PRYMCA dedicates refurbished pool at annual meeting

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The grand opening of the new-look pool and a vision for the future after some changes in management were both key components of the Nov. 8 Piscataquis Regional YMCA annual meeting.

“I really feel we are on a nice upward trend now, from a board point of view we can really see some positive changes,” PRYMCA Board of Directors President Jason Brochu told the members, directors and staff and others gathered for the early evening meeting. Brochu said the PRYMCA has a experienced a number of ups and downs over the last decade, but the main objective continues to be keeping the facility open.

“I can also confidently say we are on the upswing,” Treasurer Tim Gallagher said. He said the PRYMA operates on about about $650,000 annually with only half of this sum coming from membership dues and program fees. Gallagher said the other $300,000-plus is made up of community donations, grants and other related funding sources.

“Our success is all because of you,” Gallagher told those in attendance.

He then said YMCA best practices are being implemented to help ensure stronger finances, such as automatic billing for monthly member fees to lessen the amount of money that is owed. “We have leveraged several financial best practices from our partners at the Bangor Y,” Gallagher said, such as Bangor YMCA CFO Neil MacKay being involved at the PRYMCA.

Gallagher said membership numbers have increased 6 percent, “So even in a challenging time we are growing.” He said 394 PRYMCA members have received scholarship assistance, totaling a combined $32,400.

The treasurer also said operating revenues have risen by 13 percent and expenses from been reduced by 4 percent.

“We want this to be the best facility for all our members,” Gallagher said. He added that it may not sound like much, but the the PRYMCA saw a $2,000 profit in its finances, whereas the year before the the figures were down by $76,000.

Four months prior PRYMCA officials signed a management agreement with the Bangor YMCA.

“We have been really happy and really lucky to have them involved,” Brochu said. He said this agreement will continue moving forward.

“I am the proud CEO of the Bangor YMCA and the Piscataquis Regional,” Diane Dickerson said, saying she has held both positions for nearly five months.

Dickerson said the YMCA is important to the region, because the organization strengthens the community, serves an age group ranging from toddlers to a 102-year-old member of the Bangor facility “and the Y makes everyone a better person.” She added, “It is the heartbeat of the community.”

“I would say there are three important ingredients to a successful Y,” Dickerson said. She said the first is passionate staff and board members and, cueing up the theme from “Rocky,” the CEO had these individuals come to the front of the room to be acknowledged.

“These people are fighters,” Dickerson said.

She said the second ingredient is exceptional programming, and assessments have been conducted across all PRYMCA departments. Dickerson said improvements made include reduced membership prices, simplifying the scholarship applications and creating a new comprehensive membership brochure.

Dickerson mentioned the child care and afterschool programs are both in need of more space, and PRYMCA officials are looking at options. She said with health and wellness, “We are expanding group fitness classes, not everyone knows that.”

“We are developing individual and group personal training programs, and we going to have a professional to assist in the fitness center,” Dickerson said.

The CEO said youth sports are being looked at to determine needs and possible expansion and the various aquatics offerings will all be able to utilize the new pool.

The third of Dickerson’s ingredients to a successful YMCA is strong community support. “No YMCA can survive without the community,” she said.

“We are just kicking off our Annual Campaign” Dickerson said. She said the focus in 2018 will include serving the community, staff development, program enhancement, board development, marketing and communications, partnership and collaborations and “strengthening our financial picture.”

“I am not going to tell you it’s going to be easy, I am going to tell you it’s definitely going to be worth it,” Dickerson said.

The annual meeting concluded with those present heading into the pool area for a ribbon cutting. Pool area blasting, coatings and interior renovations were done by Gordon Contracting of Sangerville and company president and owner Brian Howard had the honor of cutting the ceremonial red ribbon held by board members.

Dickerson said some PRYMCA Waves swimmers would be racing across the pool as each represented a board member standing by the various lanes. Whichever swimmer touched the wall first meant that board member would make the first $100 contribution to the Annual Campaign.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
OPENING THE NEW POOL — Gordon Contracting President/Owner Brian Howard cuts the ribbon for the newly refurbished Piscataquis Regional YMCA pool as part of the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 8. Looking on with Howard as a group of PRYMCA Waves swimmers take the first ceremonial lap are, from left, CEO Diane Dickerson, Rochelle Black of the board of directors, Leora Brochu and Glenna Brochu and their father board President Jason Brochu and board member Lori Towne.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
FUND-RACER — PRYMCA Waves swimmers race across the pool as part of the annual meeting/pool grand opening on Nov. 8. Each swimmer represented a member of the board of directors and the fastest to reach the wall meant that board member would be making the first $100 contribution toward the 2018 Annual Campaign.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ALL FIGHTING FOR THE PRYMCA — PRYMCA CEO Diane Dickerson had all organization staff and board of directors come forward to be recognized during the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 8.

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