President's Message

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Dear Friends,

Spring in Florida is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is a time of renewal and can provide hope to many. Next weekend, we will celebrate Easter, one of the most important holy days of the Christian faith. Easter celebrates hope and salvation and provides the ultimate example of God’s love for us. The YMCA was founded in faith in 1844 and has since grown to become a symbol of hope for all – regardless of creed. Enjoy this special time of year, especially Easter Sunday. May you and your family enjoy all the blessings this season brings.

March is also Women’s History Month, and we celebrate the amazing women in the YMCA. We are a better organization because of all the women leaders who have strengthened the Y movement over the years. Whether it was last week, or over 100 years ago, women have played influential roles in our progress as an impactful community entity. Ellen Brown was the first female YMCA employee in 1886. She taught a night class at the Y that grew so rapidly, it eventually became a whole department! Violet P. Henry became the first Black woman to be named to a top management position at the Y’s national office. She led numerous national and international commissions and committees that worked for the rights of women and people with multicultural backgrounds.

Today, we have the honor of having the first woman to serve as CEO for the YMCA of the USA, Suzanne McCormick. A nonprofit executive with 30 years of leadership experience at the national and local levels, Forbes named Suzanne to its 50 Over 50 List in the Impact category in 2023. Our women leaders, staff, volunteers, and community members are the pillars of the YMCA movement and the Tampa YMCA. Thank you to all of you for your tremendous dedication to our mission.

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to share progress on our Annual Campaign: as of March 14, we are over $1.4 million. This means we are just over 75.4% of our goal. As the Tampa Bay area continues to grow in population, we are committed to ensuring that we also grow in health and well-being. We are honored to serve over 250,000 people annually across the region. This also means there is an increased need for a variety of impactful services ranging from programs that alleviate isolation for seniors to drowning prevention for youth to chronic disease prevention for adults to providing fresh fruits and vegetables to families who need them the most – and that’s just a few of the many initiatives we oversee. We rely on your generosity to be able to meet the ongoing needs of those we serve. I know together we will reach our goal of $1.9M. As I mentioned in my last letter, 100% of your contributions go back into our Tampa community. The Y is FOR ALL. Follow this link to support your local Y to Give.

With appreciation,

Matt Mitchell

President & CEO