To the community of Mahaska County. My name is Matt Larson, CEO of the Mahaska County YMCA. I represent our community Y, which has been serving Oskaloosa and the Mahaska County area since 1896.

I came to our town in late Jan. 2020 from the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, where I had spent the last 15 years in operations. I started with doing research on our Y and it has shown me that President Roosevelt provided the dedication speech for the Y’s three-story building in downtown Oskaloosa in 1903.

I share this history as it shows the long-standing heritage of the YMCA in serving our children and community, something President Roosevelt believed in then, and our community still believes today.

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Our Mahaska Y engages local men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to also nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our community and neighbors.

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. We are building a legacy for future generations with the Early Childhood and Education Center and YMCA. The Mahaska Y has the long-standing relationship and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Every day, every program, every relationship, every child, youth and teen supported is an opportunity to practice the YMCA’s four core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility and build on that legacy. The mission of the Mahaska County YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

From licensed child care and youth sports to Senior fitness programs for active older adults, from youth leadership development to partnering with local companies for work-based wellness programs, the YMCA is intent on serving our community and we cannot do it alone.

Our new YMCA will begin construction shortly. It will be a beautiful 88,400+ sq. ft facility. It will have the latest in fitness equipment, 6-lane competition swimming pool, an additional warm-water recreation pool with splash pad, two aerobic rooms with a third room dedicated to cycle spinning, a large gymnasium, playgrounds, expanded child watch space and more! We have set the opening for the Y Early Learning Education center in time for August 2021 school and the YMCA health and wellness side to open late September 2021. I will continue to share updates here in the Herald on a monthly basis to keep you informed.

The Mahaska County YMCA is a cause-driven organization strengthening community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

I thank you for your support for our new YMCA. This project needs your continued support, we are not finished. As we look to break ground soon, I look forward to working closely with our strong city for the betterment of our community – both today and long into the future.

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