PERU, IN —The Dukes Health Care Foundation is pleased to announce the extension of a challenge grant in support of the Miami County YMCA’s development of a new facility. In July of last year, the Foundation voted to match every new dollar pledged to the campaign, up to a total of $2.5 million and set a deadline of December 31, 2018. At the Foundation’s January board meeting, YMCA officials reported the total raised toward the match was $1,527,050. After discussing the details of the YMCA’s fundraising efforts, the Foundation board unanimously voted to extend the match time period through April 15, 2019.

“We are truly impressed with the success so far,” said John Claxton, Foundation Executive Director. “They worked incredibly hard during a very busy time for everyone and got more than 60% of the match done.” Foundation Board President Bob Schwartz noted how important this project will be for community health. “We believe this is a chance to significantly improve the health and wellness of our residents—young and old. And that’s exactly what the Dukes Health Care Foundation was created to achieve.”

YMCA Executive Director Mark Demchak presented at the meeting, reporting that the Y has now over $11.1 million in pledge commitments, including the matching dollars earned to date. “We’ve run 24 miles of the marathon, and now, with just two miles left, our volunteers and staff can see the finish line,” Demchak said. “We are both encouraged by the Foundation’s wholehearted support and grateful for the additional time—now we just have to get this done.” The Y has just under $973,000 left to raise in order to fulfill the Foundation’s challenge and reach their campaign goal of $13.1 million.

“We have until April 15, but we are encouraging prospective donors not to wait,” Demchak said. “Once the match is fulfilled, the minimum threshold to get on the Donor Wall and all of the Naming Recognition levels for individual rooms and areas will go back up to their normal amounts.”

If the entire project plan is funded, the Y will replace a 60+-year-old facility with a 69,000 square foot building as part of the City’s River View Landing development project near West City Park. The new facility will expand opportunities for residents seeking a healthier lifestyle, families who need child care and year-round recreational opportunities, and youth who need a safe place where character development and positive role models are abundant. Building features are planned to include an elevated walking track, a multi-use pool, a chapel, a large wellness center for cardio and strength training, group exercise studios, a gymnasium for court sports and an auxiliary gym for gymnastics, a separate wing for child care and preschool education, and other amenities like a community meeting room and kitchen.

“The Y has always been a place where people from all walks of life can interact and learn from each other,” said Dennis Kinley, YMCA Board Chair. “But this is so much bigger than the Y—this project shows that we can come together as a community and chart out an amazing future for generations to come.”

Those interested in pledging to the project or helping fundraise should contact a Y Board member or Mark Demchak at the YMCA. More details about the project, Donor Wall and Room Naming recognition levels, and overall progress toward meeting the goal can be found at mcymca.org/newymca or by contacting Mark Demchak, Executive Director at 765-472-1979 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..