The Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA received a significant boost in funding for the upcoming teen center from a local resident and business owner.
Although the YMCA has not yet collected all the necessary funds to begin the construction process, a significant six-figure donation was made by Dr. Ken Danyluk of Team Orthodontics to help them reach the goal.
"The Ahwatukee community has been very good to us and we wanted to give back," Danyluk said. "We have been involved with a lot of stuff since moving here and this was an opportunity that came knocking on our door that I just felt I had to take advantage of."
The donation made a big impact on the proposed $1.2 million budget it will take to complete the teen center and preschool center.
Danyluk, or Dr. D as he is called by patients, moved to Ahwatukee Foothills in 2000 from Canada and has been an active member of the community ever since.
"I felt like we have been a part of the community since we moved here," he said. "Being a part of the Y(MCA) made sense in a lot of ways. And now, we were in a fortunate enough position to be able to be a part of the teen center."
The center, which will be known as Dr. Ken Danyluk, Team Orthodontics Teen Center, is still in the fundraising process but, once complete, is looking to be a great, local hang-out option for area teens.
While in the planning stages, the YMCA involved teens in a focus group to find out what they would want in a local teen center, Danyluk said.
"We have a lot of teens in this community," he said. "That's what spurred a focus group at first. We wanted to know what their ideal hang-out place would have. What we found out was that it basically came down to they want a place to hang out with friends and not be over-supervised."
Danyluk joined the YMCA Board of Directors nearly five years ago and was initially involved with fundraising groups for the expansion before taking a sabbatical from the board. He was honored by a group of teen YMCA members on Tuesday Feb. 24 at Team Orthodontics, P.C. located at 4350 E. Ray Rd.
"We just wanted to give back to the community," he said.
Danyluk was voted Best Orthodontist of 2008 by readers of the AFN. To find out more about the YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane, visit the Web site, www.ValleyYMCA.org. Team Orthodontics can be located on the Web at www.TeamOrthodontics.com.