YMCA receives large donation

(WEAU) - Just like the pool people have been jumping into activities at the YMCA downtown for fifty years. Now it's getting a four million dollar gift from the Simpson family.

“I think this is a classic example of what people can do through legacy gifts and so people who may not think they have a lot of money now can be very beneficial to the YMCA or the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire,” said Executive Director Ken Van Es.

Executive director Ken Van Es says he's known about the gift for some time now, but is thankful to be receiving it.

“It is nice to get it and be able to use it for what I think George Simpson intended it to be used for,” said Van Es.

Past YMCA President Scott Milne views the donation as a great step in the climb towards its twenty million dollar campaign.

“I think it’s terrific for the Y, its going to help us to hopefully realize our dream of building a new YMCA and it's a very generous gift,” said Milne.

Y leaders say they'll put the money to good use.

“I think our board of directors will decide that as we get it but I think we'll take care of some immediate needs we have to take care of here just to keep operating here,” Van Es.

“Hopefully it will lead to bigger gifts from potential givers. I think that this is a great example of what can happen when somebody is generous,” said Milne.


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  • by Anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM
    So there actually are "Rich" people that help others? Listening to all the class warfare coming out of the White House you would think that these "wealthy" individuals do nothing for anyone else. Wonderful gift from the Simpson family that will benefit people from all walks of life in our community!
  • by Jim on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    I also would like to say "thanks" to the Simpsons for their generous donation. I am new as a Y member and enjoying very much all they have to offer. For someone who is working out at 5 am, I think the facility is great, but is getting a little dated mostly from use. If someone wants a "plush" workout environment, they have the clubs to join...and can pay a higher fee. Thanks Simpsons, thanks Y.
  • by D on Feb 1, 2012 at 09:05 AM
    Thank you very much to the Simpson family for their generous donations to both the YMCA and UWEC. I for one look forward to seeing a new and improved Y and becoming a member in the near future.
  • by Sheila on Feb 1, 2012 at 08:43 AM
    I used to work at the Y a few years ago. It needs updating and other things but remains a positive organization within the community and to work for. Should Ken Van Es work for free? Come on! We need the folks in any organization (or anyone you would want to run an agency like this) to be compensated as an executive should be. I think shame on the negative comments here - sure, let's have someone run a community organization where we have hundreds of children and vulnerable adults in their care or using the facilities and all of the things the Y does in the community, and pay them $10/hr. Yeah, let's do that and see what we get. Then you will complain that the Y is a shabby place and you will also see other undesireable things happen too. Ken is very much a part of why the Y is an excellent community agency, and one to be trusted.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Sheila
      I hardly think Van Es is working at the Y for free. Just to understand you though, you think it would be wrong for some of his workers to make $10/hr? These would be the workers as you described taking care of children and vlunerable adults.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 07:21 PM in reply to anonymous
        Whoever you are anonymous, you appear to know very little about the YMCA but still run your mouth like you do. Everyone has bashed your rude and tasteless comments. You must have been one of the lazy workers at the Y who got canned after they found you not doing your job. Go do something productive with your life and get off of your soapbox.
        • reply
          by anonymous on Feb 3, 2012 at 06:01 AM in reply to
          I've never worked at the Y in my life. What's the matter did I open up a sore area with you all because I said we should pay the people that take care of our kids more? Sounds like you're a bit upset.
  • by Brenda on Feb 1, 2012 at 04:39 AM
    Wow, that is absolutely wonderful! How generous for them to donate that money. Hats off to them...
  • by Proud Y Staff Member Location: Eau Claire on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:40 PM
    I have been working at the Y for 6 years, and I can proudly say that I owe much of my current success to my time spent there. I started at minimum wage and since have gotten earned wage increases. I am not sure what background you have of the Eau Claire YMCA but negitive comments on a positive community organization is childish. A job is a job, and if you don't make the most of it or put pride in your work then you should not make more than minimum wage.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 at 04:13 AM in reply to Proud Y Staff Member
      blah blah blah, my comments which you totally missed were about the huge gap between that some of these so called 'executives' make and what the rest of the workforce makes. It had nothing to do with the programs of the Y or anything like that, so please spare me the righteous baloney.
      • reply
        by Observer on Feb 1, 2012 at 09:26 AM in reply to anonymous
        "please spare me the righteous baloney" Theirs or yours?
      • reply
        by so please spare me the righteous baloney on Feb 1, 2012 at 09:43 AM in reply to anonymous
        I understand the comment you made. But to make a generalized statement about executives and their salaries, but refer to the YMCA in your march against the world, is going in the wrong direction with your parade and putting a negitive image about a great organization.
        • reply
          by anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM in reply to so please spare me the righteous baloney
          Okay, how about this, the Y is a great organization, with great people. Now, since the frontline people of the Y take care of our kids and can have a huge impact on them, how about we pay them more than minimum wage? How is that?
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jan 31, 2012 at 05:42 PM
    After hearing how much Van Es makes at the Y hopefully they'll pay their employees more than minimum wage.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:12 PM in reply to anonymous
      just curious, how much do you think Mr. Van Es should make? He has been an Executive for 30 yrs in the area...
      • reply
        by Batman on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM in reply to
        The socialists want everybody to make the same. No matter how hard you work, no matter how long you've been there.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:34 PM in reply to Batman
          Give the tired, flavor of the day, tea party slogans a rest for a while....We get it, you adore the rich and HATE the struggling....
      • reply
        by anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:02 AM in reply to
        You do realize don't you that salaries can be researched right? It's no secret.
  • by Terrie D. Location: Eau Claire on Jan 31, 2012 at 05:17 PM
    As a member of the Y, I say thank you for the donation. Much appriciated. I pray that it will be used to purchase new cardio equipment and weights. I'm getting tired of having rust stains on my clothes after working out. (I'm not kidding).
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:45 PM in reply to Terrie D.
      You choose to work out at the YMCA. If you are unhappy then you should consider a different workout facility.
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