2022 In Review

Dear Members,

The holiday season provides time for gratitude and reflection, and as we reflect on the things we are grateful for, our members, donors, and friends are at the top of our list. As we prepare to enjoy the holidays with our friends and family, I am pleased to provide an update on our capital projects, as well as some of the highlights of an exceptional year at the Y.

Capital Project Update:

  • The warm pool, steam room, sauna, and physical therapy space for Gundersen Health System at the Houser Y are all complete. The response from members and the community has been outstanding. 
  • The male locker room, universal locker room (temporary ladies’ locker room), steam, and sauna are all complete at the Dahl Y. 
  • Construction on the new female locker room at the Dahl Y continues. We anticipate the new female locker room will open to members at the end of February.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience as we work to get these projects completed.

Other Highlights:

  • Membership continues a strong recovery. At the height of the pandemic, we dropped from 22,000 members to 12,000 members. I am thrilled to report that we again have 21,200 members. Thanks to all the members who stayed with us, those who returned, and those members new to the Y. We are glad you are part of the Y family.
  • Thanks to a gift from the La Crosse Community Foundation, and in support of our efforts to address hunger in the community, we have purchased a cargo van so that we can roll out our new Y on the Fly program.  Y on the Fly brings food, fun, and activities into La Crosse neighborhoods. 
  • Our Food Program grew to provide 200,000 healthy meals and snacks annually for youth and to include a mobile food pantry to support families identified by our Y.
  • Thanks to the incredible generosity of our members and donors, we exceeded our annual campaign goal of $700,000, which provides funding for critically important Y programs.
  • One in four members access the Y through our Flexible Pricing Program, which is funded through philanthropic support (the Annual Campaign).
  • We launched our Esports program – a brand new youth opportunity designed to promote vital skills, such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, and strategic thinking.
  • Our before and after-school care program is serving 888 young people at 15 locations throughout the community, offering academic and social enrichment, mental wellness activities, and a whole lot of fun for kids. Parents appreciate that they are able to go to work knowing the Y cares for their children.
  • Our Y welcomed 11,155 program registrations this year, for programs including swimming lessons, developmental youth sports, dance, music, karate, gymnastics, basketball, and more.
  • Our Community Youth Center served young people seven days a week, providing regular meals, mentorship, and a safe place for youth in our community.
  • Currently, 60 families experiencing excruciating circumstances, including homelessness or other extreme need – are being supported by our four Community Health Workers. These families are assisted in finding housing, employment, healthcare, and necessities to support positive outcomes in school and beyond. 

These are just a few of the ways the Y strengthens our community each and every day. Thank you for being part of an organization that is doing so much good in our community.

With sincere appreciation and warmest regards,

Bill Soper