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Pictured left to right, Touchdown Club President, Kurt Steves, Touchdown Club Past President Corby Farrell, Rise School Director, Kari Zerbe, Park Cities YMCA Pathways Campaign Chair, Will Beecherl and YMCA President and CEO, Gordon Echtenkamp

Dallas, Texas (September 25, 2014) - Tuesday night at a reception at the Dallas Country Club, Gordon Echtenkamp, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas announced the YMCA and the Rise School of Dallas have signed contracts to formally merge.  According to the agreement, both the Park Cities YMCA and the Rise School of Dallas will operate independently until the future opening of the new Moody Family YMCA in the Park Cities. 

“I am very excited the YMCA and the Rise School have taken his next step to merge to best serve our community. The work and mission of the YMCA for 130 years in Dallas has been evident in our effort to serve and nurture all children and families.  The mission of the Rise School to provide one of the best early childhood educational programs for children with and without developmental disabilities couldn’t be a better fit with the Y’s mission,” said Echtenkamp. 

Joining Gordon on stage was Kurt Steves, President of the Rise School’s Touchdown Club who had another big announcement, a $1,000,000 gift to the YMCA Pathways Campaign for the new Moody Family YMCA.  

“The Rise School is beyond excited for the merger and the relationship that has already formed between us and the YMCA. It could not be a better fit. We are not only practicing inclusion but will live it in the Park Cities community with our missions serving all families, students, members, and the community,” said Kari Zerbe, Director of the Rise School of Dallas.

This generous gift from the Touchdown Club puts the Park Cities YMCA Pathways campaign efforts at the 55% mark with $15.3 million.  The volunteers continue to work hard in the community with not only key leaders but with all families to help to achieve this goal. 

About the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

About the Rise School of Dallas

The Rise School of Dallas is a private, non-profit preschool program for children with and without developmental disabilities. It is a high quality program accredited by the National Association of Education of Young Children with integrated therapies. Since 1998, the Rise School has continuously touched the lives of children who otherwise might not have received this type of specialized education. For more information visit


Caroline Lewis
Director of Development
Park Cities Family YMCA
6000 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75205
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