Local YMCA facilities in the Chippewa Valley merge

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- YMCA locations in the Chippewa Valley are merging and members will have new benefits.

Chippewa Valley YMCA locations announce merger.

Theresa Hillis, CEO of the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley, says the conglomerate will include five facilities available to all members regardless of which location they signed up for a membership at.

"We've got five facilities”, Hillis said. “The Eau Claire YMCA, the Chippewa valley which is going to be called the Chippewa Family YMCA. We have Camp Manitou which is up north and then we have the John and Fay Menard Tennis Center and the L.E Phillips Indoor Sports Center.”

According to Hillis, discussions began in August 2018 when volunteers from the Chippewa Valley Family YMCA approached the Eau Claire YMCA about possibly sharing services.

She is excited these conversations led to a new umbrella organization and applauds all the work volunteers have put into the project.

Hillis also reflected on the long history of the YMCA in the Chippewa Valley while looking ahead to the future.

"We're really excited”, she said. “The Eau Claire YMCA has been around for almost 140 years. Camp Manitou has been around for almost 100 and the Chippewa facility for almost 40. We have about 16-thousand members through the whole organization now and we also have over 950 staff and 550 volunteers.”

According to the YMCA, current members won't notice much change in their membership.

However, members can now take advantage of services offered at all locations.

Eau Claire YMCA member, Michael O'Neill, uses all of the local facilities and is excited about financial benefits that will come as a result of the merger.

"As a user of all the facilities I'm looking forward to saving money, I think it is good for the community and a lot of people are behind it”, O’Neill said.

To celebrate the new merger, a ribbon tying ceremony will take place at the Chippewa Falls YMCA on June 27th with free admission being offered at both Eau Claire and Chippewa on June 28th and 29th.