She said Edmonton YMCA representatives could also attend.

Wendy Walls, a former board chairperson of the Red Deer YMCA, has suggested the YMCA restart in the city. It began in the early 1960s and eventually bought a school for its programs. But the school was torn down many years ago and the Y eventually folded about two decades ago.

Weir said “the way it normally works is if there’s interest, we’d be happy to help.

“We’d work with the local people to raise money, but we wouldn’t have a pot of money to put in,” she said, adding funding would come from “community donors, municipal government, there’s a variety of ways to do it.”

Walls appreciates the support other YMCAs offer, but said “it all depends on what the city would give us to operate out of. Cities can run buildings cheaper than the Y can.”

She wants “a group of interested people with no commitment other than showing they’d support a Y in Red Deer,” adding she’s received calls from about 10 so far.

“All I’m really trying to do right now is get a group of people for when the time comes and we have to present to council.”

Those interested in a Red Deer YMCA can contact Walls at 403-347-2876.

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