Waldo County YMCA Launches 2021 Y Strong! A Bridge to the Future campaign to Support Community Needs

By Waldo County YMCA | Apr 01, 2021



Russell Werkman, CEO, Waldo County YMCA

207.338.4598 / rwerkman@waldcountyymca.org

BELFAST, ME, April 1, 2021 – The Waldo County YMCA is launching the completion phase of its Y Strong! A Bridge to the Future campaign today. The campaign will help ensure that everyone in Waldo County has access to vital community programs and resources, especially during and after these challenging times.

“Our community has faced unprecedented challenges this past year,” said Russell Werkman, CEO of the Waldo County YMCA, “and we’ve also seen unprecedented support from our members. Strong communities are built by people who care about one another, and this year has proven Waldo County truly cares.”

The Waldo County YMCA has already raised more than $200,000 from committed donors and has received a generous $50,000 challenge grant to reach the campaign’s goal of $300,000, the amount needed for 2021 and 2022 after receiving federal COVID grants.

The Board of Directors voted to fulfill the Y’s commitment to the community by maintaining a full complement of activities and services and to raise the extra funds needed to keep the Y strong.   “We are confident that everyone in our community will want to be part of this campaign to keep our doors open, lights on, and staff paid so that the Y can continue to focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility as all of us weather the pandemic’s financial effects,” said Werkman.

Every year, the Waldo County YMCA responds to the needs of the community and this year has been no different. Since the country began seeing the effects of COVID-19, the Y mobilized to provide essential services needed in Waldo County. While the Y has always done this, the pandemic changed the nature of those services. The Y Strong! campaign will provide a bridge as the Y retools for a post-pandemic world.

Since June, the Y has reached out to more than 1,500 seniors and others who face social isolation, added online fitness classes and book groups, modified the wellness room, gymnasium, and pool complex to ensure public safety while members maintain their healthy routines, and given the Red Cross a home for monthly blood drives. It has also provided monthly drive-through nutritious lunches to 100 seniors and, so that families can go back to work, the Y created a safe space for Waldo County children to learn while schools operate remotely.

Waldo County YMCA membership has declined by 45% since March 2020, when the Governor issued Maine’s stay-at-home order. It reopened in June, just in time for summer camp.

For more information about the Y’s work for the community, and to make a tax-deductible matchable donation to complete the Y Strong! campaign, contact Russell Werkman, CEO at 207 338-4598 or rwerkman@waldocountyymca.org.

About the Y

Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Ymca.net

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