eugene ymca press release

Tykeson Family Foundation Contributes $100,000 To Build The New YMCA

Tykeson gift recognizes the Y's work to encourage health and inclusivity.

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2019, Eugene, OR  - The Eugene Family YMCA is pleased to announce a generous $100,000 gift from the Tykeson Family Foundation, which supports healthcare in Oregon and aligns closely with the Y's mission.


"Our board galvanized around the $500,000 match provided by Betty Soreng and Oregon Community Foundation," said Amy Tykeson, managing trustee of the Tykeson Family Foundation. "We appreciate the good work the Y does to encourage better health and inclusivity in the community."


The Tykeson Family Foundation's gift is a monumental step toward the future of the YMCA in Lane County. These dollars represent a significant commitment to health and wellness and the expansion of programs that help individuals fight chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and arthritis.


"The Y's efforts to provide comprehensive wellness for the whole community at every stage of life connects well with the Tykeson family's long commitment to advancing the health and well-being of our region," said Eugene Family YMCA CEO Brian Steffen. "We are honored to put these dollars to good use in creating a flagship facility that will improve the health of thousands more each year."


The Y's current facility was constructed with a 1950s world in mind and to serve a community with one-third of today's population - it is no longer a viable building to accommodate nearly 20,000 facility visits each month, nor does it have the capacity to expand the wellness programming upon which the community increasingly depends.


The Y's new state-of-the-art 70,000-square-foot facility will be built at the corner of 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street. It is projected to accommodate 35,000 visits a month.


Don Tykeson, the founder of the Tykeson Family Foundation, achieved business success in the communications industry -- as President and CEO of Liberty Communications and as a founding member of the C-SPAN board. Don and his wife, Willie, channeled tens of millions of dollars into philanthropic giving that has benefited Oregon communities in countless ways. The foundation's giving has been dedicated to education, health care and the arts.


"My dad lived with multiple sclerosis for most of his life and he supported health care initiatives that helped individuals live healthy, full lives," said Amy Tykeson, who followed in her father's career footsteps. She is the former CEO of BendBroadband and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2013. "Our family foundation continues my parents' legacy of giving to causes that directly boost the community's well-being."


During the last decade, Y-USA has been intentionally approaching health programming in all its complexity and with an eye to extending the impact the Y has on our nation's health - especially since 80 percent of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Y. YMCA's have been partnering with agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and LIVESTRONG in order to make a real difference in the lives of people living with chronic disease.


At the Eugene Family YMCA, these programs include:


* Diabetes Prevention: The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, consists of 25 classes delivered over the course of one year. A trained lifestyle coach helps participants learn strategies for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes. This approach has been shown to reduce the incidence of full-blown Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.


* Cancer Survivor Programming: The Y and the LIVESTRONG Foundation have joined together to create a 12-week program offered at no cost to help cancer survivors improve their strength and physical fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop supportive relationships and improve their quality of life. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to safely achieve their goals. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is helping people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.


* Enhance® Fitness: The Y's nationally recognized, evidence-based senior fitness program is endorsed by the CDC. It is an hour-long exercise class, proven to increase cardiovascular health, muscle strength, bone density, mental sharp- ness, flexibility and balance. It is appropriate for a variety of physical abilities and especially suited for those looking for low-impact exercise or suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia-related ailments.




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 nearly 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. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.


Media inquires, please contact:

Eugene Family YMCA
Beth Casper
541-686-9622 ext. 240
503-302-8776 (mobile) 


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Founded in 1887, We're Lane County's Oldest Nonprofit.

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December 23, 2019