By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
STANWOOD — The effort to build a YMCA in Stanwood continues this summer as organizers work to select a site for the proposed Y and line up the major donors needed to spark a capital campaign to build it.
Meanwhile, the YMCA of Snohomish County is moving ahead next week with the start of a summer meals and activities program for children.
The school district plans to offer free breakfast and lunch as part of the federal Department of Agriculture’s Seamless Summer Feeding Program. All kids 18 and younger can eat free meals Monday through Thursday at Twin City Elementary School. On Mondays and Wednesdays, kids also can participate in YMCA programs.
“We are in Stanwood this summer because there are needs, but we also are glad to have more of a presence in town,” said Scott Sadler, a vice president of the YMCA of Snohomish County. “It’s a good to have the opportunity to raise the level of awareness about the YMCA in Stanwood.”
Theresa Metzger, chairman of the Stanwood Camano YMCA Organizing Committee, said bringing an $18 million Y to the Stanwood-Camano Island community is a “huge project.”
For example, finding a potential site for the proposed 50,000-square-foot YMCA facility includes considering issues such as ease of access, traffic, visibility, costs to develop and ecological concerns such as soils and wetlands.
“It takes a lot of research to find the right place to build a Y and then find the money to fund it,” Metzger said. “Fortunately we have a passionate team of volunteers who work on this project every day.”
The dream of a YMCA in north Snohomish County began two years ago when a private Stanwood gym closed the area’s only regulation-size pool. Community leaders rallied to look for a solution, especially for students in swim programs and for elderly people for whom swimming is ideal exercise.
Stanwood Mayor Dianne White has said that people in the area have long recognized the need for a community-based health and recreation facility, and that’s why she and others contacted the YMCA for help.
YMCA surveys of people in the school district found that youth programs are among the high-priority needs in the community, Metzger said, and that’s why the summer activities program to go along with the meals program is a good start.
“YMCA of Snohomish County and the Marysville Y in particular are committed to help our kids stay active until our doors open,” Metzger said.
During the fall of 2010, people in the Stanwood and Camano Island communities were surveyed as part of a membership feasibility study. The results indicated a high demand for a family YMCA in the area.
Along with Metzger, Sadler and others at the county YMCA level, the organizing committee includes Mayor White and Laura Byers, Ellen Hiatt, Steve Jenkins, Don Leak, Pearl Schaar, Ken Kettler, Jeff Lind, Cindy Lenz, Jean Mamales, Rose Olson, Dave Pelletier, Paul Savoie, Kim Spann, Keri Von Moos and Jerry Will.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free meals for all children who live in the Stanwood-Camano School District are scheduled to be served Mondays through Thursdays, except July 4, at Twin City Elementary School, 26211 72nd Ave. NW. Breakfast is served from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The last day is Aug. 23. More about the meals program: 360-629-1208
Marysville Family YMCA staff plan to provide free activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays at the school. On Wednesday mornings, kids will be driven to the Marysville Y for swimming and gym use. More about the YMCA programs: 360-651-1610
More about the proposed Stanwood-Camano Family YMCA: www.ymca-snoco.org/locations/stanwood camano. Follow the effort on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ stanwoodcamano. More info: the Y office at 8823 Viking Way; 360-629-9622