Y putting together board of directors
Fundraising campaign set to start in 2017
CENTREVILLE — The site of the future YMCA of the Chesapeake facility, located at the Providence Farm parcel adjacent to Maryland Route 304, was deeded from the county to the organization in late November. The YMCA purchased Commitment Fitness in December, creating a physical presence in Queen Anne’s County. And on Tuesday, Sept. 13, YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO Robbie Gill gave the county commissioners an update on what has happened since the purchase.
Gill said the Y, located at 123 Coursevall Dr., is now staffed with 35 year round, part-time staff with an additional 20 seasonal staff members. The fitness club now has close to 2,000 members and is on pace to average 5,000 visits per year, Gill said. Miranda Reasoner was hired after the Commitment Fitness acquisition as executive director of the facility.
In partnership with the Gunston School in Centreville, almost 400 kids participated in summer programs on the school’s campus, ranging from fishing and boating to sports and art camps. Gill said the Y spent time training lifeguards despite the fact there is no aquatics facility in the community. Despite the lack of a pool, Gill said it was still able to engage young people to get involved with lifeguarding throughout the Eastern Shore.
As well as the summer camps the Y was in partnership with, it ran a program for high school students built around teaching leadership and “engaging kids in service learning.” Gill said the program was made up of 18 students, nine of which went to the Blue Ridge Assembly — a national leadership meeting — in Black Mountain, N.C.
“I’m really proud of the work the Miranda’s team and our group
have done over the past 10 months,” Gill said. “In a short period of time we’ve really been able to get going in the community and build a base and begin to build capacity where we can put ourselves in a position to build this facility.”
Though the organization has created a physical presence, installed programs and gained members, it is still creating board. Currently, Gill said, seven individuals have been selected to serve with another seven to be added through the winter. Gill said the board will “help to lead and guide us as we work to make sure the programs and services the Y are providing can make an impact in the community.”
With a six-and-a-half-year lease remaining on the Coursevall location, Gill told the commission the Y’s goal is to be in a new facility by the leases end, easily within the 10-year building requirement the county and Y agreed upon. A feasibility study determined $10 million would be needed to construct a new facility, pool included.
Though the fundraising efforts of the Y have yet to begin, Gill gave the commission a loose timeline of when dollars can be expected to come in. After the board members are determined, a capital campaign will be developed in the spring of 2017 with help from community volunteers, Gill said. The quiet phase of the capital campaign will begin next fall, which Gill said typically takes a more than two years.
Gill said about three years ago when the fundraising feasibility study was completed, the Y found individuals committed to the project but didn’t ask for money at that time because the land hadn’t been donated from the county at that point. Gill said those individuals are still willing to support the new facility.
“I think one of the biggest challenges we could possibly have is not to have a physical presence within the community to establish programs and then trying to raise money from another county would have been nearly impossible,” Gill said, referencing raising funds for Queen Anne’s County in Easton.
For more information about the Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA, visit its website: www.ymcachesapeake.org/qacy.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @mike_kibaytimes.
YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO Robbie Gill, right, and Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA Executive Director Miranda Reasoner, left, update the county commissioners about the future facility as well as programs already in action on Tuesday, Sept. 13.