Illinois Y Files for Bankruptcy


The YMCA of McHenry County filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late January, citing decreased membership and financial challenges, which include decreased donations and two lawsuits.

Resolution of the bankruptcy filing and a sale of the Y’s assets to the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago are expected early this month, according to Cate Williams, spokesperson for the YMCA of McHenry County, Crystal Lake, IL.

The YMCA of McHenry County, which is about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, includes the Crystal Lake facility with a fitness center, tennis courts, a pool and child care; Camp Algonquin in Algonquin, IL; and Triple R Day Camp in Cary, IL.

The Y has remained open during the reorganization process, and no staff layoffs occurred, Williams says. However, the Y of Metropolitan Chicago did announce that it would close Camp Algonquin on March 17, and that closure could affect some camp staff, she says. The Y had leased the property from the McHenry County Conservation District.

Closure of Camp Algonquin has nothing to do with the two lawsuits related to the drowning deaths in November 2008 at the camp, Williams says. Three Chicago teenagers had snuck out of their cabins, took paddle boats out on the Fox River and drowned when the paddle boats sank because their drain plugs had been removed for the winter. Williams had no time frame on when the lawsuits would be resolved, saying only that they are still working their way through the court system and will not be affected by the bankruptcy filing and sale.

“We had insurance, and that insurance coverage is still in place for those [lawsuits],” Williams says.

This bankruptcy is one of at least three for YMCAs during the past year. In April 2010, the Mt. Diablo Region YMCA, Pleasant Hill, CA, filed for bankruptcy, citing financial issues due to the recession. The Mt. Diablo Region YMCA closed its Delta Family YMCA in Oakley, CA, and its health and fitness programs at its Clayton Community Gym in Clayton, CA, and canceled plans for a new facility in Alamo, CA. The Y kept open its Pleasant Hill YMCA facility, but turned over operation of that facility to the Berkeley-Albany YMCA, which is now called the YMCA of the Central Bay Area.

In October 2010, the Beaumont (TX) Metropolitan YMCA filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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