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YMCA Leaders Seek Input on Facility Plans

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Springfield, IL – Jason Knoedler, YMCA of Springfield Board President, confirmed today that the YMCA is actively exploring options to replace the 56-year old facility at Fourth and Cook in downtown Springfield.

In making the announcement, YMCA board volunteer Knoedler noted the YMCA’s strategic plan of 2015 identified eventual replacement of the downtown facility as one of its priorities. “We are committed to our continued service to the downtown community,” said Knoedler. “We know it is vital to our mission to assure we can provide the very best in programming experiences to all of our members. Right now our well-used downtown location doesn’t adequately reflect our unwavering commitment to every segment of the community. The development of our Kerasotes facility in 2011 demonstrates the community will respond to a well-planned initiative like this one.”

The YMCA has outlined key areas of focus including youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In developing the strategic plan, YMCA officials met with many in the community who identified the importance of developing collaborations, focusing on the health and wellness of the community, creating a positive influence on young people, and equalizing services throughout the community. As a new facility is planned, the YMCA will keep these priorities in mind as it develops next steps for downtown.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity,” said YMCA CEO Angie Sowle. “We have a great group of volunteers and have secured the assistance of experts to help us make sure that we follow all of the right steps to create a facility that meets community needs. We will be conducting market studies, reaching out to current and former members, talking with the community and benchmarking best practices so we can create a project the community can embrace and celebrate.”

In February of this year, it was reported a new YMCA was being planned on Carpenter Street, a few blocks east of Memorial Medical Center. In mid-March a community forum was held outlining this plan in collaboration with the Enos Park Neighborhood Association.

“We’re excited about the potential of these partnerships,” said Sowle. “We will continue to seek collaborative opportunities to assure success. That really is the key focus of our work over the next several months that will help make this dream a reality. We have many details to work out to assure our plan keeps the needs of the community at the center.”

The facility plans have not yet been finalized and funding options are being explored to help assure the resources in the community are used in the best way possible. Experts from a variety of disciplines are helping in the planning process that will lead to active fundraising efforts later this year. After key partnership opportunities are fully explored, the YMCA will release plans for the facility and a timetable for action.

“We’ve placed this project into high gear,” said Knoedler. “Our partners expect results soon and we are committed to taking all of the right steps to assure success for the long haul. I know everyone is anxious to learn about the details of funding, final facility plans, and partnerships, but many of these details are dependent on the due diligence of our process. We hope that by mid-summer we can have these pieces in place.”

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About the YMCA of Springfield

Since 1874 the YMCA of Springfield has worked to provide opportunities for individuals of all walks of life. The Y serves men and women of all ages, religions and economic backgrounds through programs focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  The YMCA has two main facilities – Downtown and Kerasotes – with over 11,000 members. In 2017, nearly 45,000 individuals were served in a variety of programs and services.  A volunteer board of directors provides leadership to the association, a member of the national organization – the YMCA of the USA. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but also to deliver lasting personal and social change. www.springfieldymca.org and www.ymca.net

The 56-year old YMCA facility at Fourth and Cook in downtown Springfield

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Southeast seeking donations for e-sports team

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Competitive video gaming, or E-sports, is one of the fastest growing competitive scenes in the world. And that scene is making its way to Central Illinois. The Illinois College e-sports team regularly competes against Big 10 schools and semipro teams. Southeast Springfield High School is looking to join the action. Southeast will be the first high school in Springfield to field an e-sports team.

E-sports, like any other team, is an opportunity to students to represent their school and get a real shot at a scholarship. But while e-sports don’t require the large facilities that other sports do, they do have equipment costs. Computers, mice, headsets, and the other kit necessary to take part can be out of reach for some students.

To make sure all students have the opportunity to showcase their talents, Southeast coach Dalton McGhiey is asking for donations on his go fund me page. You can learn more about the Southeast team on their campaign page as well.

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Abe’s Roundball Classic set for holiday week

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Abe’s Roundball Classic boys basketball tournament is set for Tuesday, Nov. 20, Wednesday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at Lincoln Land Community College Cass Gymnasium. This event will feature eight boys basketball teams from across the state, including District 186’s own Lanphier Lions. Green Family Stores is sponsoring the tournament.

The tournament is an opportunity for local student athletes to compete against teams they would not see in their regular season, and gives Springfield a chance to watch nationally ranked recruits and student athletes who have been invited to Olympic trials. Chicago Orr is the defending 2A state champion and ranked preseason number one, and North Chicago was 4th in the 3A state championship last year.

Tickets are $5 per person. There is free parking located in the Cass Gymnasium lot. Concessions will be available.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

Game 1       6:00 pm     Curie vs Cardinal Ritter
Game 2       7:30 pm       Chicago Orr vs. East St. Louis

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018

Game 3      6:00pm     Peoria Manual vs. Chicago Brooks
Game 4     7:30 pm    Lanphier vs. North Chicago

Friday Nov. 23, 2018

Game 5     12:00 pm Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 3
Game 6     1:30 pm         Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 4
Game 7     6:00 pm         Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 8     7:30 pm         Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018

Game 9     11:00 am     Loser Game 5  vs Loser Game 6
Game 10    12:30 pm Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
(Consolation Championship)
Game 11    6:00 pm     Loser game 7 vs  Loser Game 8
(3rd Place Game)
Game 12     8:00 pm     Winner Game 7  vs. Winner Game 8
(Championship Game)

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Ward 2 ward meeting tonight

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The ward meeting for Ward 2 is tonight at 5:30 PM  at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (908 S. Martin Luther King Drive). Residents are encouraged to come out to meet with their Alderman, Herman Senor, and Mayor Jim Langfelder to discuss the issues they see in the ward and the city.

If you aren’t sure which ward you live in, please check the online map https://www.springfield.il.us/Citizens/WardMap.pdf.

Don’t live in Ward 2? Check out the dates for other upcoming ward meetings:

  • Ward 2 – Alderman Senor: Thursday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 1 – Alderman Redpath: Monday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 5 – Alderman Proctor and Ward 6 – Alderwoman DiCenso: Wednesday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 9 – Alderman Donelan and Ward 10 – Alderman Hanauer: Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.

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