Good luck in your process to help all of these families. I have been a volunteer basketball coach at the … YMCA for many years, and I see many deserving families come in with their kids, many of whom have never seen the inside of a YMCA in their lives. I also pay a full family membership for me, my wife, and our … children, but can afford to do so. Thank you and Liz for your courageous steps in helping all of these children. [The same responder sent this email sent to Kevin Washington, President and CEO of Y-USA]: Dear Mr. Washington, I just finished reading an article in the San Diego Union Tribune about two board members resigning in San Diego county from the Ecke YMCA, over a concern about a decision to eliminate discounted youth memberships at YMCA’s here. These families depend on their children being able to belong to the YMCA and not be involved in possibly less desirable alternatives. Affordability comes first in their households. I am disgusted that President and CEO Baron Herdelin-Doherty is paid an annual salary in excess of $400,000 and he WOULD NOT comment to the paper’s reporter. How much more money does he need to make himself available to the paper’s readers? My annual contributions to the YMCA have run dry. There are families here that can barely afford to pay for the discounted memberships, and your local CEO is making $400,000+. You should be ashamed of your organization.
Bob and Liz, First, I want to thank you both for your families and all the work you have done for my family and the whole community. My wife (…) and I have been members of the … YMCA for over 25 years. We have four adult children now all of which still utilize the Y. We have used all the services through the years from child care to swimming lessons. My wife and I still workout there sometimes 7 days a week. We have always been blessed with the fiscal ability to pay for all our family, however I am distressed at the fact a christian organization would hit the families most in need in our community. I have worked in public service most of my adult life and retired … almost 5 years ago. I have seen in this community and others the struggle that families have from financial problems to domestic violence. The YMCA in … has always been a great place for young people to be in a healthy environment. The mission and vision of the YMCA isn’t about money or it shouldn’t be. It should be about serving those in need and building a stronger community holistically. The other issue of redistribution of generated funds by the families that support the … YMCA is disturbing as well. I understand that the YMCA is a large organization, but taking from one to feed another is not right in my opinion. If the … YMCA has the ability to help the number of families that need help in our community then we should be able to do that. That is our mission! The history and leadership that both your families have shown through decades in this City is incredible. We support your efforts 100%. I have checked the website and will follow up contacting those you directed us to. I don’t care about confidentiality at all. In fact, I would want anyone to know how we feel and I guarantee most members at this YMCA feel the same. God Bless you and your families! [Note: Despite the responder’s willingness to be identified, we have chosen to withhold the identity at this time.]
After watching the KPBS piece and reading the recent articles in the UT, the ousting of Bob Ayers & Lizbeth Ecke just wreaks. How hard is it to have a dialog and answer questions about decisions that will negatively impacted so many kids? If the reasons are honorable and justifiable, the CEO should welcome the opportunity to share his vision and state his case. By removing the people who asked the questions (especially legacy members) it looks like underhanded bullying by someone who earns way too much money (IMHO). Thank you Bob & Lizbeth for asking the tough questions and fighting the good fight for the kids.
NOTE: We have not received one (not 1) negative piece of feedback. However, we have received reliable information that the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA has unfortunately borne the brunt of misunderstandings. The wonderful Board and Staff at the Y in Encinitas should not be blamed for any of these events. Every policy in San Diego County is dictated by its CEO, Baron Herdelin-Doherty. Baron is the same person who will not respond to our questions. Thank you all for your feedback. Bob Ayers and Lizbeth Ecke.