One of the many joys of leading the Boothbay Region YMCA is the interaction with people in the region. Our community is filled with kind, thoughtful and caring people and that was most recently demonstrated with the partnership with LincolnHealth. In early January 2021, Brian Blethen, Stacey Miller, and other leadership team members from LincolnHealth/MaineHealth approached the Y to determine if it would be a good fit as a COVID-19 vaccination site for Lincoln County. We realized that the Marylouise Tandy Cowan Fieldhouse would be an ideal location especially with 23,400 square feet of space, ample parking, a separate entrance, and bathroom facilities. LincolnHealth’s team opened the site on January 25, 2021…what an extremely well-organized effort and group of professionals! Additionally, more than 70 greeters, attendants, and a host of volunteers provided more than 2,500 hours assisting staff to administer roughly 23,500 doses.
While Friday, June 4 was LincolnHealth’s last day in the Y’s facility, we are honored to have partnered with them and to have served our community; we will be happy to host them again as needed. The Y is committed to serving as a catalyst for good for the community, and we were proud to be the first Y in the country to host a vaccination site.
We are grateful for the creativity from our staff and patience from our members as we worked through the challenges presented by COVID-19. Whether participating in Zoom classes, signing up to use the pool, redirecting youth sports and pickle ball programs, relocating our Fit Kids after-school program to Camp Knickerbocker, or asking tennis players to utilize the indoor courts at our partner Y in Damariscotta, we thank our members. One of the Y’s core values is social responsibility and we appreciate everyone’s flexibility as we opened back up and hosted the vaccination site to serve Lincoln County.
A big thank-you also goes out to our front desk staff and maintenance team. As the word quickly spread that the Y was going to be a vaccination site, the front desk staff handled approximately 50 calls a day providing information about the clinic. The maintenance staff cleaned and prepped the Fieldhouse and provided all needed resources. Finally, several members of the staff volunteered at the clinic; as one of the greeters, I was humbled to be part of the process and to see the direct impact of the center. There was a real feeling of hope and renewal in all of our interactions.
As I said good-bye to the LincolnHealth vaccination team as they packed up the Fieldhouse, I felt sad to see them go, but also recognized that it was good thing that they are moving on…so many people are now vaccinated, and our community is coming back together.
Now that people have been vaccinated and COVID-19 mandates are being lifted, we are seeing returning friends and new faces at the Y. There is a great energy at the Y and we welcome you; either for a cup of coffee, a class, or a swim. Know that the Y is here for all. Make it a great day!