The Orthman Community YMCA in Lexington, the Don Sjogren Community YMCA in Holdrege and YMCA at Gothenburg Health will close until April 30 due to concerns about COVID-19.
Board members at all three YMCA of the Prairie branches made the difficult decision in the past few days. The closing coincides with recently announced decisions by area schools to remain closed through April to slow any potential spread of the virus. If recommendations change and the YMCAs can open earlier than May 1, they will do so.
YMCA of the Prairie CEO Riley Gruntorad said it was a tough decision to extend the YMCA facility closings, but it was the responsible and right thing to do to keep the community, employees and members safe. The YMCA will work with local health authorities to reopen the buildings as soon as it is safely possible.
In the meantime, some YMCA staff will be available on weekdays to answer calls and help with registrations for future programs. As of this time, all three branches still plan to offer youth soccer and baseball leagues, with some programs occurring at a later date than originally planned. Check with local YMCAs for details.
YMCA staff in Gothenburg are providing crucial child-care services for hospital staff, and staff at all three branches are working to provide community support through programs such as curbside pick-up of craft kits for kids, free exercise equipment checkout, virtual storytime, senior care packages, community cruise events and virtual at-home workouts. Members or non-members are encouraged to visit the YMCA’s Facebook pages for information on joining ZOOM fitness classes featuring local YMCA staff.
“We are working in each of our communities to provide support virtually and will continue to find new ways to help residents stay healthy, active and informed during this time,” Gruntorad said.
He encouraged YMCA members to continue their memberships if they can.
“During this challenging period, your Y membership is needed more than ever,” Gruntorad told members. “Membership dues are a critical investment in helping us meet the evolving needs of our communities and keep our staff employed during these toughest of times.”
Gruntorad also encouraged those who could to support the YMCA through donations, which can be given on the YMCA’s website at www.ymcaoftheprairie.org/give.
The YMCA is the leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other. The YMCA of the Prairie serves more than 9,000 members from its facilities in Lexington, Holdrege and Gothenburg.
For more information, or if you have further questions, please call your local branch office:
Don Sjogren Community YMCA in Holdrege: (308) 995-4050
Orthman Community YMCA in Lexington: (308) 324-1970
YMCA at Gothenburg Health: (308) 537-4022