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Continuing the Mission of the YMCA During Lockdown Rob's Blog

Dear Friends of the Y:

Although we are well into our third provincial lockdown which has resulted in a change to our regular work at the YMCA, our mission to serve our communities continues. Since my last blog post, there have been so many positive developments at the Y that I thought it was time to give you an update.

You may have heard that the YMCA of Eastern Ontario has finalized an agreement with the Town of Prescott to operate its Centennial Pool this summer. We are delighted to bring our aquatics expertise to Prescott and are looking forward to building on this new partnership as well as to a safe and happy swim season.

On the subject of partnerships, we are pleased to continue working with the United Way of Leeds and Grenville and other community agencies, providing transportation for area residents to vaccination clinics. Thanks to Y staff for volunteering their time to help out.

With our partnership with the City of Kingston, we will also be bringing back the popular Work Hard, Eat Well program to the Rideau Heights Community Centre. This unique program is fully funded by The Estate of Larry Gibson and the Kinsmen Club of Kingston allowing children to participate at no cost.

With the province’s announcement that summer day camps will be allowed to run, Y recreation camps have been planned and registration will begin on May 25 at 9 a.m. All registration will be done online. Although the government has not yet announced guidelines for camps, and there may be some changes once it does, our team has created camps for young artists, athletes, dancers, explorers and cyclists. You can see the new guide here as well as find links to the registration portal and registration instructions. I’d like to recognize and thank our camp sponsors who help to make wonderful summer memories for so many kids. We are still welcoming sponsors who would like to support our rec camps. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Anita Mercier, director, relationship & fund development, at
anita.mercier@eo.ymca.ca or 613-546-2647 ext. 249.

With so much having moved online and the popularity of our virtual workouts during the first provincial closure, we are once again offering online workouts with some of your favourite instructors. Videos are posted at 9:30 a.m. and noon from Monday to Friday on our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also find all our Virtual Y Fit classes on our website and on our YouTube channel anytime. I’d like to give a huge shout-out and thanks to our wonderful instructors. You can tell that this is more than just a job to them; they really care about our members and helping the community. 

On a final note, thank you to everyone who has supported your Y by donating your fees or making a donation online. Your support will help us once more emerge from a lockdown in stronger shape than we would be without you. With the facilities across the country that have closed, this is no small accomplishment! Thanks also to everyone who has visited a McDonald’s Restaurant in Kingston or Gananoque to buy a Big Mac or McChicken on Mondays and Tuesdays in May. Each one purchased gives $1 to the Y to support kids in our communities. The fundraiser goes to May 31. We are very near our goal of $10,000 and just need a little push to make if over the finish line!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and safe long weekend.

Rob Adams
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario