Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 21

WHITE BEAR LAKE AREA YMCA & School District 624 The YMCA accomplishes its mission to strengthen communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Shane Hoefer, Executive Director for the White Bear Lake Area YMCA & Maplewood Community Center, says, “The Y works side-by-side with its neighbors to make sure that everyone – regardless of age, income or background – has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.” He recognizes powerful collaborations with White Bear Lake Area Schools ISD 624 and Press Publications. Shane Hoefer, Executive Director for the White Bear Lake Area YMCA & Maplewood Community Center WBL-Y and WBL School District’s partnership supports water safety classes and competitive swim teams. Families know a fun place to connect is at White Bear Lake’s Marketfest Bounce House, courtesy of WBL-Y and Press Publications. In 2010, the WBL-Y completed a $6.6 million pool expansion and remodeling project that all White Bear Lake City and Township residents have benefitted from. Its aquatic center, the fourth largest of its kind in the state, can seat 300 swim- meet spectators. The state-of-the-art facility includes a 6,000-square-foot fitness center with more than 100 cardio and strength machines, group fitness and cycling studios, locker rooms and a member lounge. Hoefer explains that City and Township monies and a community funding drive greatly helped to offset project costs, but the relationship with ISD 624 has been most vital to the WBL-Y’s continued success. “In 2010, we entered into a partnership with the School District, specifically involving our aquatic center; the District signed a 10-year $1.1 million lease to use the aquatic center for water safety and competitive high school swim teams. This partnership has been and continues to be integral for this YMCA, and also in the special way that the Y’s mission manifests itself in the White Bear Lake community,” says the Y’s Executive Director Shane Hoefer. young people over the last decade, which has been especially critical, given drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 2-14. “However, it’s not just the aquatic center classes that benefit the larger community. Hundreds of young people have been able to attend other programs that guide them to make better decisions that not only benefit them but also enhance the quality of life for many people in our community. We’re profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to work with District 624 in such a meaningful and transformative way.” District 624 Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak says, “We’re fortunate to have a YMCA in our community, and we appreciate having them as a district partner. It’s clear students and parents value the initiatives we’ve implemented through our partnership, especially the water safety lessons our elementary students receive. The YMCA also serves as the home pool for our girls’ and boys’ swimming and diving teams, and Extended Day participants receive summer swimming lessons. “Additionally, the YMCA has served the District as a site for an outreach teen and senior center. In previous years, the District also partnered with the YMCA to provide a childcare center at Birch Lake Elementary and after-school tutoring opportunities at district elementary schools.” WBL-Y and Press Publications Press Publications, a family-owned group of weekly newspapers headquartered in White Bear Lake, is i ntensely local in its news coverage: people-focused with an emphasis on schools, government, sports and community events. The company partners with WBL-Y on several events that benefit and unite people of all ages: the well-established Marketfest and Senior Fair, and – its newest alliance – the Northeast Women’s Fair. Hoefer says, “This vital partnership supports the on-going delivery of water safety classes to WBLAS elementary students. In the course of this partnership, our local Y has been able to provide these classes to around 5,000 vhedc.com 21