Roving Reporter | "YMCA Development Committee Kicks Off First Fundraiser" | Article and Photos by Jeanette Larson

YMCA Development Committee

The Rockport YMCA Development committee met on Wednesday, May 3 at City Hall. The main item on the agenda was finalizing a pledge campaign to raise funds for the committee to hire an executive director for two years. Warren Hassinger distributed a draft of the plan which calls for 500 people to pledge $200. Pledges would not be collected until the goal is met. Donors would receive an inscribed brick that will be incorporated into the building. Hassinger said that it is his hope that the $200 level will allow families and individuals to become early supporters of the Y.

Warren Hassinger
The proposed YMCA would be located adjacent to the Community Aquatic Center on Stadium Drive. [See Related Post]
The facility will support swim activities, include a basketball court, have an indoor jogging track, and a fully equipped gym, among other programs and amenities.

While the City of Rockport has funds from the 2007 bond election, and the committee has raised additional funds through in-kind support, the pledge campaign will fund two years of salary and benefits for an executive director. The director will be responsible for raising the remaining funds needed to construct the building. The City of Rockport will then enter into a contract for the YMCA to operate the facility. The YMCA will be responsible for all upkeep, programming, and maintenance. The pledge campaign will run from June 1 to September 30. The campaign will be advertised through a number of venues, including paid ads in local media. The campaign information will include a link for answers to the potential questions not addressed in the literature distributed.

Citizens to be heard
Several citizens had questions during the Citizens to be Heard part of the agenda. Although chairman Eric Heller indicated that the committee could not respond to topics not on the agenda, these questions would be added to the June agenda. He later indicated that as part of the pledge campaign a FAQ section would be provided online and that these questions will most likely be answered satisfactorily there. It was also pointed out that most of the questions, which dealt with removal of trees, support for a YMCA in Rockport, and the choice of location, have been answered in the past and are included in the minutes of previous meetings.

The other agenda item was a report on pool operations. Many local residents are concerned about losing access to the pool if it is operated by the YMCA and requires Y membership. Parks Director Rick Martinez discussed the increase in pool usage and revenue between the first two quarters of FY 2016-17 and the same period for FY 2015-16. Revenues increased about $18,000.

Pat Nordmark shares census data
Rick Martinez, Parks Director
When questioned as to why this might be Martinez talked about new activities that have attracted people to the pool. These include a second Doggie Dunk, having the splash pool open during Spring Break, and events like April Pool's Day. On April 1, $4,000 in season passes were sold. The pool has also been tracking where users come from. In March out of 1581 people who signed in, 231 were from Rockport, 76 from Fulton, and 1272 were out of area. Martinez was not sure whether the last number included people who did not indicate any locale. 297 6th graders from ACISD also came to the pool during April. Martinez expressed surprise that a third of those students did not know how to swim. This was seen as a major reason for needing the pool in our community.


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Jeanette Larson is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.



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