The YMCA of Metro North is supporting the Hurricane Relief effort in the Bahamas after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month. From September 11th through September 16th all proceeds from guest pass sales were collected and donated to our colleagues at the YMCA of Grand Bahama to help rebuild their facilities. In addition, the YMCA of Metro North offered to contribute a matching donation to the YMCA of Grand Bahamas to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian. A total of $4,000 was raised for the hurricane relief effort in the Bahamas.
“We want to support our YMCA colleagues at the YMCA of Grand Bahama in this very small way after they have experienced catastrophic damage from Hurricane Dorian,” stated Kathleen Walsh, President and Chief Executive of the YMCA of Metro North in an announcement to YMCA leadership, “I’d like to donate all the guest fees we receive from September 11th through the 16th and match it from our Association.”
The YMCA of the USA made contact with CEO of the YMCA of Grand Bahama, Karon Pinder Johnson, on September 4th, 3 days after Hurricane Dorian made landfall on the island of Grand Bahama. At that time 70% of the island was still covered in water and there was no power or running water across the island. The YMCA of the USA reports that the “YMCA of Grand Bahama is flooded, the roof was severely damaged, all five pool pumps and three heat pumps (AC) are lost due to flooding, treadmills and elliptical machines are underwater, office furniture is wet, perimeter fencing is down and the dugouts for the soccer and baseball fields were destroyed.” Despite the devastation caused by this severe storm the main building was still standing in its wake.
In true Y spirit, the YMCA of Grand Bahama is already assessing how their facility can be converted to into a shelter for displaced families and a place where communities members can drop-in, shower, and rest during this difficult time. The team at the Y are hard at work to clean-up, remove debris, gunk and roofing tiles, and discuss a plan of action to meet the needs of the community. The YMCA of Grand Bahama has been for many years the only functioning community facility of its kind on the Grand Bahama island since its founding in 1970.
The YMCA of the USA reported that this is unfortunately not the first Hurricane to hit the island in recent years, “The YMCA of Grand Bahama suffered significant damage in 2004 following two major hurricanes and closed its doors for nearly two years. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew also damaged the YMCA infrastructure, compromising children and youth safety.”
The YMCA of Metro North hopes to help in a small way to aid the YMCA of Grand Bahama in their recovery efforts and ability to effectively serve the people of Grand Bahama Island. Y of the USA explains after the last Hurricane hit the Bahamas that, “With the support of the international community, the YMCA rapidly helped bring a sense of security, restoration and hope by providing a safe place and a meeting point for the community during difficult times.” If you would like to support of the YMCA of Grand Bahama please contact the Welcome Center of any YMCA of Metro North branch to learn how you can make a donation to this cause.
You can read more about the relief efforts for the YMCA of Grand Bahama by visiting the Y of the USA website.
Pictured below is the damage from Hurricane Dorian to the YMCA of Grand Bahama courtesy of Y USA.