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South Brunswick YMCA Files for Bankruptcy

Declining membership and donations leads to reorganization.

The ongoing impact of the recession hit one of South Brunswick's cornerstone institutions this week. 

On Friday, the South Brunswick Family YMCA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton. In a statement released to the media Friday, The Y's Board of Directors cited difficulty sparked by a decline in membership and community donations.

“Like so many businesses and organizations in our area, the South Brunswick Family YMCA has been adversely affected by the economic recession," the board said in a statement. "Declines in membership and donations over the past few years have presented financial challenges, but we believe the action we have taken today is an important first step toward restoring our Y’s operational and fiscal health."

Earlier this year, the YMCA named Jeffrey Hermann as it's third Board President. Hermann succeeded Anthony Campisano, who stepped down after six years as Board President. The board said the bankruptcy declaration would better position the Y moving forward. The move is not expected to have an impact on existing YMCA members or programs.

“Our goal in this process is to give the communities we serve a stronger, healthier YMCA, and reorganizing through bankruptcy provides an opportunity to do just that," the board statement said. "This decision does not impact our daily operations, which will continue without interruption. Our YMCA’s staff is fully committed to providing the same safe, high-quality programs and services that people have come to expect from the Y."

Tugwalla February 16, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Another example of how the basic fiber of the South Bruswick community is in decline.
I am RIGHT February 17, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Sad. Who is running this ship?
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Oh by the way......Hermann doesn't even live in South Brunswick...this board of directors needs to go!
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Wow, pretty petty
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I'll assume that you do not understand how Y's operate. The Board members do not have to be from the 'local' community. The Board is comprised of volunteers that believe in the mission of the Y, understand the value a Y brings to the community and and working to make a difference for everyone. Where a Board member lives does not matter. In addition, South Brunswick's name on the Y does not mean it is only for SB residents. The Y serves everyone and members can come from any community. It would appear from your silly comments that you have not been active in promoting this local non-profit that vitally serves everyone regardless of income, race, religion, etc.
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 03:58 PM
John Doe...in my opinion you sound like a SB YMCA insider trying to change the conversation of potential operational mismanagement and inadequate board stewardship.
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 04:50 PM
You would be wrong. Just a knowledgeable resident.
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 04:52 PM
You would be wrong. Just a knowledgable resident.
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 05:09 PM
How ironic...first post you ever made on the patch and you go out of your way to make excuses for a failed and potentially mismanaged institution that you have no connection to? What a coincidence!
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 05:21 PM
No excuses. Just correcting your misstatement as well as clarifying as needed. Y's have been around forever. I can't figure out how your first comments about a bankruptcy with a non-profit means mismanagement. Could it be because of the economy? Could it be a result of declining membership? Could it be because of declining donations? Could it be competition? Why jump to conclusions without knowing the details? All we've seen is an article!
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 05:50 PM
John....me thinks thou protesteth too much... Mismanagement does NOT mean wrong doing it means the board and management failed to managed effectively. The YMCA leadership...failed to address the changes in competition and economic conditions. Many other Y's have changed their business models to stay competitive and relevant the SB YMCA has not! The SB board and management has let their membership and members of the community down by not changing with the times and offering relevant programs and services at competitive prices.
John Doe February 17, 2013 at 05:59 PM
And exactly how have you helped the Y? Always easier to sit on the sidelines and judge....especially without knowing all that went into the decision. I'd like to know too but I won't jump to a conclusion until all the facts are known. I hope the Y survives. Y's do good in all communities. It's a shame.
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 06:21 PM
We can agree that it should survive....what we disagree on is for the YMCA to thrive they need effective leadership and am improved value proposition....the persons responsible for marketing and membership need to be held accountable and the board and management needs to take responsibility for the financial failure.
I am RIGHT February 17, 2013 at 07:25 PM
This Y was doomed to fail from the beginning. Think small and hope for change doesn't work. Think big and start big or don't bother. What happened to the $3 million grant to build a pool? That would have saved the Y. Y's have a built in competitive advantge due to their tax status and they're still in Chaper 11. The community is telling them to close down because they don't meet our needs.
wheels713 February 19, 2013 at 08:44 PM
The initial Capital Campaign for this YMCA fell well short of its fundraising goal resulting in a half baked construction job, including a residential pool built for public use. Most folks have a bigger backyard pool. Not to mention that if only the new SB high school had been built with a pool, the Y could have leveraged that location to run additional programming, including camp swim which takes up the entire pool for hours a day, limiting the ability to program lessons during the summer. The inability to properly program that pool was a major issue. I was an early aquatic director who became increasingly frustrated with the lack of proper maintenance staff and resources. Often I would find myself repairing broken equipment. The pool was never built for hundreds of swimmers hence the perpetual cloudiness and temperamental chemical levels. One needs to look no further than the Princeton YMCA to see how vital aquatics programming is to the overall revenue. Once they closed the Seminary pool, the program offerings also dropped, swim team needs a place to practice (more revenue from swim team fees) , shared space with the YWCA and you have a recipe for lost money. I am not saying that directing funds to aquatics alone could have stopped this from happening, but I do believe that proper attention to such a large revenue generating area could have stopped the bleeding. This Y has been in trouble since the early 2000’s unfortunately and I am sad to see this happen.
wheels713 February 19, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Ugh good grief - the cronyism does not end there. I just went on their website and saw that the new board president made sure his wife got a seat... this is the other problem with this Y. Good old SB.
SBrover March 03, 2013 at 01:24 PM
a large, CLEAN swimming pool, good swim instructors, hygienic child care, diverse summer camps (indoor and out door) can still pull Y out of the red.

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