Lukenda Foundation Was “Mystery Buyer” of YMCA Building

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The mystery surrounding the recent purchase of the Sault Ste. Marie YMCA has finally been unveiled, shedding light on a remarkable turn of events that has saved the beloved community institution from the brink of closure. For months, the local YMCA had been facing dire financial circumstances, with officials previously announcing in April that the organization was no longer viable and would be forced to shutter its operations altogether. This grim prospect sent shockwaves through the Sault community, which had long relied on the YMCA as a vital hub for recreation, fitness, and social services. However, on May 7th, the YMCA delivered a surprising announcement – an anonymous charitable foundation had stepped in and agreed to acquire the aging recreation center, effectively preventing its demise.

According to Tim Lukenda, the son of Lou and Mae Lukenda and one of the directors of the anonymous foundation, the organization was compelled to act due to the immense importance of the YMCA to the local community and the critical services it provides. “The foundation wanted to help support this effort to save the Y because of the importance of it to the community and the services that it provides,” Lukenda stated. While the details of the acquisition remain shrouded in mystery, with the foundation preferring to maintain its anonymity, the generosity of this charitable organization has undoubtedly been a lifeline for the Sault YMCA.

In the wake of this development, the city of Sault Ste. Marie has also stepped up, unveiling a multi-pronged plan to further bolster the YMCA’s chances of survival. This plan involves the municipal government signing a lease agreement with the building’s new purchaser, as well as providing a substantial $505,000 in funding for much-needed capital upgrades to the aging facility. This coordinated effort between the anonymous foundation and the local government underscores the deep-rooted commitment to preserving this vital community institution, ensuring that the YMCA can continue to serve the people of Sault Ste. Marie for years to come.

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