|Published:||Sep 03, 2013 4:22 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 03, 2013 4:44 PM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- "I come here for my health, I come here for the camaraderie, the nice people, socializing, friends I've made. this is a very special place," said Barbara Silverman.
Barbara Silverman has been a member of the YMCA in Naples since 1994.
"It's just been my go-to place for so many years. It's very disheartening," said Silverman.
It's even an extension of her own home.
"Absolutely. this is my second home and the people in it have become my family, this is a family."
Members said they want to see the damage for themsleves.
"It's terrible, it's a terrible thing.'
Silverman said her membership has been her life line.
"I'm not a kid, this is keeping me going and it will again."
Officials said lightning caused Monday's fire. The Wellness Director, Cindy Roorda, said the building is no stranger to it.
"We've been struck by lightning here a couple of times so we've always kind of joked about when the Y's gonna catch fire. And yea, it was a joke. Then we get here, there were no words, it was surreal," said Roorda.
Because a third of the building was lost in the fire, local businesses and county leaders have offered their spaces to help the YMCA.
"There are a lot of blessings in the tragedy of the building being burnt," said President Paul Thein.
There have been changes made as they work to rebuild.
YMCA Afterschool Care will continue as regularly scheduled. The YMCA Afterschool children will be at Osceola Elementary with YMCA staff. Parents can pick their children up at Osceola rather than the YMCA. Greater Family Marco YMCA, Bonita Springs YMCA or NCH.
The Greater Family Marco YMCA, Bonita Springs YMCA and NCH have all opened their doors to YMCA members for fitness needs. Please show your membership card and they will accommodate all Greater Naples YMCA members.
The YMCA Gaynor Center and Veterans Memorial are open.
Tennis is open
All other programs are temporarily discontinued.