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Feature Stories for July 20, 2000

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
The Crown Point Network offers a sneak preview of weekly cover stories.

Expansion no longer on YMCA waiting list
Added space will include a 6,000 square-foot "mulit-generational" room


By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - The Southlake YMCA announced plans last week for a $1.3 million expansion of its popular three-year-old facility at Court Street and Burrell Drive. 
    "We believe this is the only YMCA in the Midwest with a waiting list and now is the time to expand," said capital campaign chairman Rich Oesterle. 
    Southlake YMCA membership has surpassed 5,000 since the opening of the new building. Officials say the expansion will include a 6,000 square-foot "multi-generational" room, intended for use by senior citizens during the day and youths after school. 
    The room will include game and social areas, computers and other activities for senior citizens, and will house Gray-Y, Junior Gray-Y, Hi-Y, Arts and Crafts, and Youth Theater programs for students, plus a study area and a game room. 
    The expansion will also include an addition of 2,400 square feet to the cardio-vascular and weight training room to accommodate growing interest by women and teenagers. 
    A youth and adult aerobic and fitness room will also be included in the expansion. 
    In addition to the building expansion, the project will include a children's playground and outdoor courts. The fundraising campaign for the project was kicked-off July 13 with a picnic for the project's "Inner Family" - the YMCA's Board of Directors, staff, and campaign committee. 
    Mark Bates, chairman of the "Inner Family" gifts committee announced that the group had pledged $168,000 to the campaign, surpassing the "Inner Family" goal of 10 percent. 
    


"It demonstrates that our own family supports this project and that we have set the tone and example for the rest of the community," Bates said. 
    The capital campaign began this week with the "Pacesetting Gift Phase," which has a goal of $1 million. That phase's committee will visit potential donors of $25,000 or more. 
    That will be followed by a "Major Gift Phase" that has a goal of $200,000 in donations from area professionals and businesses. 
    The final phase will be the "Community Teams" campaign, during which current YMCA members and others in the community will be asked for donations. 
    The existing facility was opened in October 1997. It was constructed after a $2.5 million fundraising campaign.

END

 

Military musters award for Kuzman campaign
Area recruiters take time to note passage to state's school access bill 

By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - Area armed forces representatives presented plaques of appreciation to State Rep. Robert Kuzman (D-Crown Point) on Monday for his sponsorship of a bill that recruiters believe will help them reach more Indiana students. 
    The bill, which requires public schools to allow recruiters to distribute information on opportunities in the military, went through the Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, which Kuzman chairs. 
    The Indiana chapter of the Retired Officers Association lobbied for the bill after recruiters told that organization they were having trouble gaining access to students at some schools. 
    "To represent the country is an honor," Kuzman said. "I think recruiters should be able to work with students." 
    The bill received bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, Kuzman said, but did face some opposition from groups concerned about giving military recruiters access to student information. 
    Kuzman said access won't be given without consent. 
    Thomas Barnes, the former Gary mayor who is now the area's civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, said the bill will help benefit students. 
    "There's never been a time that there have been more benefits on the table for recruiters to offer people," Barnes said. 
    Retired Army colonel Joseph D. Ryan thanked Kuzman for supporting the bill "all the way." 
    Army and Navy officers in charge of recruiting in Indiana said the bill will help them. 
    Kuzman noted that recruiters in Lake County say local schools are cooperative, and that "Crown Point is one of the best recruiting places around." 

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