B'ville Y starts grassroots campaign

— The Northwest YMCA wants to be your friend.

Using a grassroots campaign, the volunteers working to bring a YMCA to Baldwinsville are asking the public to pledge their moral support for the proposed facility on Facebook.

“If this community really wants a Y, people need to get engaged,” said Mark Dengler, a member of the Northwest YMCA’s communications committee. “It can’t be a board of 10 volunteers. It has to be the silent majority – they need to speak because communities build Ys.”

For more than 10 years, volunteers have been working to bring a YMCA to Baldwinsville. Progress was being made with the purchase of a site at the corner of Route 31 and Drakes Landing a few years ago followed by various site plans for the location. Volunteers hit a roadblock, however, on June 20 when the Lysander Planning Board ruled the proposed Y would negatively impact the character of the Radisson community considering the current size and scope of the site plans.

Not wanting to compromise the projected needs of the community, the Baldwinsville YMCA Board of Managers decided to consider alternate sites for the proposed 98,000 square-foot facility. Before a site is chosen, however, officials want to ensure they have the commitment from area residents.

“The site is phase two,” Dengler said. “We’re still in phase one. We need to get people engaged.”

In addition to obtaining support in numbers, which is free to those who pledge it, Y officials want to find individuals who are interested in becoming leaders and, in turn, can provide information to their neighbors regarding NW Y developments.

“We hope to identify champions of the Y in all [Baldwinsville] neighborhoods,” Dengler said adding the committee’s vision is for these individuals to host cottage meetings to educate others about the Y.

To become a friend of the NW YMCA, visit nwfy.org and click on “facebook page.” The Board of Managers will also host an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight (Oct. 5) in the community room of the Baldwinsville Public Library. All advocates of the Y are welcome.

Erin Wisneski is the editor of the Baldwinsville Messenger. Contact her at editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com.

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