THE MARQUETTE COUNTY YMCA can finally wake up from its two and a half year old financial nightmare.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Gregg today (Thursday) accepted the YMCA’s reorganization plan to pay back its 13 creditors.
The Y’s debts originally totaled more than $7 million.
After a selling off of some assets, severe cutbacks in its programs and personnel, and fundraising by the community, the debt was reduced to $5 million.
Today’s ruling reduces the debt to $1.6 million.
Board of Volunteers chairwoman Michele Butler, who was was one of the original founders of the Y, expects the debts to be paid off in 10 years, maybe much less.
“This is very emotional for me,” she said. “I don’t like to cry.” She paused for a moment. “All I can say is it’s been a team effort by a lot of good people. There’ve been some hiccups along the way, but we got past them.”
The two biggest creditors are the United State Department of Agriculture and Range Bank, both of whom are taking greatly reduced paybacks.
The YMCA’s problems were first discovered in early 2016–primarily due to an overly ambitious building and program expansion by the previous CEO, Lisa Coombs Gerou.
She resigned under fire in March of 2016. The YMCA officially for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (reorganization) in May of 2017.
Throughout the two and a half year financial and legal ordeal, the Y stayed open and continued to serve its 5000 members.
A new CEO, Jenna Zdunek, and a new and energized Board of Volunteers have engineered the Y’s comeback over the last two years.
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