Community members in Raytown come together to save their YMCA - KCTV5

Community members in Raytown come together to save their YMCA

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More than 200 people showed up to a meeting in Raytown Thursday night to fight to keep  their local YMCA open.

Members and supporters packed into the auditorium at Raytown South High School to show just how important their YMCA is to the community. Raytown Superintendent Allan Markley believes it's a necessity to the district because that is where district swim teams practice.

"Obviously that Y means a lot to me and the rest of the team and all the teams, including South and Raytown," Markley said.

Schools aren't the only community members upset with the scheduled closing. Kathy Leclere is disabled and said she would have to travel all the way to Blue Springs to get the therapeutic exercise she needs.

"It pretty much wipes out the whole east side of Kansas City, Independence and Raytown for having a YMCA in any nearby proximity," Leclere said.

Gwen Maude was also upset.

"It's going to be sorely missed. We don't have a community center out here. Independence does. Other places do. We don't," Maude said.

This backlash comes on the heels of YMCA leaders announcing this week that it would close the Raytown, Independence and downtown Kansas City facilities because of low membership and community support. The three locations will be replaced with a brand new location downtown.

Markley will meet with YMCA officials on Tuesday in hopes of changing their minds.

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