January is almost over, and 2016 is in full swing. Looking back at 2015, we have come a long way in building healthy communities. It’s exciting to see the impact we continue to make through all of our programs and services. Looking forward to 2016, I know we will continue to open doors, inspire youth, and strengthen our association.
June 2015 marked the end of year three in our five year strategic plan. We are now over half way through our plan that focuses on three key elements:
- My Y Opens Doors by creating more opportunities for children, youth and families to learn, lead, work and play
- My Y Inspires Youth by engaging youth and young adults to feel a sense of belonging and community leadership
- My Y is Strong by investment in people, programs and places to impact community health
By following these goals over the past three years, we’ve made major headway in helping to make Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound a better and healthier place to live.
Here are some highlights from 2015:
The opening of a new kitchen and renovated dining hall at Camp Kitchi marks the last piece of a renewal and refurbishing strategy that ensures our camp facilities are updated and in “as new” condition as possible. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the camp! A group of volunteers are working hard to raise a $1 million endowment to help secure the future needs of the camp.
The fall of 2015 saw our Y take another step in our vision of establishing Geneva Park as a major leadership and learning centre for Central Ontario. With our partner, Lakehead University, we offered a second session of our Professional Development Certificate Program for the not-for profit sector. We believe that continuous professional development is essential to building a strong not-for-profit sector and ensuring that leaders in Simcoe County are provided with programs and services of the highest quality.
Since early 2013, Child Protection Protocols have been a major emphasis of all YMCA’s across Canada. Through strong local leadership, our association worked exceedingly hard to achieve a 97% compliance score on Child Protection in 2015. This is truly an association wide accomplishment and something we are all very proud of.
The Future of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
Our future is bright and our opportunities are endless. Throughout 2016, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka will continue to work hard to lead our community as experts in health, fitness and youth development. Please join me as we look ahead to a new year filled with exciting, new opportunities.