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Posted on Feb 1, 2016

From our CEO


sam headshot

It gives me great pleasure to extend greetings on behalf of the YMCA of Darke County. 2015 was a year of transformative work, accomplished due to the efforts, dedication and volunteerism of many, and your involvement played a vital role in our efforts. Collectively,we were able to work together to invest in our kids, our health and our legendary community.

Some exciting highlights include:

Striving to ensure youth realize their fullest potential in order to become active, engaged, and thriving members of the community, we worked to nurture their social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development through holistic youth programming, experiences, and supports. Our former Childcare program became a Child Development Center that served over 250 children, with improved quality benchmarks for early learning. Our Breakfast with Santa met with an overwhelmingly positive response and attendance, and was one of many new specialty offerings in 2015. Traditional programs also saw robust participation. Swim team numbers grew to a record high in recent years and gymnastics, traditional classes, and leagues provided rewarding experiences for our youth.

To improve lifestyle health and wellness outcomes in Darke County, the Y focused renewed attention on classes and programs that would elevate well-being in spirit, mind and body, with prevention and improved health as desired outcomes. The Group Exercise Staff held our first “Fall Fitness Preview” in August outside the Greenville location. The well-attended event received rave reviews and showcased several new class opportunities. We reached a peak of 1,141 participants in adult fitness and aquatics classes in November 2015.

Our partnerships with socially responsible corporations, generous individual donors and Y members enabled us to provide opportunities for all in the community regardless of their resources. Complimentary, community-wide events included Healthy Kids Day, Bike Safety Awareness Day, and our annual Water Safety program which helped more than 200 children in Darke County learn to be safe around the water.

We are appreciative of community support for our first annual ‘Driven to Give’ fundraiser and Zumbathon 2015 which was held at our Versailles location. Our free Diabetes education class series participation grew exponentially, helping meet a critical community health need. Thanks in part to increased collaborations and new partnerships formed in 2015, including Wayne HealthCare, the Coalition for Healthy Darke County and other organizations, diabetes prevention, diabetes management, heart disease, obesity and other chronic disease issues facing our community will continue to receive our focused attention for the foreseeable future.

Due to the generosity and support of many kind individuals, the Versailles Branch underwent several needed facility upgrades, including pool and hot tub renovations. These enhancements will enable the Y to continue to deliver on its mission by providing a safer and cleaner environment. A visionary group of community members planted many important seeds in 2015 which will allow our Y to make many essential facility improvements to our Greenville Branch as we move forward in 2016. Exciting details will soon be forthcoming.

Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your generosity, vision and caring. Your help turned our difficulties into possibilities; with your support and God’s blessing nothing is impossible. I am honored and humbled to serve with you. Thank you for being a loyal supporter of our YMCA.

May you be blessed with a happy and healthy New Year!

Sam Casalano, CEO