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Kiwanis Club gives lake property to YMCA

The Kiwanis Club of Kitchener-Waterloo has gifted the Paradise Lake property outside St. Clements to the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA.

The property is valued at $600,000, making it the largest gift in the history of either organization.

The Kiwanis Club first leased the property in 1924 to operate a camp in partnership with a number of other organizations. The club bought the property in 1938, and in 1942, the camp became officially known as Camp Ki-Wa-Y.

The Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA has been the property’s sole tenant since 1972. Along with the camp, the YMCA operates the Outdoor Centre, where visitors can learn about green living.

The gift secures the future of the camp and the outdoor centre.

Malcolm Shantz, president of the Kiwanis Club, said the YMCA has been a good tenant over decades of use, getting thousands of kids active in the outdoors and learning about nature and the environment. The best way to continue the site’s tradition of camping, the club felt, was to give the YMCA the property.

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