Members wonder why the Y is closing?

January 25, 2008 2:32:00 PM PST
It appears Camden County may be losing the only YMCA facility it has left. The facility in Voorhees will apparently this weekend. The Camden County YMCA's board of directors and trustees held a meeting Tuesday and decided to close the Voorhees location this Sunday while it reorganizes. A letter from the board of directors, posted on the door, said the decision to suspend operations was the result of a decrease in donor support, economic downturn, and declining membership revenue. The Voorhees Y has about 4,000 members and about 187 mostly part-time employees. Members will receive refunds or be allowed to transfer their memberships to the YMCAs in Woodbury, Mt. Laurel, or Burlington.

"It's a concern because my son loves to swim and this is a great way for him to exercise. I think they're doing the best they can under really bad circumstances," Marilyn Bills of Vorhees said.

A number of senior citizens enjoyed working out here. They all have to go further away now. There's also concern among parents whose children swim at the Voorhees YMCA. They're worried that they won't be reimbursed for classes they've paid for in advance.

The facility apparently has a $2.2-million debt, and was counting on the sale of the closed Y in Camden to help balance the budget. But the sale fell through. The Camden facility closed last year.

Workers appeared to be just as surprised by the announcement, but no one was commenting today.

The YMCA says it will continue to operate its offsite afterschool care and fitness programs, as well as its summer Camp Moore operation in Berlin Township.