Bangor YMCA and YWCA to ‘wed’

Posted Aug. 25, 2008, at 9:18 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:18 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The long engagement of the Bangor YMCA and YWCA is about to be over and the two organizations are making their joining official.

Although the two entities joined together almost four years ago and most people thought the transition already had been completed, the entities need to make some legal changes in order to continue operating as one, Bangor Y Chief Executive Officer Rob Reeves said Monday.

“We’ve been working together as one, but the Bangor Y hasn’t been a legal entity,” Reeves said Monday. “It’s time to get married.”

The arrangement will allow the organizations to pool resources and staff expertise to better serve the community, according to the YMCA and YWCA board presidents.

“It will allow us to reduce expenses and keep costs down for our members, while continuing to provide the wide array of programs and services that are so important to everyone,” YMCA board President Tyler Smith said Monday in a press release.

When the Ys agreed in 2004 to begin working together, they created a three-year agreement to work side-by-side that ended last October. Although the YMCA and YWCA boards currently meet together, they still have separate boards with their own leadership. Under the new relationship, the two boards will meld into one.

The decision as to who will serve as new board officers has almost made itself. YWCA vice president Racquel Tibbetts agreed to allow YMCA president Pat Gaetani to oversee the board. Other members have willingly stepped down, while some expired terms won’t be filled in an effort to shrink the board to a more appropriate size.

Since agreeing to work together in 2004, the Bangor Y has formed the marriage committee to discuss legally joining the two organizations.

A letter explaining the changes and recommendation to become one entity was sent Monday to members.

“When we did this four years ago, we hoped it would come to this,” Reeves said.

Now, the organizations will begin to have membership meetings to inform their 2,800 members of the process in which they’ll vote on the proposal to become one organization. If approved, the official creation of the Bangor Y is expected to occur Nov. 1.

As for the national YMCA and YWCA affiliations, Reeves said the boards have requested to remain connected to both organizations, but haven’t received a response.

Regardless of the outcome, the Y will continue to serve the region in the same way it always has, he said.

“The Y is not going away,” Reeves said.

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