This summer, the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta announced that it will begin serving the Barnwell County area as the Family YMCA of Barnwell County, making this the organization’s tenth community-based facility. The new Y will be a regional resource serving all of the communities in Barnwell and Allendale Counties.
“We see the new YMCA as an opportunity and resource for all of our area,” says Lisa Fermender, current Chairman of the Barnwell YMCA Steering Committee. “Since we have never had a Y in our area, all of our citizens will now have the benefit of the life-changing programs that a Y offers, such as affordable after-school care, wellness programs and the opportunity to learn to swim.”
The first steps toward opening a Family Y facility has been a temporary office space in the Southern Carolina Alliance Building in Barnwell. Matt Mullen has been hired as the Branch Executive Director for the new YMCA. Matt was previously the Associate Executive Director for the Family YMCA of Greater Illinois. The branch will be located in the former Denmark Technical School facility in Barnwell Industrial Park. It will include a wellness center, group exercise rooms, community meeting space, childcare rooms, administrative offices and outdoor recreation spaces, which could include construction of an outdoor pool when funds are raised. The Y hope to begin by offering after-school care in elementary schools, day camps for school-aged children, wellness and aquatics.
“In order for a new YMCA to be successful in a new community, its citizens need to rally with support,” says Jerry Creech, Barnwell County Council member and the originator of the YMCA Steering Committee. “A few of the things the Y asks of the community are for volunteers, funding, and for the community to join the Y and participate in its programs. Several community partners have already been instrumental in bringing the Y to Barnwell County, including Danny Black at the Southern Carolina Allianace and the Barnwell County Council. God has blessed our community as we have come together on this effort.”
The new YMCA is anticipated to open in January 2015. For more information, call Matt Mullen at 803 450 4151.