eugene ymca press release

441 donors gave to the New Y in 6 weeks; local business & family contribute $250,000 for a new challenge match


Eugene, Ore., Jan. 6, 2022 – Because of the incredible generosity of 441 donors, the Eugene Family YMCA is more than $1.2 million closer to its Community Phase fundraising goal of $5 million for a New Y and has launched a new $250,000 match in the new year!

“I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our community,” said Eugene Family YMCA Chief Development Officer Danielle Uhlhorn. “People are excited to see significant progress toward groundbreaking and the vision of a community space that serves all.”Eugene YMCA preschool students smile in front of fundraising progress gauge

The $500,000 challenge donation that launched the Community Phase of the campaign was met and exceeded in a mere 6 weeks—with contributions from 237 Y members and 182 new donors, $700,656 was raised for a total of $1,200,656 toward the $5 million community phase goal.

“The Y inspired me and gave me hope when I needed it most,” said the $500,000 anonymous challenge match donor, who used the YMCA’s fitness and child care services during a financially difficult period and was able to complete a college degree due in large part to the support from the YMCA. “The Y was critical then and, similar to so many other people now, it continues to be an important part of our family’s life and the broader community. I am thrilled that my contribution inspired so many others to help expand the Y in a way that will truly help thousands more individuals and families in the future.”

One generous donor that gave during the match, Rainbow Valley Design and Construction, donated $25,000 to the project and secured the naming opportunity for the whirlpool in the new Y.

“We know intimately how flawed the current building is and yet the Y is able to do incredible work serving the community,” said YMCA Board Member Chip Radebaugh, General Manager and one of 9 partners at Rainbow Valley. “With a fully functioning, ADA-accessible, energy-efficient facility, the possibilities are endless. It is like we have been serving the community with one hand tied behind our back.”

Dr. Tim Straub, an orthopedic surgery specialist at Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, and his wife Ann, a Registered Nurse, also donated $25,000 to the campaign and the match.

“A vibrant YMCA is important to the physical and mental well-being of a community,” he said about the inspiration for their gift.

Longtime Y members Patty Krier and her husband Tom Connolly donated $5,000 to the Campaign for the New Y and encourage others to join them.

“The Y did not skip a beat in serving this community through the pandemic. Everything just blended seamlessly from being in-person at the Y to staying at home and being active,” Krier said. “We can’t say enough good things about the Y. The New Y will offer a large, open community space that this 1950s building simply cannot provide.”

With the completion of the $500,000 match that launched the community phase of the campaign for a new Y, another Y supporter offered a $250,000 challenge match to continue the momentum and ensure that donations continue to get doubled.

“We have really high hopes of more people having access to the Y and seeing the difference it can make in the community,” said Katie Urhausen, a lifelong Eugenian and spokesperson/co-founder for Deployed Logix (DLX), a company that provides equipment for first responders around the world. “Without community, what do you have? COVID has really shown us that we need each other.”

When Urhausen presented the donation opportunity to the DLX board, they eagerly stepped forward to sponsor the warm-water Therapy Pool in the new Y’s Aquatics Center.

“My oldest daughter is severely disabled—she was born missing part of her brain and also has a still-undiagnosed syndrome,'' Katie said of her daughter, now 10. “A big source of joy in her life is being in the water. The Therapy Pool will be in honor of my daughter Jovie and her friends. Our vision is that it provides a source of comfort and joy for all types of people.”

The New Y project inspired DLX because it is poised to be a welcoming, easily-accessible, engaging facility for those with disabilities. Not only will the warm-water pool provide access (through a lift) and opportunities for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, but also the Health & Wellness Center will have expanded adaptive equipment with programs specifically designed to accommodate those with mobility and other challenges.

“Sometimes families like mine feel marginalized,” Urhausen said. “It means a lot just to be acknowledged and included. The Y recognizes, welcomes and engages people with disabilities, but can’t put forth their best effort because of the constraints of the old facility.”

Urhausen’s family, which includes Emmet, 8, and Coco, 5, participate in many of the Y’s community events and youth programs, such as the Halloween party, swim lessons and sports clinics.

“When you have a child with a lot of medical equipment or with a feeding tube, for example, it is sometimes difficult to be in a public space,” she said. “But when you are at the current Y, you can truly feel the love there. It is a well-loved space. It is not a suitable space anymore but the energy within those walls is magical. So it will be exciting to feel that same energy within a new state-of-the-art facility.”

Deployed Logix will match all donations and pledges to the campaign for a new Y dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000, doubling donors’ impact to the project.   

New Y Project               Donate to the New Y


About the Eugene Family YMCA

The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year across Lane County, the Y engages more than 18,000 people regardless of age, gender, income or background—to nurture the potential of children, teens and seniors; improve health and well-being; and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2020, the Eugene Family YMCA awarded $413,506 in financial assistance. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.

Media inquires, please contact:
Beth Casper
503-302-8776 (mobile)

January 6, 2022