I’ve heard the statement that YMCAs are the front porch of their local communities and we can agree with that. The Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA has been a cornerstone in our communities for 50 years come this fall. Your Y has shifted throughout its local history to meet community needs, to put Christian principles into practice through programs and services that build a healthy body, mind and spirit for all.

Like many local nonprofits and businesses that were mandated to close in March, the YMCA was also mandated to close its facility. Like several nonprofits, the Y also responded to the community needs. By offering an emergent childcare site and bagging and delivering groceries for those homebound. The emergent care was made possible with the partnership of New Life Church, Jack’s fresh market, Andy’s ACE, Peshtigo School District, City of Peshtigo and Zion Lutheran Child Development Center.

During the closure, The Y asked members to “stay with us” if they were able and we were fortunate to have the community support which has helped lessen the large financial hardship our Y has and will face well into the foreseeable future. Thank you Y members for becoming more than a facility member but a true impact member during that time. A large heartfelt thank you to all that donated to Giving Tuesday, Feel good Friday and The COVID 19 response letter. Unfortunately, many Y’s or association branches closed permanently during this time.

On June 8 our Y was able to open its licensed summer day camp which has been very successful in week one of operation. Staff shifted operations to meet new ACA guidelines, got even more creative with outside activities and are continuing to offer safe, fun and high-quality programming.

In preparation of facility re-open on June 10, a new set of phased re-open guidelines were put in place. A list of current offerings is listed on our website as well as a staff video on what to expect when coming to the facility.

We have taken into account the levels of community transmission in our area — Aligned with state and local government and health department restrictions — Relied on data about what members, program participants, and families are looking for — Prioritized the safety of everyone in our community above all else.

Fundraising will continue to be even more important to support mission programs and The Y’s Annual Campaign to support financial assistance.

Our annual fundraiser was moved from June to Sept. 19. The Y is celebrating its 50th anniversary in our communities and hosting Party with a Purpose at The Dome Lanes with live band Rosebrook.

After one week of being re-open, the overall response has been very positive.

For more information on all our local Y has to offer or to sign up for a Y membership online, check out our new website at: www.mmymca.org.

Thank you for believing in the mission.

Jenni Campbell is the mission director at the Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA.