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Opinion

Dedicated at the YMCA

SoVaNow.com / October 10, 2012
Dear Viewpoint,

I would like to publicly thank Miller Ruff and the Mecklenburg YMCA Board of Directors for their dedication and good work in making our YMCA such an important and successful community treasure. Miller has served as the president of the board for the last several years. During the past three years, this board leased space in the Complex building and moved into this wonderful new building complete with all new exercise equipment donated by Clarksville Ruritan Club. A temporary arrangement was made to share expenses for Marcus Hargrave, the YMCA director of Halifax YMCA and South Hill YMCA and for the business services of Halifax YMCA. The decision to share a director reduced expenses by about $35,000 or $40,000 per year. The savings generated from sharing a director allowed the YMCA to become more financially secure. After two years of this arrangement, the National YMCA Board advised that our YMCA must hire our own Executive Director or merge with another YMCA or cease to be a YMCA. Miller and the other board members spent about 8 months working to find the best solution. Early in the process, it had not become evident that perhaps we could afford the extra expense of hiring a director. Given this uncertainty, it seemed merging with Halifax might be the best option. Later in the process, finances began to improve, the community seemed to wake up, and many important contributors and supporters strongly encouraged our YMCA Board to remain independent and locally owned. Thanks to the support of our community, the Board voted to cease the merger talks and to hire a director and recreate our own business office. Thank you to all of those who helped to get through this process and also to those who will lead the YMCA into the future. Thank you also to all of you that support the YMCA both financially and with your time!

Billy Wells, Past Board Member

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