YMCA of Talbot County Granted New Name: YMCA of the Chesapeake

Its new name, YMCA of the Chesapeake, reflects the Y of Talbot County’s new vision to expand its services to the residents of not only Talbot County, but to those of Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties as well. Over the past five years, the Y of Talbot County has experienced a membership boom, growing from 5,000 members to over 12,000 members today.

To deal with this unprecedented growth, the organization has been participating in a visioning process to determine the need for programs, services and facilities in Talbot, Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties. Robbie Gill, CEO of the newly named YMCA of the Chesapeake, comments, “Because we are serving a much broader population, the new name better identifies with the communities which we serve.”

The YMCA of the Chesapeake is charter by the YMCA of the USA to serve Talbot, Caroline, and Queen Anne’s Counties. There are currently YMCA locations in Easton and St. Michaels.

The Y is also working to expand program offerings in Caroline County, where there are currently 1,400 Y members. Fundraising efforts have been underway to support the Caroline County Family Y in Denton, MD, which is scheduled to open Saturday, November 6, 2010 in its newly renovated 11,400 sq ft facility in the Denton Plaza, on Route 404 in Denton. Residents of Caroline County will soon be able to participate in youth programs, cardiovascular and strength training, and group exercise classes at the location. The facility will also feature day care facilities, men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers, and social and meeting space.

Keith McMahan, president and CEO of Tri-Gas & Oil and a current board member of the Y, comments, “This is more than a name change, it’s a change in direction. We are a community of Talbot, Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties. The new name is reflective of serving the community and beyond.”

In addition to expanding the offerings in Caroline County, discussions are underway with officials in Queen Anne’s County about a building a permanent facility there as well. The Y has a presence in Queen Anne’s County, collaborating on the management of the county’s pool at Chesapeake College. Currently, the YMCA and Queen Anne’s County are currently working together to conduct a fundraising feasibility study and develop a comprehensive site plan at the proposed YMCA location in Centreville. The Town of Centreville recently annexed the proposed site into town limits, which was a big step in keeping the project moving forward.

Businessman Mark Freestate comments, “A facility to meet the recreation and health needs of residents of all ages in our county is greatly needed. We are taking steps in the right direction to provide these important services to our community members in a more permanent way for years to come.”

The YMCA’s new vision for 2020 focuses on engaging seniors, strengthening families, developing youth and teens, and building a community culture of inclusion. This includes the YMCA’s commitment to supporting the diversity of the community by finding ways to bring people together to celebrate each other’s differences and to be a force where many become one.

Jerry Jana, chairman of the YMCA of Talbot County Board of Directors, states, “The way I have always looked at running businesses and nonprofits is that you need a strong foundation before you do anything new. The Y is currently operating a sound fiscal program and is in a responsible position to expand its reach. The staff and leadership at the Y are delivering excellent and consistent services.” Jana adds, “By working in partnership with other community organizations, we hope to deliver effective programs and impact the lives of more residents on the Mid Shore.”

Membership rates will be the same for all locations. Y members will have the opportunity to use any of the YMCA of the Chesapeake facilities in Easton, St. Michaels, Chesapeake College and Denton. As a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the YMCA of the Chesapeake turns no one away due to the inability to pay. Last year the YMCA awarded over $285,000 in financial assistance to over 3,200 people.

For further information about the YMCA of the Chesapeake or its fundraising efforts, contact F. Graham Lee, chief development officer at the Y at 410-822-0566 or visit www.talbotymca.org.