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YMCA in Hastings unveils new donor wall

Executive Director of YMCA in Hastings Derrick Jaeger, left, poses in front of the new donor wall with Sharon Avent, CEO of Smead Manufacturing; Brandi Poellinger, director of community engagement at Allina Hospital; and Todd Siewert, YMCA Capital Campaign Chair. Submitted photo

As part of the YMCA 10-year celebration events, the Hastings YMCA celebrated their capital campaign donors on Sept. 18 with the unveiling of a new donor wall.

"It's just really nice as a reminder as you walk into this beautiful facility to say we're here because of our donors," said Derrick Jaeger, executive director of YMCA in Hastings.

YMCA in Hastings recently finished a major expansion project. The expansion included a gymnasium, two exercise studios and larger locker rooms. There was also new equipment added in the studios such as free weights, stretch bands, weight racks and risers.

The new donor wall is a way to thank donors who helped contribute to the $1.4 million raised during the second capital campaign. Most of the expansion project was funded by the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, but the $1.4 million had to be funded locally.

The first capital campaign that raised $4.5 million to build the original facility already also had a donor wall. The new donor wall combined the two campaigns to show appreciation for past and present donors. The names that are bolded on the wall signify people who supported the first campaign and the second campaign.

Jaeger said that the YMCA would not be where it is today without the support of the community.

"We can't do what we do every day without our donors, so we would love to recognize them publicly," Jaeger said.

The building expansion has allowed the YMCA to develop more programming that in turn benefits the community. Jaeger said that since the gymnasium was added, they have been able to do a lot more community programs. The YMCA is working with the basketball boosters, there are in-house leagues and more. With the additional space and capacity, the YMCA is able to work with other community organizations.

In addition to the unveiling of the donor wall, the YMCA celebrated various aspects of their programming for the 10-year celebration. The month of September had various activities including a pie baking contest, bounce house, obstacle course activity, yoga in the park, pickleball, a basketball tournament, a youth night and more.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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