The proposed 73,000-square-foot building, slated for a city block just south of the current Y, is by far the largest single philanthropic effort in Kokomo’s history.
From the beginning, Y officials have said they understood they couldn’t count on a single major donor writing a check for the majority of the project, like the Lilly family in Indianapolis, or the Cook family in Bloomington.
“I’ve said from the beginning, for this project to have the impact we want, it needs to have breadth as well as depth,” Metz said.
The fact the five Kokomo families wanted to make a joint statement was telling, he said.
“It’s not about one person having a headline, it’s about coming together as a strong team and making this happen.”
Demaree said the Y project stands “head and shoulders” above any other local philanthropic project he’s seen, in that the Y “truly serves the entire community.”
Each year, the Y sponsors about 1,400 individuals by offering free and discounted memberships and entries into programs, an estimated $250,000 annual reinvestment into the community, Metz said.
“It’s for all walks of life, for young and old, for rich and poor,” Demaree said. “If you’re a Northwestern person, you’ll meet Kokomo people, Maconaquah people, Tipton people. It just broadens your exposure at a very young age.”
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.