YMCA plan deserves community support

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 12, 2001

Antoinette Brown knows just how important a YMCA could be. With four children ages 8 to 12, the Ferriday, La., mother is anxiously awaiting the planned YMCA development.

&uot;A lot of people are looking forward to it — for kids and adults, too,&uot; Brown said this week.

She’s not alone.

A group of persistent and persuasive Concordia Parish residents has worked tirelessly to champion the cause. They have secured government approval and are close to securing a place to house the Y. Now, they are seeking much-needed funds to operate the Y and its programs — programs that could range from swimming and youth athletics to healthy and education. Prospects are lining up — including a possible grant from the Alexandria-based Rapides Foundation.

Organizers have a pledge of $75,000 from the Concordia Recreation District No. 1, are seeking $25,000 from the town of Ferriday and will look to the community to help raise the remaining $50,000 needed in startup costs.

While the true measure of the Y’s success will lie in the support of the community — and in residents like Antoinette Brown, who stand to benefit greatly from the programs — we believe it will be a great benefit to Concordia Parish.

We urge the civic and community leaders to step up and answer that challenge. Whether they support fund-raisers or offer pledges, the residents of Concordia Parish can play a key role in creating a program whose benefits will be felt for generations to come.