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home : news : north central illinois   May 25, 2016

12/31/2013 7:14:00 AM
Mendota Y catching on quickly

NewsTribune photo/Chris YucusMendota residents Erika Mandujano and her sister Byanka Mandujano work out at the Mendota Area Y facility this week while home from college on winter break.
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NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Mendota residents Erika Mandujano and her sister Byanka Mandujano work out at the Mendota Area Y facility this week while home from college on winter break.
Craig Sterrett
News Editor

MENDOTA — Mendota Area Y rapidly is becoming a fixture in the community.

The Y workout and exercise class facility opened just more than two months ago in a former all-terrain vehicle and motorcycle dealership building, and it has become increasingly popular.

The Y located south of Mendota on Route 251 is a branch of Illinois Valley Y, Peru.

Rachel Moore, branch manager, said the facility has added hundreds of members, and each receives dual membership at the Mendota and Peru facilities. Longtime members of the Y at Peru also can work out at Mendota if they wish.

The branch exceeded membership goals in October, and during its big membership drive in November, it exceeded a goal by 50 percent.

There are times when there are more than 30 people in the facility and the parking lot is full, and there are other times when the crowd is relatively light.

“It just depends on the time of the day,” Moore said.

Hours are 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.

The Mendota Y has cardiovascular exercise machines, circuit workout machines and free weights. There’s also a group exercise room for classes, and there’s a baby-sitting room when parents want to work out and not worry about the kids.

The Mendota Y also organizes occasional events in school gymnasiums, such as an upcoming Valentine’s Day night out that will let moms and dads go on a date and leave their children at the Northbrook School gym for games and supervised activities.

Illinois Valley Y chief executive officer David Potthoff has been impressed by how quickly a committee of leaders organized to buy the building that was in foreclosure and to rally for community support. He said a group of about 14 people spearheaded the initial effort.

“An opportunity arose for a building that had been vacant, and they aggressively reached out to the community to raise the dollars for the building also the renovations, and worked very closely with the Illinois Valley Y to get the facility up and open,” Potthoff said. “It’s really a compliment to the Mendota community and those people in the leadership position.”

He’s also impressed by the facility’s popularity.

“They’ve done really well,” Potthoff said. “It’s been overwhelmingly supported by the Mendota community and progressing very well.”

Mendota Y advisory committee member Becky McPheeters said the facility is saving Mendotans money and time for daily workouts, but they enjoy being able to go to Peru to take advantage of the gymnasiums, pools and programs there.

“I think we’ve exceeded our goal for the first month we were open for enrollment,” she confirmed. The committee at Mendota is working closely with Illinois Valley Y to make sure the Mendota facility succeeds and delivers what the people want and need.

She said the Mendota group would like to offer more programs int the future and, someday, a gymnasium, which would require a major fundraising drive.

Craig Sterrett can be reached at (815) 220-6935 or

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