Letters to the Editor, Aug. 16, 2009Written by Administrator | | firstname.lastname@example.org
YMCA coverage ‘flawed,’ is example of ‘poisonous environment’
TO THE EDITOR;
I found the recent controversy about Blade coverage linking the closing of the south Toledo YMCA with the salaries of the leadership to be very biased and flawed. These salaries were public knowledge and approved by their boards.
These leaders provide valuable leadership to the YMCA organization most people do not realize.
I was one of the early members of a group to bring a YMCA to Bedford Township and the chairman of the finance committee that raised the money. Early on, there were members of our community who did not want to associate with the Toledo YMCA because financial surpluses from our branch would go to subsidize the operations of Toledo branches.
We could have associated with the Monroe YMCA, who would let us keep this. It was only under the leadership of Robert Alexander and his team who convinced us to allow this.
In addition to gaining this for the existing YMCA organization, the leadership team was able to leverage the millions we raised in cash with a lease agreement with Promedica that allowed the building to be a state of the art facility. Other YMCA leaders from around the country visit to see what can be done.
This state-of-the-art facility is available to all Toledo YMCA members who wish to use it.
This would not have happened without the existing YMCA leadership.
Lastly, there is a poisonous political atmosphere in Toledo that the YMCA did not have to deal with in Bedford. The school system gave the land to the YMCA for the branch.
We asked “How can we?” instead of “Who is to blame?” In Toledo, this could never happen. This poisonous environment is a significant reason Toledo finds itself in its current situation I believe.
JON WHITMAN, Monroe, Mich.
Smoke on the Water’s Red Cross donations soar
TO THE EDITOR,
A heartfelt thank you goes out to Northwest Ohio on behalf of the Smoke on the Water – Ribs for the Red Cross committee for the amazing support for the event that took place July 31-Aug. 2, in Downtown Toledo. As demonstrated by success of the event, when a community comes together, great things can happen.
I’m excited to share that approximately 30,000 people came Downtown and helped raise $50,000 for the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of American Red Cross.
These funds will be utilized right here in our community for those in need when a disaster strikes. The average disaster requires approximately $2,000 in need (food, clothing, shelter) for the impacted family or families. Together, we helped more then 25 families at a time when there need is the greatest.
And this event was truly a community coming together. Sponsorships from Columbia Gas of Ohio, KeyBank, Heartland Health Care, Regency Hospital, Costco, Crown Plaza and Heineken made the event possible. Media sponsors, including Toledo Free Press, Cumulus radio and FOX Toledo, helped draw massive crowds to Promenade Park. A who’s-who of local vendors lined the park with the best BBQ our community has to offer. Additionally, 300 members of our community volunteered their time to the event.
Yet the support from all corners was amazing, and demonstrated that we can all join together for the greater good. Media outlets beyond our sponsors were generous with their coverage; vendors helped other vendors with supply needs; local officials provided space and assets throughout the weekend to ensure we had a successful event.
In addition, the Smoke on the Water committee was stacked with some of the best and brightest our community has to offer. Each member generously offered their time and talents to the event; their input was invaluable and a major reason for the success. Every single person approached to be a part of this event in 2008 said “yes.” An even greater testimony of these individuals’ commitment to the American Red Cross and Northwest Ohio: every single committee member came back for 2009.
Planning is already under way for 2010, and we look forward to the community joining us in raising funds for the Red Cross while having some great BBQ, July 30-Aug. 1, 2010, in Promenade Park.
Smoke on the Water – Ribs for the Red Cross
Community Relations Manager,
Columbia Gas of Ohio