Boothbay Region YMCA gears up for dual fundraising campaigns

Fri, 06/28/2024 - 8:45am

    Boothbay Region YMCA has chosen Hannah Wayda, her partner Caleb Hodgdon and their kids as this year’s ambassadors for the final phases of the “Greater Impact” campaign and the Annual Fund.

    The Annual Fund goes to the Y’s operating budget. It costs $10,000 a day to keep the Y open, according to Director of Development Allyson Goodwin. In addition, this money also goes to subsidizing memberships for high school students and people on lower incomes, and supports community programming, from public information seminars to blood drives. The goal is to raise $330,000.

    Meanwhile, the “Greater Impact” campaign for facility renovations has been going on since 2018. This year’s theme is “Impacting Our Next Generation,” and Wayda and her family are the poster children for how families can get involved at the Y.

    Wayda is director of the Child Enrichment Center, where she helps oversee local and seasonal children ranging from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Funds from the campaign will be used to expand and renovate the center and McEvoy Lodge at Camp K. A group of donors will be matching all new gifts and pledges to the campaign 1:1, up to $750,000. The Y has $624,000 to go to meet the $1.5 million goal, according to Goodwyn. 

    “It’s really about the kids and working families, and getting those spaces refreshed to match their programs,” said Goodwin. 

    Wayda also worked at Camp K for seven years as a counselor and was a YMCA lifeguard during her teenage years. Now, her daughter, Kaylee, a rising BRES sixth grader, attends FitKids and Camp K, as well as singing, dancing, acting and, her favorite, baking classes at the Y. Hodgdon’s children, Ben and Emmy, also regularly use the Y’s facilities. 

    “Now that the renovations have been done and everything is a little more open, the kids are really beginning to hang out more and have this be their home base,” said Wayda. Since the renovations, the Y has seen monthly membership grow in all age demographics, especially amongst families, who were on the decline before COVID, according to Andy Hamblett, BRYMCA’s chief executive officer.

    Hamblett said one benefit for families is the “continuum of care” that children experience building community with one another and counselors as they make their way through the Child Enrichment Center, FitKids and Camp K. However, even as children outgrow these programs, there are still ways to stay involved. Sixth graders, with parental consent, can come and go from the Y, using the facilities or hang-out spaces as they wish. 

    Kaylee is in her final year at FitKids and is looking forward to this new sense of freedom. “My friends and I have talked about it already.”

    But for parents, the Y also serves as a good middle space for their growing children. “It’s a safe place for them to go after school, and you know that somebody’s watching out for your kids,” said Wayda. 

    Donations to the Annual Fund or the “A Greater Impact” Capital Campaign can be made by mail (Boothbay Region YMCA, P.O. Box 500, 261 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538), by phone, 207-633-2855 x 290, or online at