President's Newsletter November 2014


Remembering Mayor Menino


Dream Happy Party Surpasses Goal 


Sun Life Financial and Boston Celtics Support YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program


Renovations Completed at Huntington Ave Y


Donor Sends Y Family to Disney World


After School Programs Helping to Close the Achievement Gap


Have you seen us in the media recently? You can catch up here:

Chronicle of Philanthropy andBoston Globe: Profile of Kevin Washington

WBZ-TV: YMCA's Diabetes Programming

The Needham Channel: Charles River Y Adaptive Programming



Support the work the Y is doing to promote Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

Donate now to help your local YMCA.


Kevin Washington

Kevin Washington
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater Boston
316 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA  02115
617-927-8125 | email


Board of Directors Blue

Jeff Conway, Chair
Elizabeth B. Burnett, Vice Chair
Eileen M. Connors, Vice Chair
William I. Huyett, Vice Chair
Brian H. Kavoogian, Vice Chair
Richard C. Waters, Treasurer
Mark S. Ain
Hope A. Aldrich
Richard H. Aldrich
Brant Binder
Kevin J. Blake
Daniel F. Conley
Donald E. Conover
C. Michael Daley
David A. Damassa
Kevin A. Foster
David G. Fubini
Michelle W. Hecht
Evelyn Kaupp
Robert E. Kenney
Teresa K. Koster
Matt McPherron
C. Ann Merrifield
Tara Murphy
Charlayne Murrell-Smith
Jack R. O'Connor
Jill W. Onderdonk
William M. Parent
Charles R. Parrott
Dave Porter
Jonathan Savoy
Cynthia L. Strauss
Nancy Stuart
Alan W. Tuck
Kate Walsh
Frederick A. Wang
Faith S. Weiner
M. David Wilkins

Mayor Menino and Kevin WashingtonLong before Thomas Menino was the successful five-term mayor, he was just another Hyde Park Y kid. In his youth, he spent his summers learning how to swim, playing sports and making bracelets and key chains out of gimp at his neighborhood Y in Hyde Park.

The programs created and run through the Y are all closely aligned with the work of Mayor Menino and his invested interest in helping Bostonians grow and thrive. It makes sense that they are now housed under a roof with his name.

We are all deeply sadded by the passing of the Mayor and are honored that our Menino Y in Hyde Park proudly bears his name. 


Dream Happy Party Guests
Jack Connors, Betsy Burnett, Kevin Washington, and Eileen Connors celebrated the Boston's youth and teens at the Y's Dream Happy Party.
We had a blast celebrating the Y's commitment to the youth of Greater Boston at last month's Dream Happy Party at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. 300 of our friends and supporters joined us for a memorable evening, hosted by Jonathan Elias, WBZ-TV news anchor, and helped us raise over $590,000 for youth and teen programs at our Ys. We are very grateful for our lead sponsors, who helped make the event a success:



Raytheon Company


Blue Hills Bank


Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan


Eileen and Jack Connors




New Balance


State Street Corporation


Sun Life Dunks for DiabetesSun Life Financial
 is teaming up with the Boston Celtics and the Y to fight diabetes through a social fundraising and digital marketing campaign – #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes.

For every dunk made by a Celtics Player during the month of November, Sun Life will donate $1,000 to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which will be matched by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, up to a combined maximum total of $40,000.

Sun Life is also encouraging the public to participate in fundraising efforts by donating $1 for every Tweet, Retweet or Share using the hashtag #SunLifeDunkForDiabetes, up to a maximum of $10,000.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by providing participants the tools, resources, support and education necessary to change their lifestyles, before costly medical bills and medications become a daily reality. In Boston, the program is currently offered at the Roxbury YMCA and the Menino YMCA in Hyde Park – two communities with some of the highest diabetes rates in the city of Boston.

Last year, Sun Life pledged $250,000 to support expansion of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to additional communities including the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and the YMCA of Greater Boston.


We are excited to announce that after two years of construction, the renovations at our flagship facility on Huntington Avenue are now complete and the building is fully open to the public. New features include:
Huntington Ave Y Lobby
  • Over 70 group exercise classes in 3 new studios
  • 10,000 square foot fitness center with functional training space
  • Heated indoor swimming pool, basketball court and two separate handball/racquetball courts
  • Free babysitting while you work out
  • Renovated historic lobby
  • Updated teen center
  • Brand new space for out of school time programming
Visit our website for more information, or stop by the welcome desk for a tour of The NEW Huntington Ave YMCA.



Harney GirlsTwo years ago, Don and Shannon Harney of East Boston faced the typical challenges of young parents, juggling the demands of two working parents with two young children: Sadie, age 6, and Gigi, age 18 months. Their world was turned upside down when Gigi was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare, and often fatal, liver disease. At age 18 months, Gigi was facing a liver transplant. This happy family's life was turned into chaos. This family was devastated emotionally and financially.

Nearly two years later, Gigi is back enrolled at the East Boston Y's Child Development Center with a prognosis that is encouraging. She requires ongoing medical attention, but is doing well enough to participate in the full range of activities that a three year old enjoys. Shannon, who had to take an unpaid leave to care for Gigi before and after the transplant, is back to work and the family as a whole is on the road to recovery.

However, the financial repercussions of ongoing medical bills is a constant for the Harneys. This is a family who really needs a break, but could never afford one.

Thanks to a generous donation from General Board Member and Raytheon Vice President David Wilkins, the Harneys will enjoy a dream vacation to Orlando - complete with passes to the Disney Theme Parks. Wilkins made this gift in honor of the Y's Dream Happy Party, to support the happiness of each and every child and parent in our Y family.


After School ProgramThe Y’s after school programs are providing the skills and supports children need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. This support is particularly important for low-income children for whom research shows a widening achievement gap between their more affluent peers.

To address this achievement gap, the YMCA of Greater Boston is one of 28 Ys across the country participating in the YMCA of the USA After School Pilot Initiative at our after school sites at the Guild School in East Boston and the Winthrop School in Dorchester. A total of 94 children at these two sites are participating in the program. Our primary goals are to improve youth development and academic outcomes, and provide high quality programming for youth and schools struggling to meet state standards.

During the past school year (2013/2014), students experienced the following positive results:

69% demonstrated improvement in personal responsibility

54% demonstrated improvement in goal directed behavior

54% demonstrated improvement in social awareness

58% demonstrated improvement in decision-making

58% demonstrated improvement in relationship skills

54% demonstrated improvement in self- management

Anecdotally, we also know that this program is making a real difference in improving student outcomes. At the Winthrop School, many families and children have experienced trauma through witnessing or being victims of violence and have greatly benefited from the social emotional supports offered through the model, in addition to the academic support and enrichment.

And at the Guild School, one teacher credits the additional support as a major reason why one student was promoted to 4th grade this year.

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