Local Y CEO’s Message: “Stick With the Y.”

When I was young, I found a $20 bill on the ground at the local Ben Franklin store, just below the candy display near the checkout counter. I showed it to my mother, expecting her to share my joy in my good fortune.

Instead, my mother instructed me to put the money back.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: money wasn’t worth my integrity.

The Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA faces tough decisions in the days ahead. How we do honor our commitment to serving this community and do the right thing by our members?  We will navigate those difficult questions with one principle in mind.

Money is not worth our integrity.

Because of this, we are freezing all membership dues for the month of April and extending that policy until we can re-open. We understand that it’s a significant financial hit, but it’s the right thing to do. As we do that, here’s something we’d ask you to do.

If your finances allow, opt back in.

Make your payment anyway.

Consider donating more.

We cannot overstate how crucial this is for non-profits during this time.

If 70 percent of our members could opt back in, we can weather this storm.

But that needs to be your choice, not ours.

There’s a famous picture of American Red Cross volunteers sewing surgical dressing at the Oakland Public Library during the flu pandemic of 1918. It’s a fascinating picture that shows a community stepping up when needed.

We’re asking you to help us honor our promise to always be there for:

  • Jeanette, whose husband has dementia and is enrolled in the Adult Respite Care program.
  • Chase, who lost 150 pounds by adding routine exercise in our Wellness Center to his diet.
  • Doug,who regained strength in his legs so he could walk again after back surgery.
  • Penny, who was able to turn to the YMCA for childcare help with her grandkids.
  • a teen (name withheld) who regained confidence after an accident left the student with a deformity.

Together, we can get through this. We’ve made a promise to always be here for you. Right now, we need you to be here for us!



Josh Cole
executive director
Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA

To opt back in or to donate, contact Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA business manager Jeff Collins at 

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