Temporary YMCA Fitness Center Closures

 

Dear YMCA Members,

We have some disappointing news to share with you, but first we wanted to thank you for answering the call to “Stay With Us” when the pandemic had stopped much of our operations and programs. We are currently just under 30% of our membership from first quarter of this year. Thank you very much to those of you who have been able to continue your membership!

On Tuesday, November 10, the California Public Health Department announced new restrictions that will shutter indoor operations for at-least the next three weeks in Sacramento County. During the same press conference, new tier assignment numbers were revealed that did not give us optimism to be able to operate our fitness centers in Woodland and Oroville at a capacity that is financially feasible much longer.

Like many of you, we were optimistic that the Coronavirus emergency would be over, or at least well-managed, by the end of 2020. But due to tightening budget constraints, low participation numbers, and the State COVID-19 reopening guidelines with no loosening of restrictions forecasted in the foreseeable future, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our fitness centers starting Saturday, November 14 until we can sustainably open, which we hope will be sometime in January. Please know that our Y is committed to our fitness centers reopening at the beginning of 2021, and we will keep you up to date on our plans at www.ymcauperiorcal.org/welcomeback, and also on our social media pages. The investment for outdoor fitness during these colder, darker, and inclement months is something we cannot pursue due to the low participant interest we saw at the end of summer. The demand right now for gyms is low, and we resolve to return when our health and wellness programs can thrive again.

Although our doors to our fitness centers may be closed, our mission hasn’t changed: to inspire healthy living in spirit, mind, and body:

  • Healthy Bodies: We will be partnering with other Y’s to offer you virtual programing that you can do at home, through YMCA 360 (www.ymca360.org) for on-demand classes, and YMCA of the East Bay (www.ymcaeastbay.org/virtualy) for live classes. During this time, your Y will continue feeding the hungry by serving meals to children who would go without during school closures.
     
  • Healthy Minds: We remind you to make healthy living decisions these next few months so that we can open our doors to you again soon. Wear a mask. Be flexible and creative about gatherings and traditions during the holidays. Get your flu-shot if you haven’t already. During this time, the Y will offer increased distance learning support to children in our care. Teens will continue to debate political issues and gain civic knowledge in our Youth & Government program offered virtually.
     
  • Healthy Spirits: Once again, we are asking you to “Stay With Us” and keep that community spirit throughout the holiday season. If you are able to give more than your membership dues and would like to make a larger donation that is appreciated. Your support will aid our emergency response so that essential workers, first responders, and medical staff can have a safe place for their children while they continue to help us through this pandemic.
     

We understand that COVID-19 has also impacted you and the rest of our community. We wish we could stay open to meet your health and wellness needs, but the Y has a great deal of operational costs and buildings to maintain, even when those buildings are empty. These costs are exacerbated by the fact that the Y has missed out on over $3 million dollars in programing income this year. We kept our fitness centers going as long as we could in these conditions, but as a non-profit without deep coffers we now have to be extremely fiscally responsible and cut our costs as much as possible, while trying to maintain services that are viable and most in need. I urge you to consider maintaining your membership dues these next months. With the length of the pandemic and its restrictions on our work we have some very difficult financial decisions ahead of us and whatever you can do to help us sustain our Y until we can re-open is appreciated. When things return to “normal” there will be a need for the Y, and you can help us ready for that day.

If you are unable to support us during this difficult time, we understand, and you are still part of our Y-Community. Please e-mail us at brinehart@ymcasuperiorcal.org to put your membership on hold. If you have any questions or comments regarding this decision, please e-mail me directly at sbraucks@ymcasuperiorcal.org.

Thank you for your continued support of the Y’s cause. We hope to have our Y-community together soon,

Sharna Braucks
President & CEO
YMCA of Superior California