Getting Facts Straight About The Y

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A recent letter, “It’s All About the Money,” makes the remarkable claim that the Glen Cove YMCA takes $1 million a year out of Glen Cove to fund Long Island YMCA’s corporate offices. That really would be upsetting if it were true. However, the stated “actual facts” are pure fiction. I am a Glen Cove resident and a current member of the Glen Cove Y Advisory Board. These are the real facts:
1. $700,000 of Glen Cove Y’s revenues are NOT paid to the Long Island Y. In 2014, Glen Cove Y paid $462,319 to Long Island Y.  As for the percentage of revenues paid, historically, all branches paid 8 to 9 percent of their revenues to the Long Island Y, not 7 percent as claimed. In 2014, while the budgeted number was 11.25 percent, Glen Cove actually paid out only 9.71 percent of its revenue to Long Island Y, not 15 percent as claimed.

What is this money for? Long Island Y is a charitable organization with 60,000 members. All branches pay a percentage of their revenues to Long Island Y to support the Y’s mission. In doing so, the branches share certain expenses, which is far more cost-effective. If Glen Cove Y had to staff and pay these expenses on its own, it would likely cost the Glen Cove Y significantly more. Recently, Long Island Y has taken on some additional expenses historically carried directly by the branches (IT support, marketing, as examples).

Glen Cove Y receives many benefits by being part of the Long Island Y. Money raised in Glen Cove through fundraising stays in Glen Cove. But Glen Cove Y receives additional fundraising moneys from Long Island Y—in 2015, more than $50,000—money that is used for scholarships in Glen Cove for people who can’t afford the Glen Cove Y’s programs.

Glen Cove Y has received more than $2 million from Long Island Y in interest-free loans and outright gifts for the capital improvements when Glen Cove Y was unable to raise enough money on its own. Without the funding from Long Island Y those capital improvements would not have occurred. Long Island Y is prepared to invest millions more in the Glen Cove facility if it gets a new lease.

2. The letter complains that an additional $300,000 in revenues from a childcare program is “now going elsewhere.” Childcare programs are offered through Glen Cove at three off-site locations, in New Hyde Park, Lynbrook and Valley Stream. The only change is that revenues and expenses from those childcare centers are now being budgeted separately. It is particularly odd that the author—who complains that Glen Cove money must stay in Glen Cove—finds it unjust that funds generated at childcare centers located in other towns are no longer in Glen Cove’s budget.

I recently joined the Advisory Board because I believe in the Glen Cove Y. If the Glen Cove Y was “health club masquerading as a not-for-profit where $1 million per year will be going to the corporate organization,” as letter falsely claims, I wouldn’t volunteer my time to be part of it.

Far from being a mere “health club,” the Glen Cove Y provides programs and services, some free of charge, that are changing lives every day. Its programs include preschool, day care, summer camp, dance and swim lessons; many wellness and nutrition programs; a pre–teen and teen center. It is a community place where, on a daily basis, people of all ages and entire families come together.

Personally, I cannot begin to fathom the motivations of those who are spreading misinformation and attempting to demonize a charitable organization that has served Glen Cove so well for so long. But I know that the current board is made up of 11 residents from Glen Cove and neighboring towns who care deeply about this community and know what a positive impact the Glen Cove Y has had here for over 60 years.  We will make sure that the Glen Cove Y continues to serve its mission and the best interests of this community for as long as the Y remains in Glen Cove—hopefully, another 60 years.

—Paul Sweeney

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