Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Christmas came early for YMCA of Washington County this year, with a million dollar check from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation.
“We had already done an early payment, and we just thought with Christmas coming … we thought, ‘What a great kind of Christmas present,’” Riverboat Foundation President Shawn Ellingson said. “It just kind of fit.”
Ellingson said the surprise check paid off the remainder of a seven-year $500,000 pledge the foundation made years ago.
“We wanted to put ourselves in a place as a foundation that we didn’t owe any money going forward,” he said. “So we kind of restructured some of our grants and we were pretty conservative over this last year, and it put us in a position that we were able to pay off this grant early and just have it off the books.”
Ellingson said recent events like the derecho and pandemic prompted the move.
“Now we can move forward and … regardless of what the future holds, know what kind of money we have to grant out,” he said. “We’re very happy to finish up the finances of this calendar year and have enough left over, even with the grants we just gave out, that we can pay this out and then move forward.”
Washington County YMCA President Amy Schulte said the group would use the money to pay off loans for its recently built Washington facility two years earlier than planned.
“The impact of this is we’ll be able to pay off our construction debt sooner, saving us a tremendous amount of interest on that loan,” she said. “That then enables us to second phase — which is the indoor aquatic center — sooner, and concentrate our efforts on that.”
That pool project has already raised $1.3 million of its $5 million goal, according to Schulte.