By Tamas Mondovics

Members of the Campo Family YMCA leadership and board of directors welcomed the community and local media last month to celebrate the unveiling of the new Bella Y. Patel Courtyard.

“We are celebrating the completion of a much anticipated project that validates our values and commitment to strengthening our youth, families and communities,” said Campo Y Board of Directors Chair, Cindy Moran.

Thanks to a generous $45,000 gift to the facility from Bella Patel and her family, the courtyard boasts of several mature Oak trees that provide a natural canopy, while serving to expand as well as improve the facility’s outdoor programming for children, teens and families.

Following a brief introduction and some testimonials presented by members of the Campo Y, located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico, Patel spoke passionately about her relationship with and, subsequent desire to support the association, which she said, led to the idea and design of the courtyard.

The final product ultimately turned the available space into a safe, purposeful, activity-centered outdoor facility.

“The Y was and continues to be a huge presence in my family’s life,” Patel said. “I have never forgotten what the Y has done for me, and I am happy to now be in the position to give back to them and to support my local YMCA.”

Campo Y board member Rick Lewis, gave special thanks to Boy Scout Troop 89, which assisted with a building and installation of some of the signage and exercise areas scattered thought the 15,000 sq. ft. yard.

“The courtyard will offer a boot camp exercise area with six dedicated work stations for a new way to get an efficient, challenging and fun workout in an outdoor setting while improving overall health,” Lewis said.
The outdoor basketball court and concrete/Astroturf pad creates a healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, develop a sense of team and connect with positive role models. The outdoor setting offers space for group exercise classes ranging from Yoga to Body Flow.

The outdoor grill cooking stations promise to add to the Y’’s variety of curriculum.

Officials said YMCA Summer Camp’s educational curriculum will also take place on the new Bella Y. Patel Courtyard, where campers develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home, learn new skills and make new friends.

A portion of the Patel family donation will also go toward the Campo Y’s annual campaign, giving those in need the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs.

Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, CEO Tom Looby spoke highly of the Campo Y, its staff and the new courtyard, when he said, “This is one of our leading facilities, which just got better. The courtyard, thanks to generosity of the Patel family, is a wonderful addition to the programs offered here.”

For more information about the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Campo Family YMCA, please visit www.tampaymca.org.