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Ches Penney gives $1 million to name the new Y

St. John’s, NL – June 8, 2009 – this morning, at the new Y site at Ridge Road and Higgins Line, a special ceremony was held to break ground and to announce a $1 million gift given by Ches Penney and the Penney Group. The new building will be named the Ches Penney Family Y.

“My family and our companies have done well in business, and this is our way of giving back. I am happy to be here today to make this announcement public and to be a part of building the new Y for generations of children, youth, and families and to encourage others to give” says Ches Penney, Chairman of the Penney Group.

“We are delighted to be able to announce this gift today, the largest ever gift given to the Y in this province,” says Craig Rowe, Board Chair and Project Committee Chair for the YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon.

“This wonderful gift, the additional naming and major gifts announced today, along with our government support and a team of great volunteers and staff, make this dream a reality,” says Jason Brown, CEO of the YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon.

The ceremony was another major turning point in the Y project. Over the past few years the Y has acquired 4.55 acres from the City of St. John’s and the Pippy Park Commission; hired Sheppard Case Architects as the prime consultant for the project; received confirmation of $4.5 million from municipal, provincial, and federal governments; and embarked on the Y Strong Families Campaign. The general contractor will be announced in June, 2009 with construction starting soon after.

The campaign will continue throughout construction. It is anticipated the Ches Penney Family Y will open in late 2010 or early 2011. At approximately 50,000 sq ft, the facility will include an aquatics centre, change rooms, employment and enterprise centre, child care centre, gymnasium, exercise facilities, offices, and community space.

The YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon is a charity offering programs in health, employment and child care since 1854. Every year, over 14,000 people take part in Y programs in our communities.

More information:
Jason Brown, CEO
YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon
709-754-2982 ext 41

© YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador