Bonita Springs — Last June, as the Bonita YMCA was shuttered, Y member Richard Barber summed up the feelings of many Bonitians with three words, “It feels lousy.” Now with the reopening on the horizon under the guidance of the successful South County Family YMCA of Venice, the Spotlight asked Barber and other Bonitians for their thoughts. They include Dennis Church and some of his Bonita Advisory Board colleagues who worked hard to bring it back.
The reopening of the Y has meaning for every resident of Bonita Springs because of the children. At the same time the children are improving their athletic skills they are also absorbing the values of the Y: caring, honesty, respect, responsibility. Y instructors communicate these values in the way they teach, referee, talk with the children and have fun with them. Our kids will grow up to become the business people, professionals, City Council members, sheriff ’s deputies, firemen, the volunteers, who will assume the mantle of running our city: to insure a successful business climate, to protect our environment, to keep us safe and healthy, to address the needs of our less fortunate citizens. And they will bring with them the core values they learned at the Y. Can we ask for more?
The reopening of the Bonita Springs YMCA confirms the “never give up, never surrender” attitude of the people of Bonita Springs when faced with adversity. Instead of walking away from a truly beautiful facility, people began to ask “what can we do to get our YMCA back?” Phone calls were made, people came to meetings and got together to come up with a solution. Proof of where people stand on an issue is not in what they say, but in what they do. The people of Bonita Springs decided they wanted their “Y” back, rolled up their shirtsleeves and got to work. Good job Bonita. Be proud.
The reopening of the Y means that a critical part of the social infrastructure of Bonita Springs will be revitalized and stronger than ever to provide a family environment that serves as a meeting place, a place for wellness and a place for youth development. It means that the vision, commitment, contributions and hard work that the citizens of Bonita Springs put towards having a YMCA in our community will not have been wasted and will come to fruition once again. It means that vision will continue as we will work together to build a stronger Y as a vibrant part of our community. It means that our community cares about the quality of life for our seniors, our families, our children and our future.
I’m very excited to see the reopening of the Bonita Springs YMCA. The South County Family YMCA based in Venice, has proven to me and other board members that they are very capable leaders in organization, administration, program originators and financially proven in their current operations. Bonita Springs as a community, needs to exhibit a spirit of cooperation in backing the current reopening by volunteering and financial backing the YMCA.
Bonita Springs Assistance Office has a tradition of working with local agencies to more effectively serve our neighbors in the area. For this particular reason, we are pleased to learn that the re-opening of the Bonita Springs YMCA is just a matter of weeks away; and that the CEO, Ken Modzelewski and his team, are assessing the needs of our community and planning projects we are eager to have implemented. We are confident that many valuable programs that served the community well in the past, as well as new programs, will be available shortly. Bonita Springs Assistance Office is available and eager to partner with the YMCA in any capacity that brings a benefit to the families and individuals of Bonita Springs.
In Bonita Springs the rank and file (common citizens) are very happy about the news that the YMCA could be reopening again. It is a long time coming. They have gone through some real hard times working for this day to happen and we are happy about it. The announcement was made sometime ago for an unspecified date that wets our appetite for that to happen. Speaking for myself I am concerned that none of us who worked so hard are being told anything solid. I’m not comfortable, maybe nobody is, with cloak and dagger. We want some information. It was the quiet nature that got the Y into trouble the last time. By the time it became public it was too far gone to make a difference. I don’t’ want that to be the case this time. I want Bonita Springs to be informed with solid information so they can reach out and give the help that they promised to the YMCA. We want to know what is happening and what do you need from us, the membership? We will be there.