HOLYOKE — The Greater Holyoke YMCA announced that it is the recipient of a significant donation from Barbara Bernard, a longtime member and supporter of the Y. She has gifted $25,000 in support of the organization.
“We are so grateful for this thoughtful gift which will go toward the purchase and installation of easy access stairs in our Taber Pool to aid the swimmer’s entry, as the traditional ladder becomes challenging,” said Kathleen Viens, CEO of the Greater Holyoke YMCA. “Barbara has spent many mornings swimming at our Y in this pool and knows how valuable these stairs will be for those with physical limitations.
“Barbara is part of our family, and we love having her as a member. She comes in with a smile on her face looking forward to her time in the pool with the many friends she has,” Viens went on. “With her generous gift we will have the opportunity to enhance access to our large pool, making it easier for those who have issues with the traditional ladder entry. She has always been a valued part of our Y, especially the early morning swim group. Our Y will continue with her support and the support of others to strengthen our daily work to best address the pressing needs in all the communities we serve.”
The Greater Holyoke YMCA has lost revenue over the past few years due to the shutdown and mandated safety protocols, which have reduced memberships and capacities in programs like out of school time and preschool programs, swim lessons and more. Although the Y has been facing a significant shortfall, the organization continues to provide substantial financial assistance for those in need.
“A strong Y has the power to ensure all are safe and secure around water, support and improve community health outcomes, support and strengthen academic results, aid working families, provide workforce development, impact economic growth and bring people from all walks of life together,” said Viens.