Executive Director Message

More than a gym…

The Darien Y is more than a facility for physical activity; it is a driving force for living a healthy and full
life. When you join the Y, you become so much more than simply a member of a gym – you become part
of a community. The Y helps us achieve and maintain a balance of spirit, mind, and body in all aspects of
our lives.

We share a commitment to enhance the potential of kids by improving their well-being. We give back and
support our community. We encourage healthy lifestyles, and strengthen connections with new and old
friends through our nursery school, sports programs, aquatic and fitness classes.

With our doors open to all and financial support given to many, we work to bridge the gaps that divide
people and neighborhoods. Our members, volunteers, staff, and Board take on the most urgent needs in
our community and inspire a spirit of service in everyone we touch.

In 2013, there were many significant developments that contributed to our cause:

  • We saw a substantial resurgence of the Y’s adult and youth fitness programs, increasing overall participation by 18%.
  • After 18 years of highly restrictive zoning regulations, Planning and Zoning approved the Y’s application to increase its hours of operation every day of the week, adding great value to your membership.
  • We also greatly increased the number of programs and participants in our special needs programming. We now serve 40% more children than last year, with the number of children with Autism increasing
  • Notably, the Y provided over $950,000 of financial assistance and community services, an 11% increase from 2012.

This past year we were fortunate to work with hundreds of program and parent volunteers as well as the
deeply loyal members of our staff and the YMCA Board of Directors. All made their mark on the organization and strengthened the YMCA through teamwork and countless hours of diligent commitment.

I want to thank Phil Martzolf for his outstanding tenure as Board President. Phil served on the Board for
six years. He was instrumental in arranging the first “Community Breakfast,” soliciting the opinions and
counsel of key community leaders to provide structure for the Y’s new strategic plan. Also, Phil made time in his very busy schedule to coach several of our Travel Basketball teams. We are grateful for his numerous contributions to our success.

Deb Goll, the consummate volunteer, is leaving our Board after 12 years of service. During her tenure on
the YMCA Board Deb was chair of the Y’s Special Needs Committee and Program Committee. She also
served on the Finance Committee, Capital Campaign Committee, and co-chaired the YMCA’s Building Project Committee. She is the longest-standing YMCA Board President, serving in that capacity for three
years. Additionally, Deb was recognized by the Connecticut State of Alliance of YMCAs as Connecticut’s
outstanding YMCA volunteer. Her strong, consistent, and tireless leadership, along with her solid financial
acumen, have been an invaluable asset to our organization. She guided the Board and staff through the
recent major capital campaign effort and the completion of our recent $13 million building project. The
Darien YMCA will forever be indebted to Deb.

Our community faces new challenges every day that create a greater need than ever for the work we do.
Fortunately, where some see obstacles we see a cause, with opportunities for our members, volunteers,
and staff to continue to make a difference in many lives and in the community we serve.

Pat Morrissey
Executive Director