YMCA cuts rib­bon on new lo­cal site

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — For The Town of Centreville, it’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment. For Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, it’s a stan­dard for com­mu­nity val­ues. And for Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann, it’s a rea­son to get a gym mem­ber­ship when he finds the time.

On Mon­day, May 9, Fran­chot, elected of­fi­cials from the state, county and the Town of Centreville and YMCA em­ploy­ees gath­ered at 123 Cour­se­vall Dr. in Centreville for the of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting of the Queen Anne’s County Fam­ily YMCA fa­cil­ity.

“We’ve been work­ing on hav­ing a YMCA in Queen

Anne’s County for al­most 11 years now, and it’s been a tremen­dous ef­fort,” said Rob­bie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of the Ch­e­sa­peake. “I just want to say thank you to every­one for mak­ing that hap­pen.”

In July 2015, the county com­mis­sion­ers unan­i­mously voted to do­nate prop­erty ad­ja­cent to Mary­land Route 304 across the road from Queen Anne’s County High School to the YMCA of the Ch­e­sa­peake. In a signed Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing, the YMCA has 10 years to raise the needed funds, about $10 mil­lion, and build a fa­cil­ity on the prop­erty.

The rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony was to com­mem­o­rate the YMCA op­er­at­ing its new gym, which will act as a spring­board to fu­ture projects in the county. The YMCA pur­chased Com­mit­ment Fit­ness, and be­gan op­er­at­ing the fa­cil­ity in De­cem­ber.

Gill said the fa­cil­ity will act as a “hub” so the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion can be­gin pro­gram­ming and build sup­port in the com­mu­nity. The next step is go­ing to be cre­at­ing its lo­cal board of ad­vi­sors, he said, and once that is fi­nal­ized to be­gin the “quiet phase” of its cap­i­tal cam­paign. He said the pub­lic fundrais­ing phase will be­gin in 2017.

“Queen Anne’s County is a com­mu­nity filled with phil­an­thropic peo­ple who be­lieve deeply in the com­mu­nity they live in,” Gill said. “So our goal I just to part­ner and col­lab­o­rate with the city and the county and other not-for-prof­its, as we’re al­ready do­ing ... and sup­port our ef­fort to build a fa­cil­ity that can make a big­ger im­pact in the com­mu­nity. There’s a ton of needs in this county.”

Fran­chot was gra­cious about the in­vi­ta­tion to “Rob­bie’s Em­pire,” as he called it, and said the suc­cess of Gill and the YMCA of the Ch­e­sa­peake is in its cus­tomer ser­vice and in its val­ues.

“What I love about the ‘Y’ is they have val­ues, not just val­ues of well­ness and ex­er­cise and stay­ing in shape, but they also have val­ues about cit­i­zen­ship, re­spon­si­bil­ity, tak­ing care of your neigh­bor — it’s the whole nine yards,” Fran­chot said. “I just want to thank the ‘Y’ na­tion­ally but here in Mary­land, par­tic­u­larly the part of it that’s un­der Rob­bie’s con­trol, for be­ing such a ben­e­fit to the State of Mary­land. It’s huge, and I’m con­fi­dent that you’re go­ing to con­tinue to strengthen and en­rich com­mu­ni­ties on the Shore and else­where in the years to come.”

Centreville Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler read a procla­ma­tion con­grat­u­lat­ing the YMCA on its new fa­cil­ity as well as its fu­ture build­ing in town. Sigler said he grew up in a town much the size of Centreville, and “we were dy­ing on the vine” un­til the YMCA came and built a fa­cil­ity. “The YMCA came to our com­mu­nity, and we’re hop­ing that that’s go­ing to hap­pen here.”

Fel­low Town Coun­cil­man Tim McCluskey said with a ma­jor fo­cus through­out the county and in the town with eco­nomic devel­op­ment, the YMCA is go­ing to “help build that eco­nomic en­gine” and thanked the or­ga­ni­za­tion for its in­vest­ment.

For County Com­mis­sioner Robert Buckey this was a so­lu­tion to a need in the com­mu­nity. Buckey said one of the is­sues he ran on while cam­paign­ing for of­fice was the of­fi­cials not us­ing tax money to build a “Y.” Buckey said he felt there was a bet­ter way to solve this is­sue, so work­ing with Gill, the com­mis­sion­ers and the town, “we were able to come up with a deal to where we just do­nate the land and no tax dol­lars. I think it was a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all of us.”

Buckey said the Cour­se­vall Drive build­ing “was an ex­cel­lent segue to their fa­cil­ity to be able to es­tab­lish a base now.”

Af­ter the rib­bon cut­ting and the pre­sen­ta­tion of procla­ma­tions, peo­ple toured the fa­cil­ity. Gill said it’s great to be in the new build­ing and he is en­cour­aged by the “great staff and won­der­ful vol­un­teers” as well as how sup­port­ive the com­mu­nity has been on this en­deavor.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.


Centreville Coun­cil­men Jim Beauchamp and Tim McCluskey, Reg­is­ter of Wills Laura Cook, Town Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler, Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, YMCA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mi­randa Rea­soner, Sen. Steve Her­shey, Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann and County Com­mis­sioner Rober Buckey par­tic­i­pate in the rib­bon cut­ting for the Y’s ren­o­vated fa­cil­ity at 123 Cour­se­vall Dr. in Centreville on Mon­day, May 9.

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