Businesses & Volunteers Make PY Fitness Center a Reality

In December, Yates Cultural and Recreational Resources, Inc. (YCRR) and Soldiers & Sailors Hospital announced a partnership formed in efforts to improve the physical well being of Yates County residents. Since then, local businesses and volunteers have come together to help them fulfill their goal of opening an affordable fitness center in Penn Yan.Dr. Ed Eaves when asked to comment stated, “Our main concern was implementing a wellness program and utilizing resources that have been made available to us while at the same time not deterring from our main objective, which is to bring a community center to Yates County. We believed that the only way we could make the Fitness Center happen was for the community at large to lend a helping hand, and the response of both businesses and individuals has been incredible.” Dr. Eaves went on to say, “It now appears that making a community center a reality for our community will depend on an effort similar to the Fitness Center but on a much larger scale. We certainly have hit some road blocks with resources that should endorse and support this project that have chosen not to. So the response of businesses, volunteers, and individuals has amazed me in light of those developments.”Amy Leisenfelder, Executive Director for YCRR, added “Dr. Eaves, the entire YCRR Board of Directors and I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Kevin Bragg of Chrisanntha Construction Corporation, Gene Berardo of Cole’s Furniture and Floor Fashions, Steve McMichael of McMichael Electric, Soldiers & Sailors Hospital, In The Crease, Iron Age, Gordon Trust, Marianne Trombley and the YCRR Volunteers, and any others that we may have left out for the amazing level of generosity they have demonstrated. They have led by example when it comes to community service.” Kevin Bragg, President of Chrisanntha Construction Corporation, generously responded to the call for help and was one of the first to offer support. Since then, acting as lead contractor for the renovation, Chrisanntha Construction has donated over $20,000 in labor, services and materials to the project.“Chrisanntha Construction provided the technical support desperately needed for the renovations as well as labor, providing a foreman and additional help that worked in conjunction with our volunteers over a two week period. Their combination of professionalism and expert skills made the experience a positive one for all involved.” said Leisenfelder. Chrisanntha Construction Corp. is a commercial construction firm with headquarters on Dewey Avenue in the hamlet of Gorham. They have been planning, engineering and building all types of commercial, industrial and institutional structures for more than 20 years. Chrisanntha Construction is just one of several local businesses that came forward to help with the project. Cole’s Furniture and Floor Fashions followed suit, donating the cost of the flooring to the project. “As a resident of Yates County I’ve been a supporter of the community center project for some time, and saw this as an opportunity to support their endeavors as a business man as well. We were more than happy to fulfill their needs,” said Gene Berardo, owner of Cole’s Furniture and Floor Fashions in Penn Yan.“I’ve been a part of this community all my life, and see the need for programs like this. The fitness center is a great addition to the community and will serve a useful purpose until the community center is built,” said Steve McMichael, owner of McMichael Electric, who donated expertise and labor to the project.YCRR, Inc. was also the recipient of a $4,000 grant award from the Gordon Trust in December. The funds will be used for purchase of small equipment, renovation materials, and programming fees for the center in 2005. “This is the second award we have received from the Gordon Trust. Their commitment to our community and the mission of our organization is greatly appreciated,” said Leisenfelder.In addition to donations by local businesses and foundations, the project saw the collaboration among YCRR volunteers as the community spirit in Yates County surfaced and volunteers were called upon to assist with the renovation project. “Dozens of volunteers came together and worked with Chrisanntha Construction to tear down walls, remove carpet, wallpaper and plaster; paint and to make way for what is the beginning of an affordable, quality fitness facility in Penn Yan,” stated Marianne Trombley, Volunteer Coordinator for YCRR, Inc.“I have worked with several organizations that rely on volunteers, but never before have I seen such enthusiasm from people who are genuinely interested in the common good. This project is just a sample of what the group is willing to do and able to accomplish over the next couple of years,” added Trombley.The center is located at 463 North Main Street, Penn Yan on Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital property adjacent to the John D. Kelly Behavioral Health Center. The fitness center is equipped with cardiovascular equipment including treadmills, Stairmasters and stationary bikes; free weights and bench presses; and a complete set of Nautilus machines. It will be open to the general public for a nominal fee of $15 per month. Hours of operation are based on availability of volunteers. The center is opening February 1, 2005, with a grand opening celebration and community weight loss challenge scheduled for the beginning of March.The location is temporary, as a similar wellness and fitness center is part of the plans for the Yates Community Center, which YCRR is currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise funds for construction in 2006.For more information on volunteering or membership applications for the fitness center, please contact Amy Leisenfelder at 315-694-1071 or via email@amyl@ycrr.org


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