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Three Girls Smiling

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2017

2017 was an outstanding year for the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. Our staff, volunteers, community partners and donors helped us make significant strides in building healthy communities across Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound.

In October we announced our three-year strategic plan, Vision 2020. This new plan will create a strong platform to address important community issues including demographic shifts, affordable housing, youth unemployment, and increased obesity rates in children and adults. It builds upon the same themes of our previous strategic plan, My Y for Good, with a focus on inspiring youth to better reflect the work the Y does to strengthen families. By concentrating on strategies that will address the needs of the community, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka hopes to improve the quality of health for children, youth and families, instill a sense of community belonging for everyone, and make certain that the Y is a community partner for life.

Here are some highlights from 2017:

New Partnerships to Promote Community Health

  • Celebrated the one year anniversary of the Y’s cardiac rehab program in partnership with RVH – paving the way for a similar program to be launched with Orillia’s Soldier’s Memorial Hospital this year
  • Launched a new day camp in partnership with Beausoleil First Nations at Springwater Provincial Park, where kids can unplug and reconnect with nature in a safe environment
  • In partnership with local firefighters, provided swimming lessons for all grade 4s and 5s in Wasaga Beach, reducing the risk of drowning in this waterfront community

Reinvested in our community

  • Increased Annual Campaign results which helps provide much needed financial assistance in our communities
  • With funds raised from the Muskoka Novel Marathon, introduced English classes for new Canadians in Huntsville

Youth Leadership Development

  • Increased opportunities for youth to access high school credits and meaningful employment through Y programs
  • Continued to provide a Youth Engagement Process with opportunities for international travel through our Youth Advisory Council
  • Began planning a new “youth engagement strategy” that will help frame our work with young people for the next five years

Thank you to all who are helping us build healthy communities!

  • Over 1,000 employees created a safe environment for people to lead, learn, work and play
  • 4,000 individuals made the Y their charity of choice ensuring our programs remain accessible to everyone
  • Our volunteers committed 1000s of hours to helping others in their community

We are excited in the months ahead, to build on our momentum in 2018 and continue to offer vital programs and services that are having a positive impact on our community. At the core of these programs we provide are the dedicated staff, volunteers, partners and donors. Without the support of our communities, the YMCA would not be able to provide these important services.

Thank you for your continued support!

Rob Armstrong is President and CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka; focused on investing in communities, ensuring all people have access to the Y and implementing programs that are helping thousands of youth and families to learn and thrive. Prior to joining the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka in 2011, Rob held senior leadership positions at the YMCA of Edmonton, YMCA of Owen Sound, YMCA of Cambridge and most recently YMCA Ontario. Rob holds an Honours degree in Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University and has since augmented his education with advanced courses from the Harvard Business School of Entrepreneurship, Ivy School of Business and Queen’s University Executive Education Program.

Since coming to Simcoe/Muskoka, Rob has taken an active leadership role in the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County and Barrie’s Pathways to end homelessness. He served on a number of boards including local Community Foundations, Affordable Housing, Parks and Recreation Ontario and the Minister of Health Promotions Health Advisory Committee.

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