New Bay View YMCA Climbing Complex has risen from the ashes

30 May

Today I am pleased to bring some good news.

The new Bay View YMCA climbing complex. Click on the photo to see a few more.

You may remember the awful morning about a year ago when we woke up to find out that vandals had torched the 40-foot climbing tower at the Bay View Family YMCA.  It was completely destroyed, including all of the equipment that was stored inside, and the very popular zip line.

That happened on June 22, the day before summer camp was to begin. It was a devastating blow to the Bay View community, and especially the camp kids who used it every day during and after camp.  What was particularly depressing is finding out that insurance would not completely cover the cost of replacing the tower.

But if there’s one thing I have learned about the Webster community, it’s that we pull together big time when we sense a challenge.

The YMCA pledged not only to rebuild the tower bigger and better, but to do so before the start of the next summer’s camp season. They set a seemingly unreachable fund-raising goal of $100,000.

Immediately, donations started coming in, from pennies collected by preschoolers to large donations by local businesses. There were car washes and dunk-a-counselor events. We held a food truck rodeo in the middle of a hurricane and people still came out to support the cause. And young Bay View camper Joey Gerard raised more than $5,000 single-handedly by selling hand-crafted bracelets (see a previous story I wrote about Joey here.)

So many people helped reach that goal that it would be impossible to thank them all. But the goal WAS reached, and now all those people, and the entire Webster community, are invited to see the result.

On Saturday, June 1, the Bay View Family YMCA will officially open its brand-new climbing complex. You may have seen the new wall from a distance already.  And from a distance, it doesn’t look anywhere near as imposing as did the old tower. But drive down the road to the Y and get a closer look.  You’ll be lots more impressed.

The new 32-foot climbing wall is just the centerpiece of a bigger climbing complex, including a separate zip line tower with dual zip lines (so a parent and child can go down together) and a natural boulder playground. It is very beautiful and very exciting, and it’s all handicap-accessible.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Bay View Family YMCA, 1209 Bay Road, Webster (across from Wegmans).  Joe Gerard will be there to take the very first zip line ride.

 

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