June 29, 2016

Mostly sunny

YWCA: Economic conditions force closure in May

MEDINA TWP. — The Medina County YWCA will be closing in May after serving the community for 87 years.

“We’ve appreciated all the support over all the years the community has given us,” Executive Director Judy Heller said Tuesday.

She said the economy has been hard to weather for the organization, and fewer people have been signing up for programs like gymnastics and martial arts for families.

“Families have to make choices on what they can do with the money they have,” she said, noting there’s been more competition from businesses that offer those kinds of classes.

Heller said the YWCA can’t continue operating without incurring considerable debt. The end of May, when the local YWCA plans to close, is just about when it expects to run out of funds, she said.

The organization’s two full-time staff, including Heller, and 10 part-timers will be out of jobs.

Most of the part-time employees are class instructors. The organization won’t offer any more classes or its preschool after May.

“There are other places and I’m sure there are lots of other openings that our members can go to,” she said.

However, the group wants to make sure its community services and its most popular events aren’t lost. Several community organizations will pick up where the YWCA will leave off.

For example, the American Red Cross of Medina County will continue the July 4 Twin Sizzler race.

The free mammogram and pap test program will be administered by the Medina County Health Department. Heller said YWCA’s Women Helping Women committee will continue to do fundraising for the services and the health department will perform screenings and set up appointments.

Heller said she’s working with another organization that likely will take over the Tee-ball program.

She said she’s still looking for groups to take over the Young Women’s Leadership Ball, the Garden Tour and the Home Tour.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.