April 18, 2013

In the post-recession age of growing need and shrinking budgets, it’s become more evident than ever that no single organization can move the needle alone. But when nonprofit, business and governmental partners work together, it creates “triumvirate” of stability and effectiveness that’s difficult to beat.

At the Y, we’re fortunate to have many incredible partners, including Dr. Phillips Charities which has been the catalyst for the Y’s phenomenal growth and outreach for more than 25 years. Thanks to this partnership, we were able to introduce Safe Start, an innovative swim survival program that’s helped thousands of local children stay safe in and around water. Dr. Phillips Charities was also the catalyst behind major improvements at many of our family centers, including the Wayne Densch, South Orlando and Osceola Ys, which serve financially fragile communities. And as our next phase of expansion begins, it’s also funding the transformation of the Dr. Phillips Y, which will serve as the prototype of our new “Y branded” facilities.

The Winter Park Health Foundation has also been an outstanding friend and partner to the Y, first and foremost through the creation of the Peggy and Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center in Winter Park and the Health & Wellness YMCA Family Center in Oviedo. The foundation is also a major supporter of our Scholarship Campaign and its executive director, Patty Maddox, is valued member of our Metro board of directors.

We’re equally grateful to Wayne Densch Charities and Osceola County Government whose generosity helped establish our Outreach Ys serving Pine Hills and Kissimmee.

Walt Disney World has also been a major partner since 2003 when we joined together to create two Y family centers on Disney property. By providing quality child development for young children and peace of mind for working parents, these centers truly exemplify our shared commitment to support local kids and families.

While the Roper Family name has long been associated with the local citrus industry, it’s also synonymous with community philanthropy thanks to Bert and Barbara Roper’s generous sponsorship of west Orlando’s Roper Y. In addition to creating a vibrant center of civic pride and activity, the facility also symbolizes a family’s deep love for their community and trust in the Y.

Just as the Ropers partnership transformed west Orlando, the Y’s partnerships with Orange County Government and Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) have touched lives all across Central Florida. Three of our local Y’s, South Orlando, Tangelo Park and Blanchard Park, benefit from being next to or surrounded by beautiful Orange County parks. We also partner with the county to operate the YMCA Aquatic Center, which trains swimmers and divers from around the world, including many young Olympians.

By joining with Orange County Public Schools, we operate 42 afterschool programs at local elementary and middle schools, all of which provide safety, values and learning support for thousands of students each day. The school district, along with Tavistock, Orlando Health and the City of Orlando were also major partners in creating one the Y’s proudest achievements, the NorthLake Park Community School. By combining an “A-rated” public school with a co-located Y family center, this facility stands as a national model for how public-private partnerships can improve education.

None of these achievements would have been possible without the incredible support of the Y’s generous partners. And this is just a brief snapshot. In order to thank and honor them all, we’ll be highlighting additional partnerships in upcoming communiques.