YMCA New Riverview LocationIt is not the matter of “if,” but the matter of “when” residents of Apollo Beach and the surrounding SouthShore areas have a new YMCA facility to enjoy.
Due to the continued growth in the Tampa Bay area, YMCA officials have begun making plans for a new facility to serve the needs of the SouthShore community.
According to Tampa Bay YMCA group Vice President Cindy Sofarelli, though the actual timeframe of the new facility is not available, the necessary, preliminary work of planning for the new center has begun.
“Of course, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Sofarelli said, but added, “The ball is rolling.”
Sofarelli explained that, so far, a strategic plan has been completed which includes a number of things before specific decisions concerning location, size and function of the future center can be established.
For YMCA officials, the emphasis is on building not a structure but relationships with members of the community and by starting programs which will result in partnerships with local organizations such as church groups, schools and businesses that will help to determine the need of the community.
“We will be conducting a market study starting in 2009 by contacting local residents,” added Sofarelli.
The actual timeframe and the exact location of the new facility is hard to say and has not been determined, although the Big Bend corridor is a very likely possibility.
“All of this, however, has to do with a number of different types of YMCA centers available for residents to choose from. These include a full family center with a swimming pool, or it may be an outdoor type similar to the well-known Camp Cristina facility. The possibility of a smaller, express model is also on the list,” Sofarelli said.
For now, residents are encouraged to focus on taking advantage of the many upcoming events scheduled for the various existing YMCA locations as well as events sponsored or hosted by the organization.
One of these is the YMCA’s fourth Annual 2008 Corporate Challenge fundraising event that is prepared to take participants on a wild adventure full of mental and physical challenges. Held on Friday, November 7, from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at YMCA Camp Cristina, a 65-acre outdoor adventure site in Riverview, the event will put teams of 6 – 10 members from local organizations head to head in a day of healthy team-building competition.
Sponsorships are available, and team entry is $500 which includes all activities of the day, a light breakfast, lunch, and a signature commemorative bandana. All proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Building Strong Kids Campaign which helps make YMCA participation possible for children and families in the Brandon area regardless of their financial circumstances.
For more information, call Bryan Beckham at 677-8400.

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