ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) – They help us stay fit, encourage spiritual walks and even take care of our kids. The YMCA in Anderson is, in a lot of senses, the backbone of the community. So what happens when the one place that helps everyone else needs help itself? That’s when the WISH Patrol steps in.
Jinni Enterkin has a big heart. The mom works at the Anderson YMCA but it’s what she sees behind the scenes that made her submit a nomination to the WISH Patrol. She nominated her bosses, Mark Springer and Molly McCoy.
She emailed in, “They are working so hard to do great things for children and adults in the community.”
The email goes onto further justify why they deserve it saying, “considering the facts that the YMCA is a non-profit organization and the building is over 100 years old.”
Springer is the Interim CEO for the Anderson YMCA. Springer along with McCoy, who is the membership coordinator, pride themselves on not turning any families away.
Touched by Enterkin’s email, the WISH Patrol decided to see firsthand the challenges they face.
Under the guise of a news story in mid-April, our producer visited the Anderson YMCA and saw it all. The group workout room is under construction. The pool is shut down because the cost to fix it doesn’t justify opening it. The teen room kids hang out in is in need of a remodel. The computers are slow because they’re old.
“Towards the end of the night when the kids are getting tired, we put on a movie. But [we can’t because] the television is broken,” explained Springer.
So with some collaboration, the WISH Patrol came up with a plan.
Unannounced, 24-Hour News 8’s Brooke Martin and the WISH Patrol stopped by the Anderson YMCA weeks after our initial visit. We wanted to let Springer and McCoy know there was more to the story. After bringing them outside, they found local businesses waiting to help.
GODBY HOME FURNISHINGS STEPS UP AGAIN
Familiar with the WISH Patrol franchise from donating back in December, Jeff Godby said the decision to help again was an easy one.
“Congratulations. It’s well deserved, you’re going to enjoy it. We have some loveseats, some chairs, some ottomans, a desk and some end tables. It’ll be a lot more comfortable place for you,” said Godby to Springer.
That furniture is now in the youth room so kids have somewhere to comfortably hang out.
HOOSIER PARK HELPING HOOSIERS
Anderson’s Hoosier Park raced to the rescue to replace the old computers the kids use.
“We have for you today, $5,000. Three thousand of that is in the form of a cash donation and $2,000 is in the form of two flatscreen televisions, two brand new Dell computer sets. We sincerely hope this gift helps you bring your vision to life for the YMCA,” explained Kiersten Flint, Vice President of Advertising & Communications for Centaur Gaming.
“Our kids are going to love this,” said Springer.
ED MARTIN WITH THE FLIP OF THE CHECK
There was someone else who wanted to give back. With four locations in Anderson, Ed Martin Automotive couldn’t wait for their chance to say thank you. General Manager Derek Manis shared his personal connection with the Anderson YMCA.
“We have a lot of employees about 200 employees here at Ed Martin in Anderson. Many of us are from the community, have spent a lot of time here as kids. I personally was baptized here, learned to swim here, so it’s personal for me. We’re just happy to be a part of giving back,” explained Manis.
Manis carried a $1,000 check into the YMCA. When asked what he’d do with $1,000 Springer said he’d use it to invest in the youth room. What Springer didn’t know is when Manis flipped the check over it was for $10,000.
That’s when Enterkin broke into tears.
“It means everything to us, it means everything,” said Springer.
Do you know of someone who is deserving of our next WISH Patrol visit? Click here to nominate them.