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YMCA of Michiana, YMCA of Southwest Michigan to merge

NOW: YMCA of Michiana, YMCA of Southwest Michigan to merge

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The YMCA of Michiana and YMCA of Southwest Michigan plan to merge into one association. 

The two nonprofit organizations made the announcement on Wednesday. 

YMCA officials say the merger allows the organization to create and launch new programs, improve facilities, and offer more benefits to its members. 

The merger is expected to go into effect January 1, 2020. 

Details will be finalized over the next few months, however, officials said, on Wednesday, both associations will combine their boards and management teams. 

The new association will serve the greater Michiana area with four locations; Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA in St. Joseph, Mich., Niles-Buchanan YMCA in Niles, Mich., Riverview Family YMCA in South Bend, Ind., and Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, Mich. 

“What you’re going to have, is a larger number of volunteers, working across the region, increased fundraising, and donor support and better programs,” said YMCA of Michiana board member Regan Jones.  

Collectively, the YMCAs will serve over 20,000 people and employ more than 500 with an annual operating budget of $10 million. 

“When you talk about organizational structure and ability to support the community in different ways, when you’re talking about a scale and an organization that’s a $10 million organization, has nearly 500 employees, serving 20,000 members, it’s really going to make a significant difference in the quality and the impact we’re making in the community,” said Jones. 

The YMCA of Michiana and YMCA of Southwest Michigan have been moving toward a consolidation since April 2018. 

That’s when the YMCA of Southwest Michigan’s CEO, Mark Weber, became the CEO of the YMCA of Michiana as well.

Weber will be the CEO of the new organization.  

Jones said the merger will not impact members day-to-day services, but under the merger, members will have expanded access to programs at the local sites. 

“I think it would be great,” said Riverview Family YMCA member Freddie Black. “Maybe more people would join the fitness center, or join the Y.” 

Members ABC57 spoke to liked the merger. 

“Maybe this will help us to do some updates,” said Diana Little-Day. 

Little-Day joined the Riverview Family YMCA four years ago. 

“It just broadens our community and gives our community more places to go and workout,” said Little-Day. “It expands our family. Anytime we can get help with finances and making our Y a better place, it’s a great thing.” 

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