The Greater Joliet Area YMCA was excited to welcome the community to a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Morris Hospital YMCA on Wednesday, May 31. More than 300 people were in attendance to help the Y celebrate the construction of the new facility, which will be built in partnership with Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers on land adjacent to Morris Grade School.
Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Christina Van Yperen opened the event by welcoming guests and introducing Morris Community YMCA employee Paula Lutz, who provided the afternoon’s invocation.
Greater Joliet Area YMCA President and CEO Katy Leclair then reflected on the Y’s journey in Grundy County, celebrating the amazing dedication of the YMCA volunteers who laid the groundwork for the new Morris Hospital YMCA more than 15 years ago. She also recognized the heroic contributions of the Capital Campaign Cabinet and Y staff, past and present, and thanked the Y’s Board of Directors for their unwavering commitment to the project. Leclair also praised the leadership team at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers for their continued partnership.
“This is such a monumental day for our YMCA and the Grundy County community,” said Greater Joliet Area YMCA President and CEO Katy Leclair. “We owe so much gratitude to our amazing volunteers, our generous donors, our hardworking staff, and our wonderful partners at Morris Hospital. The new Morris Hospital YMCA will be a place where people of all ages, from all walks of life have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. We are so excited to begin construction of this new facility and continue to serve the residents of Grundy County,” added Leclair.
Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers President and CEO Tom Dohm then stepped to the podium to share the vision for the continued partnership between the hospital and the YMCA.
“From the start, the partnership between Morris Hospital and the YMCA has been a perfect match,” Dohm said. “Like Morris Hospital, the YMCA has a strong family focus and serves all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Both the hospital and the YMCA are non-profit organizations dedicated to strengthening the community through healthy living. Partnering with the YMCA helps Morris Hospital further focus on preventive care. Our mission is all about improving the health of area residents. We are honored to carry the name of our community’s new YMCA, and we are so grateful to everyone who has had a part in making this vision a reality.”
Greater Joliet Area YMCA Chief Operating Officer Missy Durkin then addressed the crowd, thanking the elected officials, community partners, employees, and YMCA members who have provided support for the Y over the years and continue to serve as an inspiration for the project.
Morris Community YMCA Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet Co-Chair Kevin Olson then highlighted the incredible dedication of the volunteers that have championed this project over the years. Olson also celebrated the long-term contributions the new Y will have on Morris and Grundy County, and was excited to announce that the Y has expanded plans for the lap pool at the new facility from six lanes to eight lanes.
Greater Joliet Area YMCA Board President and Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet Co-Chair Guy Christensen then stepped to the podium to thank the community on behalf of the Y’s Board of Directors and recognized the efforts of the project’s Building Task Force, architect, general contractor, and team of owner’s representatives, whose hard work will help to bring the future facility to life over the next 18 months.
Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet Co-Chair Jackie Wohlwend closed the program with an inspirational ‘Get it Built’ message, echoing the words of her late husband Ron, who we know will be with us every step of the way as we work tirelessly to complete this project and open the doors for the new Morris Hospital YMCA to the community.
Construction of the new Y will begin this summer. The facility is expected to open to the community in early 2025. To learn more about the Morris Community YMCA’s Capital Campaign, please contact Chief Operating Officer Missy Durkin at (815) 513-8080 or visit www.jolietymca.org.