[Charlotte, NC – May 22, 2018] – The YMCA of Greater Charlotte has been awarded $2 million from The Leon Levine Foundation to expand its health and fitness services to more Charlotteans. In honor of the Levines’ generosity and commitment to providing access to programs that improve quality of life, the Y has named its new Dowd YMCA expansion the Leon Levine Center for Healthy Living. The center will open in July.
More than half of all adults in the U.S. battle chronic health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, all of which are exacerbated by poor health and limited access to care. With the support of The Leon Levine Foundation, the Y will use the new center to expand its reach, most especially to those who may not otherwise be able to afford preventative healthcare programs.
“One in four members of the Y has an annual household income below $20,000,” says Todd Tibbits, YMCA of Greater Charlotte CEO. “We are grateful to The Leon Levine Foundation for fueling our efforts to address the health disparities and social determinants that disproportionately affect many of Charlotte’s citizens and communities.”
“We’re honored to help the YMCA of Greater Charlotte pursue its goal of creating the ‘healthiest generation ever,’” said Tom Lawrence, Executive Director of The Leon Levine Foundation. “The YMCA is implementing an innovative and holistic program model that provides a gateway to accessible healthcare for individuals in need. We’re confident that the Leon Levine Center for Healthy Living will strengthen the hearts, minds, and bodies of Charlotteans young and old.”
The Dowd YMCA serves nearly 17,000 people and is undergoing its first major expansion since its opening in 1960. The Y anticipates more than 2,000 additional people to participate in programs at the Dowd YMCA once the 52,500 square foot expansion is open and renovation of the existing building is complete in late fall 2018. Half of Y members using the Dowd YMCA earn an annual household income below $50,000.
As the official community health partner of the YMCA, Atrium Health will open a 6,000 square foot medical clinic inside the Leon Levine Center for Healthy Living. In addition, the center will offer nutrition and wellness coaching aimed at helping people develop sustainable healthy lifestyle goals. The center will also feature boutique-style yoga and barre studios, a new sports performance center with Dowd YMCA CrossFit and an activated rooftop with outdoor track.
About the YMCA of Greater Charlotte
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 membership locations and two resident camps, engages nearly 300,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for 145 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.ymcacharlotte.org
About The Leon Levine Foundation
Started by Leon Levine, the founder of the first Family Dollar Store in Charlotte, N.C. in 1980, The Leon Levine Foundation’s mission is to improve the human condition by creating permanent, measurable, and life-changing impact throughout the Carolinas. The organization invests in nonprofits with strong leadership, a successful track record, and a focus on sustainability in the areas of healthcare, education, Jewish values, and human services. For more information, please visit www.leonlevinefoundation.org.