2020/21 Annual Report
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It is time to pause once again in reflection. As we do so, we feel undeniable gratitude and hopefulness. While the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic are not behind us, we’ve learned so much that has allowed us to survive, even thrive, during such uncertain times.
How? Because of you. A foundation of dedicated staff and volunteers has allowed the YMCA of Greater Rochester to remain strong. Our staff, fewer in numbers than pre-pandemic, haven’t missed a beat. They are resilient, passionate and empathetic. They are truly best in class. Our volunteers have provided partnership, guidance and expertise far beyond what could ever be expected. The Y is truly blessed by their leadership.
In crisis, brighter opportunities arose which brings us great hope for the future. When we made the difficult decision to close the Carlson MetroCenter in March 2021, we simultaneously made a commitment to engage a Task Force to embark on a process to evaluate the Y’s urban offerings, assess the needs of the community, and propose ways to better serve all within the City limits. The Task Force completed its work in October and their recommendations were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors in November. As we take immediate actions, we have created a brand-new position, Senior Vice President of Urban Services, who will oversee operations and strategy within the city limits.
Financially we remain focused and driven by continuing to beat forecast projections, by remaining committed to not borrowing, and by successfully securing federal grants. Since COVID began, we have secured an incredible $14.65 million in federal grant assistance to aid in keeping our doors opened, staff employed, and community members served.
- In addition to federal grants, countless philanthropic partners have invested in the power of the Y and helped transform how we serve. We are proud to recognize ESL as our Collaboration Award Recipient, an honor we are bestowing for the first time since 2018.
- Though the days before the pandemic seem long ago, 2021 provided some return to normalcy as we honored staff and volunteers at an appreciation night at Frontier Field. It was our pleasure to present longtime volunteer, Bill Sauers, with the Jurij Kushner Red Triangle Award and watch him throw out the first pitch.
- We were grateful to have been able provide an adventurous and COVID-free overnight camp experience to more than 1,000 campers, following a year when our resident camps were shuttered.
- Day Camp created a summer of fun across the region and before and after school programming is giving families needed support in the return to full time school this year
- The Y focused in on healthy living and social responsibility this year in new and important ways:
- We teamed up with the Monroe County Department of Public Health to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible, in places that many people in our community know and feel comfortable going – the Y! Four Ys were vaccination sites, open to all by appointment or walk in, and more than 600 community members were vaccinated at a YMCA.
- We partnered with Common Ground Health, the University of Rochester Medical Center and Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza to offer online and in-person informational sessions on the COVID-19 vaccine.
- We found new ways to serve in the City of Rochester by providing free programming at Parcel 5 as part of our Y on the Fly program and continued to meet members where they were through virtual programming, first with the Virtual YMCA and now with YMCA360, an initiative with Ys across the country.
Through it all, we are reminded of the need for community. The YMCA is not just a place, it is a spirit and movement that creates community in traditional and innovative ways. The needs of our region evolve all the time, and now more than ever, our commitment to community continues to grow. Because of you, we will always adapt, adjust and serve. We provide services for people of all ages to live better lives in spirit, mind and body. With you, anything is possible.