First Friday Message

525,600 Minutes 

This time last year, I was midway through day 2 of my one-way drive from Pittsburgh to Orlando. As I had made the drive a month earlier to move my wife and daughter down for the start of the school year, making this 14hr+ drive for a second time wasn’t fun at all. And this time, I was making the drive with our 6-month-old puppy that needed “relief” every few hours. 

This drive felt much different though. There was the added anticipation of starting in my new role right after the Labor Day holiday and I had spent the better part of the last five months preparing for this opportunity being both humbled and enthused about the road ahead.

 It’s amazing how fast time flies by and I can’t help but reflect a bit on this past year. 
I’ve learned so much in a year…met so many great people, logged a few wins along the way, and I’ve stumbled many times and picked myself up.  In our Y, we’ve been VERY busy: 

  • 7,000 families joined our Ys 
  • Our staff, volunteers, and members have raised nearly $1M to ensure that our Ys and our programs remain accessible to all 
  • 3,800 local youth and teens enrolled in summer camps 
  • 8,100 swimmers came to the Y to learn to swim 
  • 9,400 kids joined Youth Sports programs 

There are so many powerful stories. So many people have turned to the Y to help them along their journey and so many incredible ways that our Ys have pivoted to support our communities better. But let’s be clear, there is still much work to be done.  

The Broadway musical, RENT, has an incredible soundtrack and one of the more memorable songs is “Seasons of Love”.  

“Seasons of Love” – RENT

Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments, oh dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes

How do you measure

Measure a year?  

I measure the year not just on what I’ve done or what our Y has accomplished, but more so on how this year has illuminated what must happen next year and beyond. 

We’re still working to bring our Ys back from the expand our hours…to expand our reach. I appreciate the great number of you who have warmly welcomed me and my family, those who have shared notes of encouragement over this past year, and those of you who have written to advocate for better support of your favorite Ys or favorite programs. I have not been able to respond personally to every message, but I read each one.  

I look forward to the years ahead and thank you all for the support you show every day for our Y and for the 1100+ YMCA team members who have dedicated themselves to advancing the Y’s mission in the community.  

Until next time… 

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®