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LA Canada

YMCA expands its mission

New Patio Room makes facility a place where people can gather.

By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

2:25 PM PDT, October 24, 2012

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A new gathering place for community members was unveiled Tuesday at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA during a ribbon-cutting event that drew about 35 people.

Wes Seastrom, chairman of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce board and a member of the YMCA’s board, told those assembled to witness the opening of the $50,000 Patio Room that the new space was a step toward making the Y more than just a gym.

“As everyone here knows, the Y is not just a place to work out, it’s a place for people to gather, it’s a treasure for the community,” he said.

Kim Beattie, the local YMCA’s director of financial development, said plans for the project have been in motion since May of this year, when the board decided to re-evaluate its facilities to provide an inclusive space for everyone in the community, whether or not they are YMCA members.

Beattie said that transforming a former board room involved installing new flooring, adding a decorative wall bearing words that speak to the organization’s mission, bringing in new tables and chairs, and installing new doors.

“We want to constantly make sure the member experience is the best it can be,” Beattie said.

Half of the funding for the new space was donated by the La Cañada Flintridge City Council during its annual budgeting process. Councilman Donald Voss was on hand for the unveiling.

“We’re pleased to partner with the YMCA to fund this wonderful addition to our community,” Voss said.

Beattie said that much of the credit for the quick and efficient creation of the new room had to be given to Rosanne Malogolowkin, executive director of the branch.

“We wanted to have a space for the members where they could come together and build relationships,” said Malogolowkin.

Malogolowkin said that the Patio Room, in its previous incarnation as the Y’s board room, had been used for various meetings and training sessions. Those activities will now take place in other meeting rooms within the Foothill Boulevard campus.

“It was worth the trade,” she said. “This is what we wanted people to do with our facilities.”