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Matching Challenge Grant Succeeds In Scoring $1M Towards New YMCA

Brian Bull

Fundraising for a new YMCA facility in Eugene just got a big boost. 

Philanthropist Betty Soreng got 335 Y supporters to match her $500,000 challenge grant through the Oregon Community Foundation. It gives the capital campaign $1 million.

Brian Steffen is the Y’s CEO.  He says nearly half of the pledges were from first-time donors.  Organizers plan to roll out a timeline for the 70,000 square foot facility - including a groundbreaking date - next year.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Y members inside its current gymnasium.

"We are excited to break ground as quickly as possible," Steffen tells KLCC. 

"We also have a commitment we’ve made to the state, that we have the rest of the funding packaged together by January of 2021.”

The estimated cost for a new YMCA is $ 34 million.

Steffen declined to share what the current fundraising total is, saying there are more donations expected. 

$15 million in state funding was awarded in July.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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