SKEF will dissolve, YMCA will take over some programs

The long-running Salem-Keizer Education Foundation announced it will dissolve June 30 and the Salem Family YMCA will be taking over some programs. 

For 38 years, SKEF organized volunteers and after school programming supporting the students of the Salem-Keizer School District. The most high profile events organized by SKEF are the Awesome 3000 and the annual Crystal Apple Awards given to the top teachers in the district. The future of those two programs is not yet known. 

The nonprofit found itself in “difficult financial circumstances” and will no longer offer programs to local students and teachers. 

The Salem Family YMCA has been working with SKEF on integrating its Awesome Youth Sports, tuition-based childcare, and summer camps into the Y programs.

“We appreciate SKEF’s confidence in the YMCA,” says YMCA CEO Sam Carroll. “SKEF built some incredible programs. I want to assure the Salem community and SKEF participants that we will maintain the same high-quality that they have come to expect. We are also hoping to work with SKEF personnel to maintain continuity.”

The Salem Family YMCA location on Court Street Northeast in downtown Salem was recently demolished to make way for a new facility. The new space, estimated to cost $20.5 million, is expected to open sometime in 2021.

YMCA Board Treasurer Darin Silbernagel said, “The Y is perfectly positioned to help SKEF. We have a new, fantastic building coming and have developed solid plans for the future. I think this is another example of how the YMCA steps up to meet the needs of the community.”