Innisfree Hotels, YMCA NWFL
There’s no need to feel down. Pensacola, Florida is getting a new YMCA.
At Innisfree Hotels, we believe in strengthening communities. That’s why Innisfree has supported the YMCA of Northwest Florida‘s youth development programs for the past five years.
The YMCA of Northwest Florida hosts an after school program for 12 area schools, where 40 percent of the families whose children attend are unable to afford the cost of the program, according to executive director Michael Bodenhausen.
“Last year, we gave out right at half a million dollars in subsidized programming, and each business including Innisfree that has donated makes a big difference in the lives of those youngsters,” Bodenhausen says. “These kids need a place to stay after school, one that is safe and educational, with a focus on health and wellness.”
At the day camps, after school programs and in swimming lessons, the YMCA provides those opportunities so parents don’t have to worry about their children when the school day ends and can stay at work to provide for their families.
“We have physical activities, because unfortunately those are being cut from the school system, and we teach kids what is good to eat,” Bodenhausen says. “We have tutoring, as we are trying to get all kids to an appropriate reading level. And we have fun while we’re doing it.”
The new Y – a 52,000 sq. ft. facility with 4,200 sq. ft. of rehabilitation and 9,000 sq. ft. of fitness space – will celebrate its grand opening in January 2017.
It will feature a gymnasium and two pools, one therapeutic, with the only slide in the region for persons with disabilities. An elevator will lift children and adults to the top of the slide, so those who have never been able to utilize a slide can enjoy the experience.
In addition to an annual sponsorship of youth programs, Innisfree Hotels Director of Development Rich Chism gave his time and energy during the initial planning stages of the new Y, including a great deal of help with the RFP and design process.
Mike Nixon, President of Innisfree Hotels, met with Bodenhausen regarding operations and instilling a sense of guest engagement throughout the organization.
“Innisfree believes in the Y’s goal to provide opportunities to youth for growth and development regardless of their income or background,” Nixon says.
Bodenhausen says now is the time to join the YMCA of NWFL, as current members can lock in the current rate for 18 months after the new facility opens.
– Ashley Kahn Salley
Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels