Guest column: The future for the Greater Naples YMCA

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Guest commentary

Recently, the Greater Naples YMCA announced that with the assistance of Y-USA, longtime Y executive Harold Cook agreed to join the organization as interim CEO, bringing 36 years of experience to the helm of your local Y as we launch a national search for our next permanent leader.

As our Naples Y continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of our ever-changing community, we want to assure you that we are committed to supporting the Y's mission — "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all" — through everything we do.

Each staff member and volunteer at the Greater Naples Y strives to fulfill this mission through the nearly 20,000 lives we touch every year in Collier County. Our commitment is demonstrated through advancing our Y's cause of promoting community involvement and ensuring resources to continue to be a leading nonprofit for child care, youth development, healthy living and other programs that provide us with an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in our community.

While our mission-driven focus remains constant, we are taking this opportunity to evaluate the Greater Naples Y from top to bottom.

The board of directors, along with Y-USA, has asked Cook to review programs, assess needs and prioritize funding and resources in the context of his broad experience to ensure our Y is the most efficient organization we can be while serving the Y's greater mission.

We will rely on Cook's assessments as we continue through the national search-and-hire process for our new permanent president and CEO, whom we hope to introduce early in 2013.

Throughout this process, ongoing support from the community is critical to the continued success of our Naples Y. If you have ideas for us to consider, please call. If you have suggestions about programs or services, please let us know. If you have the ability to make a tax-deductible donation, please consider doing so before the end of the year. You can find contact names and additional information at www.ymcapalms.org.

We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve Naples and our neighbors and friends in the Collier County community. Without you, our commitment to the mission wouldn't be possible.

Thank you.

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