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YWCA plans $5M drive

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By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Financing a new sports complex to help it serve more women and girls, particularly teens, is the focus of a $5 million capital campaign in the works at the YWCA of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The Y, which plans to launch the campaign’s quiet phase in August, has selected Whitney Jones Inc. in Winston-Salem as its fundraising consultant.

The campaign’s public phase probably will begin next March.

The Y is looking at sites on the city’s south side for the new sports complex, which will include a building totaling 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, plus an outdoor track, says Florence Corpening, the Y’s CEO.

The indoor facility will include 10 basketball courts that can be converted to four courts for use in tournaments, with at least 500 seats for each tournament court.

The facility also will include two fitness centers – one for girls 10 to 15 years old, the other for girls ages 16 and older.

It also will feature four volleyball courts; an indoor track a quarter-mile to a half-mile long, suspended above the basketball and volleyball courts; and offices, locker rooms and a concession area.

“It will be built so we can bring tournaments to Winston-Salem,” says Corpening.

The Y last summer teamed up with the Winston-Salem Stealers, a basketball team for girls 8 to 16 years old, to jointly host the national girls basketball tournament of the Amateur Athletic Union.

The nine-day tournament attracted 2,000 participants, including 1,000 girls on 64 teams from throughout the U.S.

“We realized how much parents follow and come with their daughters in sports,” Corpening says.

The sports complex is a key element in a three-year plan the Y adopted a year ago to build on its mission of empowering women and girls, and eliminating racism, to broaden its base of supporters and move beyond its headquarters on Glade Street in the city’s West End, and to strengthen itself financially.

A key goal is to attract more teenage girls, Corpening says.

Of 2,500 Y members, roughly 65 percent are female. Of those, one in four are 12 years old or younger, and fewer than one in 10 are teens.

“That’s where we are lacking,” Corpening says.

Co-chairs for the capital campaign are civic volunteers Drewry Hanes Notitz and Sheila Lyons, and Claudette Weston, head of Weston & Associates, an events-planning firm.

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