A generous donation: YMCA in Port Washington one step closer to keeping its doors open

PORT WASHINGTON (WITI) -- The Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA in Port Washington is one step closer to keeping its doors open. A campaign is underway to raise $1 million to keep the Feith Family YMCA in Port Washington a Y.

When the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy back in June, it was decided that it would sell several properties, including the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA. That means private companies can bid for it in the upcoming auction, but plenty of folks want to see it stay a “Y.”

The Kettle Morraine YMCA wants to purchase the property and keep it a YMCA — but it’s not a done deal.

“People thought when Kettle Moraine made the offer to purchase, they thought it was a done deal and they failed to communicate that the purchase was not going through. It was actually going to push forward through the bankruptcy and through the auction,” said Sarah Paque, Feith Family YMCA advisory board member.

The Kettle Moraine YMCA can still bid for the property — but so can others. In hopes of keeping the place a YMCA, there is now an effort to raise a million dollars in just over a month to bolster Kettle Moraine’s bid.

A $200,000 donation from John and Elizabeth Feith on Tuesday, August 26th will put them well on their way to reaching their $1 million fundraising goal.

"Anyone who works in fundraising understands that every donation really, critically does help, and in this case we have a lot of people who are donating $250, $500 -- whatever they can give, and it's really helping us to achieve our goal," Rob Johnson, the Executive Director of the Kettle Moraine YMCA said.

The Kettle Moraine Y needs to submit to be considered a qualified bidder by September 22nd.

The auction for the Ozaukee YMCA is set for September 29th.