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Allegheny Valley YMCA getting back on its feet

| Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Editor's note: The Valley News Dispatch is updating some of the stories that we covered in 2012. The series, “Whatever happened to ...?” will appear through the end of the year.

Two months after announcing it was in dire financial need, the Allegheny Valley YMCA is getting back on its feet.

“Things are a whole lot better,” said Gerald DeMarco, the Allegheny Valley Y's executive director. “Our (fundraising) campaign was a tremendous success.

As of Dec, 20, DeMarco said the Y had received 127 gifts totaling nearly $34,300.

The fundraising campaign was needed because the Y was operating at a monthly shortfall of $7,000, DeMarco said. In October, officials were looking at year-end deficit of $57,000.

“I'm very happy to report this has helped put us in a much more stable financial situation,” DeMarco said. “We needed to get flush with everything.”

DeMarco said the fundraising campaign wasn't the only thing the Y did to get its financial situation under control.

“We had to make cuts to hours of operations, there were salary reductions, elimination of positions,” he said.

The Y cut some programs that were underperforming, DeMarco said.

Part of the financial problem, DeMarco said, was caused from a number of unexpected repairs the Y had to make in the last year.

A new hot water tank cost $20,000, pool repairs set the nonprofit organization back $20,000, and the Y installed $21,000 worth of security cameras.

The cameras were installed late last year after a man walked around the facility wearing only a T-shirt, exposing himself to patrons, including a girls swim team.

DeMarco said that even though the Y is in a better place than it was two months ago, adjustments remain to be made.

“We (also must) look for ways to increase income,” he said.

DeMarco said he and the Y are thankful for the public's support. “It's been tremendous,” he said.

“As of now, 127 people have grabbed our hand and helped us get back on our feet.”

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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