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Sands Family YMCA Rendering

Canandaigua, NY – The YMCA is pleased to announce its plans to build a new facility thanks to a historic $13.5 million gift from the Sands Family Foundation. The gift represents $12 million for the construction of the new Y, with a generous 2:1 match for fundraising purposes, and up to $1.5 million in operational support. In recognition of their gift, the facility will be named the Sands Family YMCA.

The Sands have been supporting the Y’s mission for decades. It began with Marvin Sands, founder of Constellation Brands, and his desire for his employees and their families to have a place to go for childcare and recreation.

“The importance of providing safe outlets for families was something instilled in me by my parents,” said Richard Sands, Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Constellation Brands. “That is why we knew it was essential to help with creating a modern-day YMCA to serve Canandaigua families and the greater community.”

A YMCA plays a central part in any community, and Canandaigua is no exception. While the Sands family have been generous supporters of the Y for many years, this is the most impactful and significant gift to ensure their legacy and the YMCA’s future in the greater Canandaigua community.

“The generosity of the Sands family throughout the years has been incredible,” said Jeffrey Friend, Chair, Canandaigua Family YMCA Board of Directors. “Their commitment to philanthropy and leadership in our community is admirable and their latest gift will allow us to serve even more individuals and families.”

Extensive research was conducted, looking into many different sites for a new YMCA. In the end, it was the tremendous donation of 13 acres of land from Constellation Brands that brought this project to the corner of North Street and North Bloomfield Road, keeping the YMCA within the city limits of Canandaigua.

“Constellation Brands is proud to donate the land where the Sands Family YMCA will be built,” said Rob Sands, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Constellation Brands. “This land is where the company laid its roots, and we could not be prouder to continue the family tradition of supporting the Canandaigua community.”

That tradition includes supporting the Y. Richard was a member of the Y’s swim team and recalls going to Friday night dances at the Y. He is hopeful this new facility will serve as a place for even more memories to be made by families for the next 50 years, with the next generation of the Sands family leading the way.

“Our grandfather Marvin would say that while you may not be able to change the world, you can make a difference in your community,” said Bill Caleo, grandson of Mickey and Marvin Sands. “We are all proud to carry on his legacy of evolving the Canandaigua YMCA.”

The new 75,000-square-foot facility, once open, will allow the YMCA to fully realize its mission-critical potential of serving individuals of all ages and stages of life. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in Spring of this year, with plans to open in the Fall of 2023.

The YMCA is currently seeking support from like-minded philanthropic leaders and the community at large to help create this transformational YMCA. To ensure this vision becomes a reality, fundraising campaign plans include leveraging the generous 2:1 match from the Sands Family Foundation to raise $6 million in additional contributions to support the creation of the new facility. Learn how you can be a part of this legacy by contacting Rachel Baker, our Capital Campaign Director, at

Other Important Details 

  • The Canandaigua Family YMCA has been in a management agreement with the YMCA of Greater Rochester since January 2020. The Boards of Directors for both organizations have unanimously approved a path forward, which will make the Canandaigua YMCA a branch of the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Legal documents are being prepared by Counsel to submit to the New York State Attorney General.
  • The YMCA is working with a developer to purchase the current YMCA building and reimagine it for future use.
  • The transaction for the donation of the land by Constellation Brands is expected to close in April 2022.
  • The Sands Family YMCA will be nationally recognized for innovation and design. The ability to serve the community will be greatly enhanced with the creation of this state-of-the-art facility that will offer a vast array of programs and services to achieve our mission through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. There will be three studios for group exercise, multiple gymnasiums – one with turf – two pools with an indoor splash playground, a creator’s space and teaching kitchen. In addition to spaces inside the facility, the Sands Family YMCA will allow space for a Day Camp outside, on-site medical services and a full-day licensed child care center. The overall construction costs are more than $24 million.


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