After struggling to save their local YMCA branch from closing last year, members of the Melrose branch say they're worried their fight may not be over.
Some members say they're concerned that membership drives and fundraising efforts may not be enough to keep the doors open and that the Y Association is setting them up to fail.
The Y Association says that's not the case.
Andre Gault is a coach who brings 11th graders to play basketball at Melrose and he says its valuable to the community. "I hope they don't close it down because a lot of kids, a lot of people use this YMCA."
Gault says it keeps a lot of kids out of trouble. "They close this place down and its going to get worse. These kids need this place because there's no where else for these kids to play at and to go."
Ternilla Wells has six children and she says the Melrose Y is a great help to her. "Me coming here with my kids..like it gives them something to do not only during the school year, but the summertime too and it keeps them out of trouble."
Jason Winbush is a member and he wonders if the Y Association is doing everything it can to keep Melrose open. "Doing all they can...I would say no because anything you want to do you can do."
Calista Stone is secretary of the Melrose Board of Directors and says she understands the pressure to close under performing branches in the Cincinnati area. "I'm sure that economically it makes sense to get rid of a couple of those branches so that they can operate a little bit more efficiently....let's not get rid of one of the remaining ones in the urban core."
In our commitment to balanced news we reached out to Y Association President Sandy Walker who says Melrose is in good shape. "We're working very hard to have a strong and vital YMCA in Melrose in Walnut Hills."
When asked what she wants to tell members worried about the future of Melrose Walker says "The Melrose Y is strong and healthy, it looks great, if you haven't been to the Melrose Y please come visit us. Enroll your kids in our summer camp and consider joining."
The Melrose branch is hosting a gospel fest fundraiser June 9th at Christ Emmanual Christian Fellowship where they hope to raise $20,000.
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