YMCA kicks off campaign at annual meeting

Staff report

GREENVILLE — The YMCA of Darke County kicked off its Community Partner Campaign during its annual meeting Thursday, April 28, with the theme “You Are the Heart of the Y!” CEO Sam Casalano also took time in the meeting to recognize board leadership, thank outgoing board members, and establish the board’s slate of officers for the coming year.

The Community Partner Campaign is an annual community fundraising campaign that provides funds to ensure that any member of the community can share in the Y experience, regardless of their ability to pay.

Casalano offered a devotional reflecting on the bad things happening around the world, including the Covid pandemic, extreme weather events, mass shootings, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“As times start getting darker, that is the time to come together,” Casalano said, “not out of fear but to draw strength and encouragement from one another because no one among us is better or stronger than all of us.”

Board President Dr. Laurie White expressed her appreciation to the board for their past support of the campaign.

“As a board member, we need to lead by example and do our gift first before we ask the community for their participation in the campaign,” she added as she submitted her donation check to Casalano.

White’s term as board president was due to expire this year, but she agreed to stay in the position for an additional year, which is permitted under the YMCA bylaws.

Casalano thanked White for her “unique but effective leadership style,” as well as her calm and compassionate demeanor.

Outgoing board members Larry Holmes and George Snodgrass were recognized for their service to the Y.

Holmes has served on the board of directors at the YMCA of Darke County since 2017 and chaired the Finance Committee for four years.

Holmes is retired from Fort Recovery Industries, where he served as vice president of finance and treasurer. He currently serves as a Darke County Commissioner. He has also served on the Greenville City Schools Board of Education, Darke County Community Improvement Corporation, Darke County Historical Society, Big Brother Big Sisters, and more.

“Larry is never afraid to speak his mind and ask the hard questions,” Casalano said.

George Snodgrass joined the board of directors at the YMCA in 2018 and chaired the Facilities Committee for four years. He was a “vital part” of the recent renovations of the former childcare area at the Versailles YMCA facility, according to Casalano, and he also facilitated the establishment of the three-year improvement plan for both branches in 2019.

Snodgrass is Midmark’s Production Systems Manager, where his expertise is in quality improvement in management.

John Vehre was elected as a new member to the board. Vehre is retired from the Greenville Public Library after serving for 27 years as its director.

Board Member Denis Short was appointed to chair the Facilities Committee to replace Snodgrass. Board Member Verlin Thompson was approved to fill the vice-president seat, in addition to his current role chairing the Finance Committee.

Carl Jones has a year remaining on the board and will continue to serve as secretary.

The following donors were recognized as Champions of Hope for 2021: Gloria Hole, Jeff Hole, John Keller, Dennis and Shirla Neff, Matt and Angie Arnold, Financial Achievement Services, Greenville Technology Inc., Midmark Corporation, and Park National Bank.

Casalano also shared some highlights from 2021 at the YMCA, including the return of Healthy Kids Day after two years, and successful returns of soccer and basketball leagues after the Covid cancellations of 2020.

In childcare, Casalano noted the YMCA kept up standards to maintain its four-star rating under Ohio’s Step Up to Quality rating system.

Facility improvements in 2021 included converting both facilities fully to LED lighting, and remodeling and rebuilding both saunas at the Greenville location.

To learn how to get involved with the YMCA of Darke County, stop by or call either the Greenville 937-548-3777, or Versailles 937-526-4488 branch, or visit us online at www.ymcadarkecounty.org, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ymcadarkecounty.