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John Will Anderson Boys & Girls Club

Tolleston Opportunity Campus preparing Gary for generations to come

Contributed By: The 411 News

$30 million investment will bring childcare, exercise classes, community programs, health care, and workforce development

Gary’s John Will Anderson Boys & Girls Club welcomed Governor Eric J. Holcomb and 100 northwest Indiana leaders Tuesday afternoon to highlight the club’s future as the Tolleston Opportunity Campus.

It is a future that adds onto current programs, coming with $30 million in funding for the Anderson Club at 2700 W. 19th Avenue. The building was once home to Tolleston High School.

“We could not be more excited and appreciative of the three lead funders and program partners who support this vision and are committed to seeing it come to fruition,” said Larry Moore, Interim President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana. “The Tolleston Opportunity Campus will be a collaborative partnership that will transform the Tolleston community for generations to come.”

One of the goals for the campus is to bring services closer to the community. From preventative health programs to outpatient services and family gatherings, the campus will provide opportunities for all ages.

Current project funders are The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, City of Gary, and READI grant funds, allocated by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and managed by the Northwest Indiana Forum Foundation. Each funder has committed $10 million toward the initial $30 million investment to improve upon the overall wellbeing for residents.

“The Forum is very proud to be leading the Northwest Indiana READI effort. This is one of 34 amazing projects occurring in Northwest Indiana. As these catalytic projects evolve, many, like the Tolleston Opportunity Campus are adding additional partnerships, deepening the impact they will have on our region,” said Heather Ennis, President & CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum.

“Indiana’s strong fiscal foundation has placed us in a position of strength and has enabled us to make unprecedented investments in our rural, urban and suburban communities,” said Gov. Holcomb. “This historic initiative in Gary will provide critical services for Hoosiers, increase quality of place and position the city and surrounding region for continued success.”

Other project partners include The Methodist Hospitals and the Crossroads YMCA to provide childcare, exercise classes, community programming, health care, and workforce development.

“As we celebrate our 100th year of service to the Northwest Indiana community, we are proud to be a partner in the Tolleston Opportunity Campus, an initiative that will have a profoundly positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children and families in our community," said Matthew Doyle, President & Chief Executive Officer Methodist Hospitals.

Gary Mayor Jerome A. Prince emphasized the magnitude of the investment. “Our community is excited about the Tolleston project, including the new YMCA. It is proof Gary, our friends, and neighbors can re-imagine what’s possible when we all work together. We welcome all our partners to Gary, and we look forward to accomplishing great things for Northwest Indiana.”

Bill Hanna, President and CEO of the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation said, “This is an important initiative because it started with focusing on what we can do together, to elevate opportunities and health and wellness in the city in a sustainable way.”

“We look forward to creating a safe place for all to learn, grow, and thrive while serving more kids and families in Lake County,” said Jay Buckmaster, CEO Crossroads YMCA.

Before the design phase begins, Gary residents will be surveyed by phone as well as online surveys located on the Boys & Girls, Methodist Hospitals, and Crossroads websites, going out in the first half of April.

The NWI Forum Foundation received $50 million in READI grants.

READI (Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative) was launched with a dedicated $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments to make Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth.

Story Posted:03/15/2023

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