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The Last Three weeks and The Next Three!

Dear Waldo County Friends,


The last three weeks have been a roller coaster. The highs of summer camp and increased summer membership gave ways to the lows of high community transmission rates and the uncertainty about when things will be “normal” again.


We had planned to have our first in-person board meeting in over a year in August to celebrate the work of our volunteers and our staff. The staff and I worked hard to finish our Annual Report for 2020 as part of the celebration. I am pleased to share it with you. (Click Here). The report details how COVID knocked us down and how we picked ourselves ups. It’s a tribute to our staff, our volunteers, and our community. The Board and Staff were looking forward to sharing a meal together and celebrating all that we’d done together. That celebration was the first “normal” casualty of this spike.


As you’ve seen in my previous posts, the staff at the WCY has started wearing masks again. And we encourage everyone to wear masks indoors. Everyone can protect themselves by wearing masks and getting vaccinated. And everyone helps prevent the spread of COVID in the community.


Some people have asked why we recommend rather than require masks. We recommend them because that is what the CDC says. When they require masks for everyone, we will do the same. We are, however, creating “Mask Hours” for those who want to be sure everyone is masked while they are in the weight room. Starting on Monday, 8/30, from 3pm to 4pm every weekday everyone in the weight room must be masked. We will have an attendant there to remind everyone.


We continue to find ways to make an impact outside of our pool and gym. Monthly blood drives are ongoing. Click here to sign up. We run a “Fill the WCY Bus” food drive every month, too. (Call Jan at 338-4598 to volunteer.) These two events have added more than 350 units of blood to hospitals and 7000lbs of food, and counting, to local food pantries.


Summer camp was a success and provided a fun social outlet for over 125 children each week, while allowing their parents to work. Through a wonderful partnership with Waterfall Arts, our campers had four weeks of high-impact art activities. Over the 8 weeks of camp, we provided our campers with more than 2000 nutritious lunches through the RSU 71 Nutrition Program with Perley Martin. Add 1500 hotdogs from our Friday cookouts and all of our campers were well fed! In our adult softball league, The Misfits, a local Belfast powerhouse who outlasted a late run by the AthenaHealth team to prevail!


This month, we partnered with Cornerspring Montessori and Chip Curry, our local state senator and bubble master extraordinaire, to provide children’s activities for Harborfest. Our Aquatics team took over management of the City Pool and, after some mechanical hiccoughs, had a successful season. We have run two trips for Active Older Adults, one to Cabbage Island and one to the Maine Water Buffalo Company, giving them a chance to enjoy some social time with their peers and see the attractions of our wonderful state. 4v4 Basketball is about to start up again and we are looking forward to successful youth soccer and field hockey this fall, too.


Our YMCA is so much bigger than our facility. (And that is hard to say because our facility is a gem that makes many other communities envious!) We know that to have the impact we want to have, we need to reach beyond our walls. And we are doing that now and are looking for more ways to do it.


Thank you for making the Waldo County YMCA a great place to belong.


Cheers,


Russell

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