by Taryn Alessandro
On Thursday, July 24th, from 5-7 p.m., the Mystic Branch YMCA celebrated their fifth anniversary with music, fun, kettle corn, hot dogs, and a giant blow-up obstacle course. The anniversary marks the Mystic branch’s merger with the Westerly-Pawcatuck and Arcadia branches on July 25, 2003, forming the Ocean Community YMCA.
Since 2003, the Mystic YMCA accomplished a plethora of achievements. Membership doubled, and they now boast 4,200 members. There is an 80 percent increase in Beach Camp participation, with 135 kids enrolled this summer. The YCares Financial Assistance Scholarship Program grew from raising $20,000 to currently raising over $90,000. They established a new Teen Center, and implemented 40 new programs targeting youth, teens, and active older adults.
“We’re happy that the merger is a success story due to partnerships with key volunteers and staff members,” says Maureen Fitzgerald, president of the Mystic YMCA. “The mission of the Y is being fulfilled in the Mystic community. We have really done a lot over the past five years.”
Sponsors for the event included JDK Management, A&P, S&P Oyster House, Mystic Chips, 106.5 WBMW, BF Hoxie Fire Department, Coca Cola, Rob Valenti, the Duggan family, the Stritar family, and Charley Williams.