NAPLES, Fla - A Collier County YMCA devastated by a Labor Day fire is now dealing with another major issue.
The Greater Naples Y is struggling to pay for its costly repairs. Now, more than ever the they're looking to the community for help.
Crews are working seven days a week and the work is almost done, but the issue is money. The insurance company is only reimbursing the Y for a pool that was built in 1968, not an all new one.
Robin Harhen's 3-year-old son Grant learned to swim in the YMCA pool. "Now he's capable of swimming the full length of the pool, jumping off the diving board and swimming to the ladder without any help," says Harhen.
For 25 years thousands of kids have learned to swim at the Y, but on Labor Day a lightening strike ignited a fire on the roof sending ash into the drain and mechanical systems.
"We knew the drain system was clogged. As we pulled the drain covers off we knew we couldn't repair the covers, it lead to the pool deck, it lead to the mechanicals, it was like peeling an onion we didn't want to peel," says YMCA President Paul Thein.
Thein says they made the decision to completely rebuild the pool only to find out insurance won't cover the full cost. That means the Y needs to raise more than $100,000 on top of the $4 million needed to re-do the rest of the center.
"We are asking the community to help," says Thein. "We have enough to take on to restore our YMCA."
The pool is a staple in Naples offering water fitness classes, swim programs and during spring break "Splash Week."
That's when kids can get free water safety lessons, something Thein expects to continue for decades.
"Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five in florida and we are the catalyst to change that statistic," Thein says.
This Friday there will be a holiday concert fundraiser for the Y at Bentley Village. For tickets call (239) 262-6577.
In the meantime, the hope is to fully re-open phase one of the Y including the pool by the first of the year.