A rendering of the new YMCA in Kent expected to open in September 2019. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

A rendering of the new YMCA in Kent expected to open in September 2019. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

Kent YMCA gets $500,000 grant from Boeing employees

Facility expected to open in September 2019

The YMCA of Greater Seattle received a $500,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing to help pay for its new Kent facility opening in late 2019.

The grant will allow the Kent YMCA facility to better serve youth through programs focused on ending youth homelessness, tackling youth obesity, promoting education and employment, violence prevention and family foster care, according to a Oct. 10 YMCA media release.

“The grant is an important part of our campaign to build the Y in Kent and a further reflection of Boeing employees’ lasting commitment to improving our communities,” said Nathan Phillips, regional vice president for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, in the media release.

City of Kent Parks Director Julie Parascondola first announced in August at a City Council workshop that the Boeing employees group had donated $500,000 to the YMCA.

Construction started in June on the facility between Morrill Meadows Park and East Hill Park near Southeast 248th Street and 104th Avenue Southeast. The city of Kent is paying about $10 million toward the project.

The Kent Y will offer an array of benefits all under one roof to help address gaps in services not currently available in the community, according to YMCA officials. It will serve 22,000 people per year, with an expected one in four of them being under the age of 18.

“Kent is growing and it’s the perfect time for the Y to grow with it. The community is vibrant and fueled by diverse families and with young children. Our services will be positioned to help all residents, with additional emphasis on youth programs,” Phillips said.

The nonprofit organization is raising more than $27 million to build the new facility, which will include community gathering spaces; an aquatic center, gym, group fitness and cardio spaces. The 50,000-square-foot facility will also offer child care and other enrichment programs for youth.

“The Employees Community Fund of Boeing (ECF) is proud to support The Y Campaign for Kids and Communities,” said Patricia Meissner, board president of the Employees Community Fund of Boeing. “The generous Boeing employees who combine their dollars by giving to ECF made this $500,000 grant possible. We understand the importance of building strong, sustainable and healthy communities that provide opportunities for all. At Boeing it’s part of our DNA to work together as a team, and to give together to make a difference.”

The Employees Community Fund is an employee-owned and managed charitable giving program. Since 1951 generous Boeing employees have contributed more than $600 million to local Puget Sound nonprofits. Over the years, the Employees Community Fund has funded $1.1 million in direct grants to YMCA of Greater Seattle.

The grants have gone toward community projects such as aiding the homeless, stocking food banks, helping at-risk children succeed in school, providing job training for the unemployed, funding critical health services, supporting veterans’ programs and more.

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