Decades later, a lot had changed: That little boy, Tyler Steinman, grew up to be Foothills Toyota’s general manager. And the YMCA fell into serious decline. The original facility was built in 1941, and its pool dated back to the early 1980s. Both needed major upgrades to continue operating.
Nelson and Steinman felt compelled to help — to the tune of a $500,000 donation. The gift paved the way to a renovated YMCA, which opened earlier this year.
“If there’s anything our community needs now, it’s the YMCA,” says Nelson. “It serves people and families of all ages and backgrounds. It reflects the diversity of our community. It was time to replace that old facility, and we wanted to be a part of that in a big way.”
The Skagit Valley Family YMCA is the largest single provider of childcare in its community. It also runs a licensed emergency teen shelter for children ages 13 to 17. All of the services are made possible by donations from people like Nelson and Steinman.
“It is not too much to say that Foothills Toyota’s donation was significant in making our new facility possible,” says Dean Snider, chief executive officer of Skagit Valley Family YMCA. “This donation allows the Y to serve Skagit families, the next generation and beyond.”
Nelson is happy to know more kids will have an opportunity to learn to swim there – just like her son. In fact, her grandchildren are taking lessons now.
“It’s so heartwarming to see the faces of all the generations who use the Y,” says Nelson. “It was right thing to do.”