Happy Holidays from Down East Family YMCA!

Happy Holidays Friends!

On behalf of the YMCA Board of Directors, DEFY staff and volunteers serving the greater Ellsworth, Blue Hill Peninsula and Bucksport regions, I wish you a very Happy Holiday season. It is our hope that everyone continues to be diligent keeping yourself, your neighbors and, of course, your loved ones safe and healthy.

Over the past few months, your YMCA has continued to offer programs and services while strictly following CDC safety guidelines. It is important to note that all YMCAs in Maine communicate in a coordinated effort to make sure we all follow the guidelines set forth. The YMCA as a group is in regular communication with our legislative bodies/representatives to make sure we all follow the same procedures to ensure the safe and healthy use of facilities throughout the State. To that end, it is nice to say that we have had some wonderful stories as we travel through this pandemic.

Our Early Learning Centers had their Breakfast with Santa or as we called it – Breakfast & Santa. Please check out our video.

The fitness departments at The Wiggins and Lawrence Family Center’s are adding Facebook Live streamed classes along with in-person programming to make sure all members can participate in our offerings.

Our youth basketball and swim skill and drill clinics and practices have had tremendous success. Following CDC and MPA guidance, our youth members are getting back into the water and on the court in a safe manner. The Ellsworth High School swim team has also returned to the pool to begin conditioning.

The pool at The Lawrence Family Fitness Center at the Blue Hill YMCA finally opened! On Wednesday December 23rd, a community member came in and broke down when she saw it for the first time. Diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and unable to manage travel to Ellsworth any longer she never thought she’d be able to swim again. After checking on safety protocols she made an appointment to swim next week – her first swim in almost five years. We are thrilled that this pool can impact her life and the lives of so many others in the Blue Hill area.

The reservation system for members utilizing the Y’s pools has been working well.

The YMCA is prepared to activate this system for the entire facility if needed to maintain building capacity limits. This system is a positive byproduct of the pandemic and will continue once the pandemic is over as it adds value and ease to the member experience.

This past year has been challenging but The Y remains optimistic and we look forward to a new year. We feel blessed with what we have and what The Y can do for our community during this difficult time. We wish you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday season and a fantastic New Year.


Peter Farragher