Message from the Executive Director
At a time when our communities seem increasingly divided, it’s important to recognize and celebrate how the Y unites people each and every day. The Darien YMCA has long provided a common place for people to come together for health, recreation, and for connection with others who live here. We’ve worked continually to address community needs and ensure that all are welcome and that no one is turned away for an inability to pay. Our mission emphasizes that our programs enhance positive values, and build stronger family bonds. For over sixty years, we’ve strived to strengthen the mental, spiritual, and physical well-being of every member.
In 2016, the Darien YMCA brought thousands of individuals together through fitness, summer day camp, progressive swim instruction, afterschool child care, nursery school education, and special needs programming. Our competitive swimming, gymnastics and basketball programs, continue to be recognized for their excellence throughout the state, the northeast, and even on the national level. Moreover, each year we provide young people in Darien the opportunity to work and support our sister YMCA in South Dakota, delivering essential human services to at-risk youth on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
Last year our Y employed over 300 staff and relied on the generosity of equally that many volunteers to assist in the delivery of Y programs. The Y Board consists of dedicated community leaders who contribute their expertise, time, talent, and resources to help ensure their YMCA has the capacity and credibility to advance our cause. President Mark Mirabile deserves our gratitude and thanks for his six years of service. Mark has agreed to serve another year in this role as president, and we are grateful for his leadership. The staff joins me in thanking him, the Board and other volunteers who give so generously of themselves.
While 2016 was a positive year for the Darien Y, our mission is calling us to do more and to take on challenges that aren’t always easy. As we look to the future, we will continue to work with our partners in town, addressing the multiple and complicated issues that impact our youth. We will also address and adopt new adult fitness strategies that leverages future industry methods and technology. Most importantly, we will uphold our promise to deliver value and meaningful member engagement through our staff, our programs, and our services. The Y, more than ever, has significant relevance in developing our kids, in supporting healthier lifestyles for all our members, and in fostering a greater connection with our friends and our neighbors.