YMCA of Greater Erie


The YMCA of Greater Erie’s Metropolitan Board of Directors held their annual meeting and employee and volunteer recognition luncheon today, Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 12 p.m. at the Avalon Hotel.  More than 185 gathered to hear the Association’s 2014 Community Impact report and recognize 85 employees and volunteers for their service to the Association – one employee marking 35 years of service.

“We took big steps in 2014 to walk the walk and talk the talk with organizational commitments outlined in our three-year strategic plan, ” said Ron Lord, Chief Volunteer Officer.  “Of note are teen-led programs focused on cognitive and social growth; early learning readiness programs to build the assets of informal caregivers; healthy eating and physical activity standards to develop healthy habits and nutritional awareness in kids; safety in and around water programs to teach kids and adults water safety skills to reduce their risk of drowning and lifestyle and chronic disease prevention programs to improve overall health and well-being in adults and kids.”

Lord presented the Association’s 2014 Community Impact Report stating, “some organizations exist to find a cure for cancer.  Others exist to feed the hungry.  Our Y exists to strengthen the foundations of our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”

Associates from BKD reported the Association’s 2014 audited operating revenue at $17,385,497 and expenses at $16,641,400.

Lord, joined by YMCA of Greater Erie Chief Executive Officer Gerry Vandemerwe recognized the service of 85 employees and volunteers. Additionally, Northwest Savings Bank received the honor of Corporate Partner of the Year.  Download a copy of the 2014 Annual Report.

Highlights from the 2014 Community Impact Report:

 Meals for Kids:  In 2013, we told you we were going to set nutritional standards for meals and snacks served by the Y, as well as, increase structured play time for kids.  Few realize that the Y serves more than 850 meals and snacks per day to more than 1,000 children.  We recognize we have a tremendous opportunity to influence food choice and introduce food variety and education through our programs.

We took big steps toward this commitment in 2014 by:

  • providing fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack – fresh, when we can
  • serving water and/or low-fat/non-fat milk and eliminating all juice products
  • serving meals family style – meaning children serve themselves with limited adult help
  • offering only whole grain where the first ingredient is whole grain
  • providing an opportunity for our donors to sponsor healthy meals for kids

Safety Around Water/Learn to Swim: We live on a lakefront.  We believe that it is absolutely necessary for all, not only to learn to swim, but also how to be safe in and around water. Swimming skills are critical, but just as important are knowledge and confidence of what to do to reduce the risk of water-related accidents.  After all, it takes less than 10 seconds and 1 inch of water for an accident to happen.

We made a big splash in 2014 by:

  • offering swimming experiences to the differently-abled through our adaptive swim program which ensures that all people are learning to be safe in and around water
  • training more than 200 as lifeguards and swim instructors
  • teaching more than 6,000 kids and adults to swim
  • providing an opportunity for our donors to sponsor learn to swim programs

Lifestyle/Behavior Change/Chronic Disease Prevention:  At the Y, a supportive community is a big part of wellness. Members and program participants often cite the support and enthusiasm of fellow participants and staff as some of the key factors in their achievement of greater well-being. Without good health, you can’t enjoy life.

We made a big change in 2014 by:

  • introducing our Buddy-up for Fitness membership program. So far, we have matched more than 600 members who are now motivating each other
  • coaching more than 3,500 through our Wellness Coaching and Personal Training programs.  Members not only lost weight and built strength, but gained confidence to try new activities and achieve personal bests
  • pressing the play button on a series of fitness classes and programs just for kids.  From Kidding Around Yoga® to Born to Move® and Fit Kid Club, kids are burning energy in the perfect mix of fitness and fun
  • welcoming the differently-abled into a strength building class just for them
  • providing an opportunity for our donors to sponsor learn to swim programs