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  • With Greater Scale, Comes a Greater Opportunity to Serve- Two Local YMCAs Plan to Merge

    WILKES-BARRE, PA, 09/02/2020 – Two Luzerne County YMCAs, the Wilkes-Barre YMCA and the Greater Pittston YMCA, have expressed their intent to merge the two organizations by the unanimous and affirmative votes of the Boards of Directors and Trustees of each organization.

    Both organizations have existed and operated independently for over 100 years – and the decision to merge the two entities was handled with careful consideration.

    “Innovation and efficiency are critical for continuing to provide valued services to our communities”, said Kevin O’Boyle, Board President at the Greater Pittston Y, “The rationale for joining the organizations rests on pursuing new growth opportunities and on leveraging the talented staff and volunteers of each organization. By serving a larger geographic area with enhanced programming in more locations, we can expand our services offered to the community.”

    Additionally, this greater scale will enable the Y to pursue more significant corporate partnerships and fundraising opportunities - and with their help and generosity deliver innovative programs to the most vulnerable segments of our population.

    John Morris, President of the Board at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, stated, “The Boards feel strongly that this move strengthens both YMCAs to continue mission oriented work in the locations and communities where those services are most needed – both in our current downtown locations and regional expansion.”

    Collaboration between the two YMCAs has been underway for the last 18 months and has already led to substantial improvements in Child Care, Aquatics and Summer Camp Programming.

    One year ago, the two YMCAs formed a merger exploratory task force which was comprised of 15 members that represented the interests of both YMCAs and the communities they serve. The task force held eight meetings over a 6-month period to define a long-term strategy, merger rationale and financial plan to support each Board’s decision-making processes.

    During the months of February through June, the task force report was presented to both Boards and before the end of June, each Board approved the Plan of Merger. Following Board approval, the task force proceeded to file the necessary legal documents to secure the necessary approvals for the merging of two non-profit entities. As of today, we have filed the Statement of Merger with the state and anticipate being able to complete the merger in the next 30 days.

    Under a merger, the two organizations will operate as a single legal entity named the Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA. The Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, the Greater Pittston YMCA and YMCA Camp Kresge will each maintain their local identities operating as branches of the larger regional entity. Board members from each entity will form a combined Board representing the interests of all community assets and programming needs.

    Our local YMCAs are not unique in this endeavor. YMCAs across the country are being encouraged to collaborate and share resources and best practices wherever possible. In Pennsylvania alone, there have been 7 YMCA mergers in the last five years. The merger evaluation and due diligence process conducted by the task force was facilitated with support from Y-USA personnel.

    The YMCA mission will not change. The Y will continue to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The combined organization will serve over 10,000 community members across a diverse array of programming. YMCA Child Care programs will serve over 300 children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old making the Y one of the largest providers of Child Care services in the region.

    The success of this initiative will be measured by future investment in our facilities, programming and staff; by the growth of our membership and our community programming; and by the growth of our Child Care enrollment and scholarships provided to children in need.

    Durelle Scott, President of the Board of Trustees at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, leaving his closing comments, “The completion of this merger will require much more hard work by dedicated staff and volunteers. In the coming months, the Y will be adapting organizational structures, aligning our programming schedules, and converting IT systems. Members of each YMCA will have access to both facilities and all the unique, rich programming offered at each. We are one community – and one YMCA. We do hope you will join us.”

    To learn more about the YMCAs’ plan to merge, contact Board President, WilkesBarre Family YMCA, John Morris: jmorris@ajconsultantsllc.com; Board President, Greater Pittston YMCA, Kevin O’Boyle: koboyle1@gmail.com; President of the Board of Trustees, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, Durelle Scott: scott94@aol.com

    About the Y
    The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change. www.wbymca.org

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