Our Y deserves better support

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Dear Editor: On the heels of the recent coverage the Humber Community YMCA has received in The Western Star, I would like to offer comment in two areas:

Christine Young-CEO — Until last year I was a volunteer with the Y for many years. Though the Y has struggled to find a permanent home to fit our needs, one constant that has helped to keep this charity in good standing has been the dedication of Christine Young in her role as CEO.

Chris strongly believes in the importance of having a Y in this community. Her dedication (as she simultaneously co-ordinates programming for child care, youth employment services and health and fitness, while dealing with past financial stresses of the Y and operational headaches like an oil spill at the previous Y location) should not go unnoticed.

The time Chris puts into this role goes far beyond 9 to 5. In meeting with various local organizations or government officials, fundraising, co-ordinating strategic planning (all with the aim of promoting the Y, growing the Y and partnering with others in the community) Chris always has a full plate. She has her sleeves rolled up to be hands on.

Whether helping to put together a float for the children to enjoy at the Santa Claus parade and ensuring Santa is there to have pancakes with the children too, or preparing a speakoff for Peace Week, Chris does not see her role as sitting in an office all day.

She is very engaged. With Chris at the helm, I am very confident the Y will succeed in finding a new, permanent home. And that leads me to my final point.

Your YMCA — A new home for the Y in this region is not about the Y being selfish in asking for a new location.

The Y truly belongs to the citizens it seeks to serve. Similar to the Corner Brook Public Library or city hall, it is open to and serves everyone. The programs the Y offers are for the benefit of all. As our brochure states: “The Y provides values-based programs that teach the importance of caring, honesty, respect responsibility, health and inclusiveness.”

Why would a community not want to have such an organization as a focal point?

What a shining light a Y can be to market this or any community.

With nearly 30 years under its belt in Corner Brook the time has come for a permanent place to call home. Partnering with the city to create a community centre solidifies the fact that the Y is appreciated for all that it does and that as a charitable organization it is valued and respected.

The Y has proven itself to be a valuable asset. The courtship years have been nice. It is time now for the city to walk the Y down the aisle and put a ring on the finger. Such is happening all over Canada

Bern Kenny, Corner Brook

Organizations: YMCA, Dear Editor, Corner Brook Public Library

Geographic location: Western Star, Corner Brook, Canada

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