Local YMCA chapter launches ‘Adopt a debt’

Local YMCA chapter launches ‘Adopt a debt’

MARQUETTE — The YMCA of Marquette County is currently in the process of figuring out how to eliminate a five million dollar deficit they have found themselves in.

One way officials are trying to eliminate some of those red numbers is through a new program called ‘Adopt a debt.’

Inside the YMCA main entrance, you’ll find a giant white sign with a big heart. Attached to the heart are varying dollar amounts ranging from $3 to $5,000.

The dollar amounts are all deficits the Y currently owes to local vendors.

“People can just take the Y off the heart,” said Jenna Zdunek, interim director of the YMCA of Marquette County. “There’s an invoice number on the back, so they don’t know what business it is. You can walk up to the desk, pay it and then we immediately cut a check to that vendor. We write on their: Paid for by a community member.”

Most of the YMCA’s financial woes come from a three million dollar loan they received from the USDA for the addition they made to the facility two years ago. The Y has a petition for community members to sign, asking the USDA to forgive that debt.

“We’re hoping for 5,000 signatures in 10 days,” said Zdunek. “What we plan to do is bring that down to Lansing to Debbie Stabenow and ask her if there’s any way if she can help us get the USDA loan forgiven.”

In addition to Adopt a debt and the petition, a community action group called Friends of YMCA Marquette County has been formed.

The goal of the group is to help the YMCA back on a strong and sustainable financial path.