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Published: Saturday, 4/7/2001

YMCA group stages show of support

About 50 employees of the YMCA of Greater Toledo showed up unannounced yesterday at a news conference that Mayor Carty Finkbeiner called to reiterate his position that the organization should be building facilities in the central city, not in the suburbs.

Wearing YMCA badges and shirts, the group, which included YMCA President Robert Alexander and board Chairman H. Lee Dunn, Jr., came to show their support for the organization.

The mayor has chastised the YMCA, saying he believes it is straying from its mission of serving disadvantaged youth. The mayor has taken issue with plans to construct a facility in Bedford Township, just north of the state line.

The mayor, flanked by minority leaders, was met by the YMCA supporters when he arrived at One Government Center yesterday.

“For the past five years, I have been in regular conversation with the president of the YMCA of Greater Toledo, practically begging him to build a facility in Toledo. I have literally talked until I am blue in the face to Bob Alexander, the YMCA president. And my requests have fallen on deaf ears and have been met with arrogant indifference,” the mayor said.

Mr. Dunn, however, said the organization's conversations with the mayor have centered on the mayor's desire to see a downtown health club, the expense for which the YMCA cannot justify, he said.

“When he's talked to us about a facility, it's never been about a full-blown YMCA, but rather, a physical fitness club,” Mr. Dunn said.



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