Dear Friends of the YMCA:
The start of a new season is a good prompt to share with you some of the exciting news and activities at your YMCA.
Last week, we held a virtual AGM and presented our 2021 annual report filled with many inspiring Y stories. The AGM was bittersweet as it marked the end of some board members’ terms and saw the introduction of new members. As I said last night, I have been extremely fortunate in my first position as a CEO to have had such a strong and supportive board. Their dedication was shown in ways both small and large and never more so than by the extension of some board terms to see us through two years of the pandemic. On behalf of our association, I would like to express my thanks to outgoing members, those who remain with us and to incoming members whose presence expands our connection with the communities we serve.
Our Board of Directors for 2022-2023
Charlotte Patterson, Chair
William Beattie, Vice Chair
Mike Gaylord, Treasurer
Susan McAllister, Secretary
Jay Rayner, Past Chair
Strong Communities: Send a Kid to Camp
Thanks to our wonderful donors and camp sponsors we are on-track to reach our $100,000 goal to help kids in our communities attend YMCA summer camps! As you know, we launched our Strong Communities campaign with our Send a Kid to Camp (SAKTC) fundraiser with an over-arching goal to raise $400,000 with $100,000 ear-marked for summer camps. All monies raised goes to the YMCA Financial Assistance Fund, which is available to qualifying families and individuals so that access to healthy, inclusive programs is not hindered by ability to pay. The impacts of the pandemic and rising cost-of-living will continue to increase the need for assistance, making your gift more important than ever! If you are in a position to give, please consider a donation to your YMCA. Contributions may be made online or by texting YMCAEO to 20222 and selecting $5, $10 or $25. We are looking forward to the upcoming events for Strong Communities, which are the Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament on August 17 and the George E. Smith Fire Truck Pull on October 15. Although the golf tournament is sold out, there are still opportunities for sponsorships and we would love to see you and your team at the fire truck pull!
As supply chain issues continue to plague all industries, I am happy to announce that we have received the balance of our fitness equipment for the Kingston East Community Centre location. This provides more opportunity for our members as well as members from the City of Kingston’s fitness centres to access more services in the east end of Kingston.
Summer camps are about ready to launch, and our camp team is looking forward to another summer filled with fun and friendships. If you are interested in registering your child for summer camps, you can access the guide and registration information here.
On a personal note
My goal this summer is to focus time on strengthening relationships with our partners, donors and stakeholders. It is great to be able – finally – to begin to get together in person and I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces! Perhaps I will see some of you on the golf course at this year’s Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament, an event that raises funds for both the United Way Leeds and Grenville and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario’s programs and services. We are excited to have special guests at the event including Darryl Sittler and Rick Vaive. While tickets are sold out, there are still a few opportunities for sponsorships. For information, please visit our website.
In addition, I am honoured to be part of the Canada delegation to the YMCA World Alliance 2022 Conference in Aarhus, Denmark. After the conference Jean and Declan will be joining me for a family vacation. Other plans for the summer include hosting extending family from Ireland, catching a few Blue Jays games and paddle boarding.
Following the month of June that honours both Indigenous history and Pride, Canada Day can give us time to better understand and appreciate ourselves as a country. I wish you all a happy Canada Day and hope that you have some moments to consider where we have come from and the kind of Canada you wish to be part of.
Wishing you the best of the summer,
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario