Community Celebrates the Opening of the New Thelma Lovette YMCA in the Hill District
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Hill District History and Revitalization Come Together as Thelma Lovette YMCA Opens April 18
The Centre Avenue YMCA in the Hill District has long been a community hub for the Pittsburgh African-American community. And the opportunities are only expanding – the opening of the 43,000-square-foot Thelma Lovette YMCA in the Hill District will broaden the YMCA’s ability to provide services to Hill District residents.
“Everything about the Thelma Lovette YMCA is about embracing the YMCA’s history with the community in the Hill District,” said Rig Riggins, President and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. “Since the days when segregation barred African-Americans from much of what the city had to offer, the Centre Avenue YMCA has been a center for culture, physical fitness and community. The Thelma Lovette Y continues that commitment to the community with a brand new building and equipment that gives us the capacity to serve more than 1,000 additional members.”
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 18 and a public open house on Saturday, April 21.
The ribbon cutting will take place at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, April 18. Speakers will include:
- Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
- Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
- Jake Wheatley, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 19
- R. Daniel Lavelle, City of Pittsburgh Council, District 6
- Lynne Hayes-Freeland, KDKA-TV
- Rig Riggins, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
- Tom Burley, Board Chair, Centre Avenue and Thelma Lovette YMCA branches
- Aaron Gibson, Executive Director, Centre Avenue and Thelma Lovette YMCA branches
- Thelma Lovette, Guest of Honor
The Grand Opening is an opportunity for all members of the community to check out the new YMCA building and equipment for free between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, April 21. The day will include facility tours, class demonstrations, giveaways and more.
“The Center Avenue building is steeped in the rich history of the Hill District,” said Aaron Gibson, Executive Director of the Center Avenue and Thelma Lovette YMCA branches. “The Thelma Lovette Y helps us continue that history in addition to bringing brand new technology and facilities to the community.”
The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh invested 12 million dollars in the Thelma Lovette Y. Community supporters include the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, First Niagara, The Heinz Endowments, Highmark, McAuley Ministries, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Pennsylvania State Department of Community and Economic Development and the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, the PNC Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, Tree Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
About the Y
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y of Greater Pittsburgh is a 501c(3) charitable organization dedicated to nurturing the potential of every youth and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Programs offered by the Y of Greater Pittsburgh serve more than 90,000 different people each year and include after-school care and childcare, outdoor camping, community outreach, sports, health and fitness, youth counseling and senior assistance. Every day, the Y works side by side with its neighbors to ensure that everyone regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.