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YMCA of Rock River Valley announces financial hardships, hopeful memberships will continue

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all types of business and organizations. The YMCA of Rock River Valley says it's not immune to this financial strain.

"It's definitely forcing many groups and organizations to make tough decisions," says CEO Brent Pentenburg.

Pentenburg says those tough decisions have included a reduction in the size of his staff and a wage reduction for those who remain.

"These are your friends," says Pentenburg. "These are you family. These are people you work with on a day to day basis. They become very close to you. For us to have to take our workforce from 640 to essential only was painful."

Pentenburg says that reduction was needed to keep up with the Y's fixed costs. Payments that mean unavoidable monthly costs like a mortgage, utilities, and equipment leases.

"We have each month about a half million of expenses and that's after reduction in our team."

  • Unemployment compensation for employees - $133,000
  • Mortgage $60,000
  • Facility costs (utilities, liability insurance)$90,000
  • Equipment leases $25,000
  • Essential Staff running essential operations $175,000
  • Service contracts $30,000

Pentenburg says he knows this pandemic is a stressful time for many families, especially financially. Which is Y is hoping to work with members when it comes to their membership. Either adjusting their payments, putting their account on hold, or if necessary canceling all together. It's hoping members that can afford it, will continue their memberships throughout the pandemic.

"We're asking our members to stay with us if at all possible," says Pentenburg. "We know at the same time many people are going through hard times as well. By no means do we want people to feel obligated."

When the pandemic is over, Pentenburg is hopeful the Y is a place where residents can reconnect with their community.

"The beauty in the Y is that it brings people of all different backgrounds together and connects them to one another and to a god who loves them unconditionally."

The YMCA is offering free online classes to help families stay active during the pandemic. You can check those out here. If you are wanting to talk to the Y about your membership you can do so Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 815-489-1252 or by email at

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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