$1 Million Gift from Businessman Frank DeLuca and $1 Million Partnership with Munroe Regional Medical Center Ushers in New Era of Health and Prevention
ORLANDO – (March 26, 2013) – The YMCA of Central Florida announces a record-breaking gift and partnership that will help transform the way the Y delivers prevention-based health, wellness and family-service programs to the residents of Marion County.
In support of a $4.5 million capital campaign to expand and improve the Marion County YMCA in Ocala, Central Florida businessman Frank DeLuca recently donated a $1 million gift. In honor of this generosity, the Marion County Y has been renamed the Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center.
The gift, the largest ever for the Marion County Y, will help fund facility improvements that are underway to help meet Marion County’s growing health, youth development and family service needs. Upon completion in 2014, the expansion will enable the Y to serve more than 35,000 adults and children per year.
In addition, the Ocala-based Munroe Regional Medical Center this week announced a $1 million, first-of-its kind partnership with the Y, which will help Marion County residents reduce their risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. As the partnership evolves, it will provide onsite health screening, risk assessments, education classes, nutritional counseling and other health, wellness and prevention-based services to help people make informed, proactive choices about their health.
Characterizing the DeLuca gift and Munroe partnership as “as a pinnacle in creating a healthier community,” Jim Ferber, President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida, said: “The timing is significant since healthcare reform is motivating people to take personal responsibility for their health. The Y has been in the prevention business for more than 100 years. Together, through Frank DeLuca’s incredible philanthropy and Munroe Regional’s innovative commitment, we are truly pioneering a new type of healthcare support.”
“Giving back not only feels good, it is the right thing to do,” said DeLuca, owner of DeLuca Toyota in Ocala. “I am honored and extremely blessed to be able to support the Y and our great community. I cannot think of a more worthy organization to support than the Y as it continues its efforts to build character in our children and respond to changing health, wellness and family needs across Marion County.”
Steve Purves, President and CEO of Munroe Regional Medical Center, said the new partnership aligns likeminded leaders who are dedicated to improving the community’s health.
“Munroe Regional Medical Center is so very pleased to enter into this unique partnership with the Frank DeLuca YMCA,” Purves said. “Through it, we extend our hospital mission of tackling the burden of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Not only are these diseases the most costly to care for, they are in most cases preventable.”
According to a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, Marion County ranked in the bottom third of all Florida counties in terms of health. Among the study’s top findings: 20% of local residents were in poor or fair health; and 32% were overweight or obese, thus at greater risk for developing chronic diseases.
The Frank DeLuca YMCA is one of several of the Central Florida Y’s 22 Family Centers, which are running capital campaigns to improve member and community services. With philanthropic support from Wayne Densch Charities, Dr. Phillips Charities, Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Bert Martin Foundation to name just a few, the YMCA of Central Florida has been able to introduce innovative resources into many of the region’s most fragile urban communities. The most recent include construction of Links2Learning golf facilities at the Tangelo Park and South Orlando YMCAs (Oakridge and Orange Blossom Trail area); as well as expansion of the Osceola YMCA in Kissimmee.
About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children serving more than 100 neighborhoods and joined by a shared commitment to improve the lives of all in Central Florida. Each day about 27,000 Central Florida residents are impacted in three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In 2012, this YMCA association of over 1,800 employees invested, during a down economy, $11.1 million in its local communities through neighborhood services. Also in 2012, the organization provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.