George Romell
George M. Romell - President and CEO
Maureen Mulholland - Current Board Chair

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.

2021 Collaboration Award Recipient

The YMCA of Greater Rochester is proud to recognize our first Collaboration Award Recipient since 2018. This special honor is only awarded when truly deserved. Past award recipients include the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, Foodlink, and a distinct group of significant Rochester institutions. It is with great pleasure that the YMCA board and staff recognize ESL as the 2021 Collaboration Award Recipient.

The pandemic has created unimaginable hardship for the Greater Rochester community, and since the impact of COVID-19 began to challenge our community, ESL was there. Recognizing that the Y’s very ability to serve was threatened, ESL stepped in with transformational support.

This began with sustaining support that helped buoy the Y during the most difficult days of the pandemic’s beginning. And as time went on, ESL became a partner in the Y’s ability to provide new and
needed programs during unprecedented times. With the support of ESL, the Y launched the Center for Equity at Lewis Street that opened the doors to Rochester youth when they were facing long term school closings. Additionally, ESL helped the Y open virtual learning sites across Monroe County for all children that were dealing with hybrid school models. Most recently, ESL reinvested in the Center for Equity to help the Y once again adjust to the needs of the community and create a community resource center and after school hub for students. All along the way, ESL also provided grants through the United Way that allowed the Y to give direct emergency support to families in critical need. Their investment has been simply extraordinary.

Beyond the financial investment, the ESL team has been a trusted partner throughout the pandemic. They have shown a true understanding of the hardships facing the community, and willingness to help guide and listen as the Y navigated new and unanticipated challenges.

Few Rochester institutions have had such a profound impact on the YMCA, and it is a proud day to recognize ESL for their incredible partnership as the 2021 Collaboration Award Recipient.

Jurij Kushner Red Triangle Award Winner

Strong values. Undeniable work ethic. Feverish creativity. Deep resourcefulness. These are the characteristics that define this year’s Jurij Kushner Red Triangle Award winner, Bill Sauers. Bill has been a volunteer since 1986, helping transform the Y’s service in the community. He chaired the Branch Cabinet for more than a decade, helped open the Westside Branch in 2004, raised tens of thousands of dollars for YMCA branches and camps, and continues to personally support our campaigns.

Bill and his wife, Tricia, are generous donors to the Y, Charter Members of the Triangle Society and members of the George Williams Society. When asked why volunteering is so important to Bill, he said: “The Y helped me and my family do things together more. I grew with the YMCA, so now I want to help the YMCA continue and grow.”

Bill is a truly worthy recipient of this award, the YMCA’s highest volunteer recognition.

We are deeply indebted to Bill and grateful for his service. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do.

Financials

March 31, 2021 Audited

THIS IS AN UNAUDITED COMPARISON OF OUR FINANCES FROM THE TIMEFRAME OF APRIL 1-OCTOBER 31.

Urban Service Delivery Task Force Recommendations

When we made the difficult decision to close the Carlson MetroCenter in March of 2021, we simultaneously made a commitment to engage a Task Force to embark on a six-month 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 seven recommendations were put forth to the Board of Directors, who unanimously approved them in November.

This was an incredible process that allowed the YMCA to engage with community leaders like we haven’t in many years. It also allowed us to focus on the needs of our community and where the YMCA can be most impactful. With these seven recommendations now approved, the YMCA of Greater Rochester is ready to fulfill our mission in new ways in support of all those in our community.

Recommendations Timeline
UNIFIED URBAN SERVICES The YMCA will commit to invest the necessary resources to align staff and volunteers, that looks at the whole instead of location-by-location, to avoid duplication of service and maximize impact 2022
PARTNERSHIPS IN HEALTH & WELL BEING The YMCA will engage impactful partners and collaborators to strengthen its new delivery system and address the Social Determinants of Health for residents of our city Ongoing
FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY The YMCA will create a different funding matrix – through its endowment, grants, private philanthropy/foundations, government support and suburban branches/overnight camp success when COVID recovery occurs – to invest in and adequately deliver its urban mission 18-36 months
EXISTING LOCATIONS & COMMUNITY OUTREACH The YMCA will enhance inclusive programming that is developed in response to the community’s needs and is delivered within our existing locations – Maplewood Family Branch, YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street and Southwest Family Branch – as well as outreach locations through our collaborations Ongoing
CENTER CITY WELLNESS LOCATION The YMCA will explore a modified downtown wellness facility in partnership with a developer at a centralized location with a focus on adult/senior wellness 12-18 months
THE FUTURE OF CARLSON IF the YMCA can find a committed partner(s) to share the Carlson MetroCenter for positive community impact, the YMCA’s role will be to deliver larger scale youth development and teen services taking advantage of the unique space the facility offers 6-12 months
NEW, FULL-SERVICE FACILITY The YMCA will determine the feasibility of a second, full facility YMCA within the city limits to create a “neighborhood hub model” that has been successful in many other cities in the nation 4-6 years