BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--YMCA of Kern County is facing closing its doors for good. The iconic center has been around since 1927, but has fallen on difficult financial times.
"I think that's sad," said Bryan Gridiron, a father of two. He has to two children currently enrolled in sports programs at the center.
"It's meant a lot for my kids, it's not just a baby-sitting thing," said Gridiron.
YMCA of Kern County is deeply in debt and has not been able to generate enough revenue to keep operating.
"Donations are down and we're responsible for raising 100 percent of our financing locally," said YMCA Chief Executive Officer Clete Harper.
YMCA needs around $200,000 to keep operating and it needs to raise that amount by June 1 said Harper. More than half that amount would service old debt, with the remainder to be used as operating capital.
The board of directors met on Tuesday and voted to try and raise the money by June 1. But just what method will be used to raise the money is uncertain. One option may be a telethon said Harper.
Scores of generations have been served in the 85 years YMCA of Kern County has been open.
"I was raised at the YMCA," said parent Monique Carrillo. "This is a big deal for us," she said.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can call YMCA of Kern County at (661) 837-9622 or go to its web site at www.ymcaofkern.net and make a donation.