YMCA tries to stay afloat during mandated closure


The sign on the front door of the Union County Family YMCA shows the facility is closed due to the coronavirus. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

“This is hurting us, just like it’s hurting a lot of other businesses.”
Union County Family YMCA chief executive officer Trevor Secord is referring to the worldwide coronavirus.
The illness, which is sweeping the globe in wildfire fashion, forced the YMCA to shut its doors 10 days ago.
The closure came after a mandate delivered by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Monday, March 16.
At that time, workout facilities and gyms across the state were ordered closed at the end of business hours on that day.
The local YMCA normally stays open until 10 p.m. on weeknights.
The facility shut down a few hours earlier at 6 p.m. on that day.
“We had seen a total drop-off of people coming in,” said Secord. “We didn’t see the need to stay open for another four hours.”
Even though the YMCA is closed to all on-site activity, Secord said the organization wants to remain an active partner within the community.
“We are offering on-line services such as exercise classes that people can follow from their homes,” said Secord. “YMCAs across the country are doing the same things, but we’re trying to localize our videos that also include activities for families.”
Secord and other YMCA department leaders are continuing to work for the community at home.
Other employees could be eligible for unemployment benefits, he said.
“Our administrative staff members are still working to assist with the business operations of the YMCA,” he said. “We are also keeping maintenance staff on duty to help keep the building going.”
Secord updated details on a Facebook post on Wednesday.
According to the post, the YMCA will credit each member who is enrolled in a current program for the remainder of that program. A credit will go on each member’s account.
As far as this month’s membership dues, members have an option.
“Members have a choice,” according to the post. “They can consider the month of March’s membership dues as a donation to the YMCA in support of our mission and continued needs.
“If members would like to do something different, we are able to assist you.”
Members may reach out to the YMCA via the organization’s website or they may call and leave a message.
“We understand the closure of our facilities might have felt abrupt and unexpected after Gov. DeWine’s order,” wrote Secord on the post. “We know it was the right decision under these extraordinary circumstances because the health and well-being of you, our members, and our valued staff comes first, always.
“It’s more important than ever to live our YMCA mission of serving and strengthening our communities,” according to the post. “And while we can’t serve you in person, you can become part of our Y360, a new virtual initiative led by Y’s all around the country.
“It’s your favorite classes and our top instructors and your community are now available at home.”
Members may learn more about virtual class opportunities at YouTube by searching Y360 or by going to the Union County YMCA’s Facebook page.
“We are committed to doing everything possible to secure the future of the YMCA and all of its services as these uncertain times continue, ” wrote Secord. “Closure for any length of time represents a significant threat to our non-profit organization.
“We cannot express the potentially devastating impact extensive cancellations could have,” according to the post.

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