Y putting to­gether board of di­rec­tors

Fundrais­ing cam­paign set to start in 2017

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

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.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

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.

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