Business: Great La Grange YMCA, 1100 E. 31st in La Grange Park
Respondent: Kim Lovejoy-Voss, membership retention
How did the business come to be?
The YMCA in La Grange was opened in 1948 after a number of prominent businessmen went door to door collecting money to help build a YMCA for the La Grange community. The original building had a pool, a gym, meeting rooms and a residence hall.
As the village grew so did the need for the YMCA and in 1957 Rich Port, a prominent realtor, donated funds to allow the YMCA to add a multipurpose activity center with an indoor track, a second swimming pool, two gyms and fitness rooms. The building aged and in 2007 the YMCA was moved to a storefront on 31st Street in La Grange Park.
Why did you choose the area you did?
La Grange was a wonderful family community.
What does your business offer?
Something for everyone—fitness classes and machines, preschool classes and programs, swim programs, senior fitness classes and social activities, family events, community programs like Impact 4 Life and Special Olympics and much more.
What's something interesting about your business your customers might not know?
That we are a not-for-profit. We raise over $140,000 every year and the money is used to support Special Olympics swim and bowling teams; Impact 4 Life, a program the Greater LaGrange YMCA created for special needs students transitioning from high school to the "real world"; provide scholarships for children to attend summer camp so they are off the streets; and for those who cannot afford a YMCA membership. At the YMCA, no one is turned away because of inability to pay.
What's your most popular product or service?
Our fitness classes and youth swim programs.