A $250,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver will help with the Walla Walla YMCA’s recent expansion.

The charitable trust, which was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five Pacific Northwest states that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways, according to an announcement.

Walla Walla YMCA CEO Karen Hedine said the grant helps offset the $1.2 million costs of an expansion that covers the completed 2,856-square-foot multi-purpose room for community use, including dedicated space for the Y’s Community Center for Youth program, and a 2,304-square-foot expansion of the Y’s wellness and exercise center.

Started in late 2018, that project was led by Jackson Contractor Group.

Hedine said the capital campaign needs to raise about $350,000 more toward the project.

“We are very thankful for the many generous individuals, corporations and other organizations in the community  who have helped us to raise close to $600,000 to date,” she said.

“The Walla Walla Valley is tremendously supportive of its nonprofits and we would not exist without that support.”

The Y’s capital campaign continues to accept donations to help with the cost of that phase of expansion.

The campaign supports the YMCA’s “bricks and mortar” projects. It receives no funding support from general membership dues or other YMCA program fees.

The operation typically averages 18 years between such building campaigns, Hedine explained in the announcement. The last one was in 1995, when the weight room, a third gym and exercise room, and a remodel of the lobby and offices took place.

This is also differentiated from the annual campaign effort that funds financial assistance scholarships for youth to attend summer and sports camps, learn to swim and participate in the Y’s Community Center for Youth and other programs, the announcement explained.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, vickihillhouse@wwub.com or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VickiHillhouse.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.

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