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updated: 11/1/2012 9:09 AM

Lake County Family YMCA Waukegan Branch to Stay Open Through 2012

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Anne O'Connell/Lake County Family YMCA

The Lake County Family YMCA Board has decided to keep the Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan open through the end of this year.

"We are pleased to reach this decision in response to the outpouring of support from the Waukegan area community," Board Chair Diane Fleming said. "We hope that this two-month period will afford the community the opportunity to work together with the YMCA staff to develop a plan to establish long-term sustainability for the Northern Lake YMCA and the continuation of Y services in Waukegan. Due to the complex nature of our financial situation, this extension is being made pending any unforeseen developments."

Community leaders, including Waukegan Township Supervisor Patricia Jones and Waukegan Mayor Bob Sabonjian, have been working in earnest to save the YMCA, 2000 Western Ave., Waukegan. Jones has coordinated several community forums about the YMCA. The next Save Our Y meeting will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Park Place, 414 S. Lewis Ave., Waukegan. The public is welcome.

Funds to help save the YMCA have been collected. Interested persons can donate to the nonprofit YMCA on its website, or mail or drop off a check to the Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan.

The Lake County Family YMCA operates two branches, the Central Lake Y in Vernon Hills and the Northern Lake Y in Waukegan. Both YMCAs were announced to close Oct. 31 due to insufficient financial resources to sustain operations on an on-going basis.

Lake County Family YMCA, the Village of Vernon Hills and the Park District of Vernon Hills have reached an agreement for the Park District to acquire and operate the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills. At the start of next year, the Park District will assume operation of the facility. Because of the complex nature of the Lake County Family YMCA's financial situation, the agreement is subject to final legal and financial reviews.

Programs will continue as usual at both YMCAs until the end of the year.

More information is available on the Y's website and will be updated frequently.

Lake County Family YMCA was chartered in 1912, had its roots in Waukegan, and celebrated its centennial this past July.


The Lake County Family YMCA is a cause-driven nonprofit that strengthens the community through programs and services that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.