Mystic couple pledge $1 million toward YMCA renovation

Mystic — The Ocean Community YMCA announced Thursday that a Mystic businessman and his wife have donated $800,000 toward the upcoming $7.2 million renovation and expansion of its Mystic branch.

In addition, Sekhar and Archana Naik have pledged to donate another $200,000 if the YMCA raises $200,000 in matching funds by Aug. 15. That would bring the couple’s total donation to $1 million.

YMCA President and CEO Maureen Fitzgerald said the $1.2 million in donations would push the money it has raised for the project to $4.3 million and allow the YMCA to break ground in August. The YMCA plans to borrow the remaining $2.9 million.

Fitzgerald stressed, though, that the YMCA plans to continue fundraising to offset the debt, which in turn will allow it to dedicate more money to operations, programs and fulfilling its mission, which includes offering financial assistance to numerous individuals and families who otherwise would not be able to afford memberships or program fees.

Fitzgerald called the donation “a phenomenal gift.”

“We are so grateful for the Naiks’ commitment to our Mystic branch,” she said.

Sekhar Naik, who owns the companies Voice Glance and MResult, said he and his family have been YMCA members for 15 years. His two businesses are located in the Packer Building but have clients across the country. Voice Glance is a cloud-based hiring system and MResult is a data analytics company.

Naik said the YMCA has a widespread impact on so many people in the community, as well as helping underprivileged families in the area, something he and his wife were looking for in deciding to donate to a good cause.

“We’ve lived in the area for 17 years and been very fortunate to open two companies,” Naik said. “This is such a wonderful place to live and raise a family, so we wanted to give back to the community.”

Naik said that he hopes he and his wife’s gift will help the YMCA to fund more programs instead of having to pay off the principal and interest on the borrowed money.

The renovation will include a new 12,500-square-foot section, as well as family and special needs locker rooms and additional parking. A new entrance will re-orient the building to overlook the Mystic River. The exercise and fitness space will be tripled, and there will be a dedicated child care room, teen center, yoga studio and community space.

It is estimated that it will take a year to complete the project once work begins. The YMCA will remain open during that time.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at bit.ly/mysticYMCA or by contacting Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@oceancommunityymca.org.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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