Ocala, Fla. – (January 26, 2021)
The Frank DeLuca YMCA will break ground this week on a new expansion project that is set to address the current community needs. Designed to be a premier outdoor athletic venue, the Frank DeLuca YMCA Sportsplex will provide Marion County residents with more opportunities to gain life-changing skills learned from youth and adult sports. The full project will be completed in phases, with Phase 1 kicking off with a media event on Wednesday, January 27 at 10 a.m. at the Frank DeLuca YMCA.
Phase 1 of the Sportsplex includes the metal airnasium, a covered structure for outdoor multipurpose courts for sports like basketball and volleyball, an outdoor gathering and social space, and four uncovered Pickleball courts. Later phases of the project include a 2,000 sq.-ft. youth activity center, outdoor restrooms, additional soccer fields, and expanded parking. A capital campaign is still underway for the remaining phases of the $2.5 million project.
Lead donor Frank DeLuca said, “We all have certain organizations that are important to each of us in different ways, however, our children are probably the most important to all of us. By leaving a legacy in the Y we are helping assure the future of our children, that is why I continue to invest in the YMCA and this project expansion.”
DeLuca donated $1 million to lead this expansion project for the YMCA, making this his second $1 million gift for the family center’s capital expansions in the last five years.
Built by Dinkins Construction, the Sportsplex will provide the YMCA with an opportunity to provide a safe, open atmosphere for kids, families, adults and seniors. In addition to providing more space for pickup and organized sports, the YMCA also intends to use the space for camps and exercise classes.
“We have been working on this project for a long time, and we are excited to see it come to life,” said Nicole Bloom, Executive Director of the Frank DeLuca YMCA. “The opportunity this gives us to provide more outdoor sports and fitness is more timely now than ever.”
With COVID-19 cases still on the rise, the YMCA felt it was important to invest in the community’s health by helping people feel comfortable getting active again, even in a space outside the walls of the YMCA facility.
“There isn’t going to be anything else like this in Marion County,” Bloom said. “This wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous donors. We are so appreciative of their commitment to the well-being of our community.”
In addition to DeLuca’s $1 million gift, YMCA member and donor Andy Pawlowski has donated to build the Pickleball courts. The YMCA has received donations from several other key donors and members. Community leaders and members of the media are invited to attend the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Wednesday, January 27 at 10:00 am at the Frank DeLuca YMCA. Interviews and groundbreaking photo/video opportunities will be available.
About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving hundreds of thousands of Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates YMCA locations across six counties. This mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen neighborhoods. To learn more, visit ymcacf.org and follow on Facebook or Instagram.
About the Frank DeLuca YMCA
The Frank DeLuca YMCA has been serving the Marion County community for more than 30 years. Part of the YMCA of Central Florida, the family center aims to serve the Ocala community through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives, the YMCA is committed to providing financial assistance for people of all ages and all walks of life to participate in programs that will help combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen our neighborhoods. Currently, the Frank DeLuca YMCA serves more than 2,000 kids a year in youth sports programs, and more than 1,500 kids a year in camping and family life programs.