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CEO Message: The Future of the Y

This pandemic is a test of our resiliency, our ability to manage through tough times. Our Y is struggling and will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future.  When our doors temporarily shut In March we expected to be back and fully operational within a month.  Once it became apparent that was not a realistic expectation, we immediately began to strategize how best to serve our members and the greater community.  As a result, we offered virtual classes and emergency childcare. We adapted again to reopen our facility, preschool, and summer camp within the strict safety restrictions. 

Today we celebrate a successful summer camp season and have reopened both pools, our fitness center, and racquetball courts.  Group X classes are being offered at the Y, Camp Ingersoll, and virtually.  We have started offering private and group swim instruction and youth sports will begin in September. Seeing the Y community steadily return with such positive energy and feedback is a moral boost to the entire Y team! 

Reopening and running programs has been challenging and expensive. The additional cost of operating programs within the necessary capacity limits, while also providing the extra safety measures, diminishes much-needed revenue.   The PPP Loan (Paycheck Protection Program) helped us survive through June.  As we enter September, the Y will begin to use cash reserves to keep the facility open, keep our remaining employees, and pay our overhead.

Regardless of this steady progress and efforts to reopen, our paying membership is 50% of what it was at the end of February 2020.  This is having a devastating impact on revenue.  We must see a significant increase in members returning to active status to keep the facility operational.

The Y team has been steadfast in our focus to serve the greater good during this pandemic.  We responded to community need and came to work when many others could remain in the safety of their homes.  We helped essential workers stay on the job, we fed and cared for our vulnerable residents, we called and connected with our senior members, and we partnered with other community leaders to address the most critical issues.  In short, we did what our mission instructs us to do, and lived our Y values that have guided this non-profit organization for the past 134 years.

As the school year arrives, we are adjusting once again to serve working families whose children need full day programs that provide support for distance learning.  This is a challenge for both the Y and for families who now need to find the resources to pay for this unexpected full-day care.  The Y is working on a variety of options that will include some programs housed in the schools, programs at Camp Ingersoll, and programs at the Y.   We are prepared to provide the support children need to be successful academically, while also helping them with their mental health and social development.

The Y needs your help! We cannot do this alone. Working parents, our members, residents, children and youth, and the community all need the Y.  If you can help support the Y please do so. 

Please consider coming off hold status.  If you do not plan to use the facility or attend our outdoor or virtual classes until you feel more comfortable, you can request your membership dues be a donation.  Your support will keep our doors open, it will help struggling working families afford childcare, and it will keep our dedicated Y staff employed. 

I am hopeful for the future. I think the Y will be stronger once we get to the other side of this pandemic.  As an organization, we will have done our very best to help the people who needed us most and in doing so, learned who values the work of the Y. This will change us. The Y will need to adjust our model and prioritize our services.  As always, these decisions will be guided by our mission to offer a path toward a full and productive life while improving individual and family life, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and assisting youth in developing into responsible adulthood.  

The Y needs your generous support. If you can, please maintain an active membership status through this unprecedented time. The future of the Y depends on it!


Michele Rulnick



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