Dear Ridgewood Y Community,

As seasons change and we look towards the holidays, we would like to express our gratitude to all of our members, staff, volunteers and donors for your ongoing support. We would also like to make sure you are aware of the upcoming transitions at the Ridgewood Y.

As many of you know, Ernest (Ernie) Lamour’s time with us as the leader of the Ridgewood Y is coming to a close next month. He will be assuming the position of CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester at the beginning of the new year, and relocating with his family to upstate New York. Ernie joined the Ridgewood Y six years ago and was instrumental in transforming our programming, developing innovative and inclusive solutions to meet community needs, and pivoting our operations during an unprecedented pandemic. We are happy for Ernie and his next chapter, and are grateful for his years of leadership and many deep and lasting contributions to the Ridgewood Y. We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors.

Fortunately, the Ridgewood Y is blessed with a talented leadership team – and we are equally grateful that Chuck Benigno, our current Executive Vice President, will be assuming the role of interim CEO. Chuck has been a key partner to Ernie and the Board of Directors, and will maintain our strong focus on service to the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We are in good hands with Chuck and the leadership team, and the Board has already begun the search process to identify the best leader for our Y going forward.

The Ridgewood Y is a special place where everyone is welcome. From the playground laughter to the swimming pool buzz to the food distribution sites to the group classes, you experience a true sense of community. Way more than a gym or a swim facility, the Y provides an important source of social connection and sense of belonging.

Recently, our Y celebrated its 120 year anniversary. This is no small feat and is due in large part to countless volunteers, staff and leaders over the years who adapted and evolved the Y as necessary to best serve our community. We are equally committed to doing the same.

We thank you for your support. Your support helps your Y serve your community – and strong communities make a difference.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,

The Ridgewood Y Board of Directors