Turning the Westmoreland YMCA Branch into a full service YMCA is becoming a reality. Volunteers quietly operating out of public view are now seeking help from the community to continue the project.
“We want to become our own full service Y,” said chairman James Wise.
The Westmoreland branch, considered a program Y under the Richmond County branch, must meet requirements set by the YMCA organization before it can be considered a full service branch. These include upholding a substantial and financial campaign, maintaining a balanced budget and strong volunteer group for three consecutive years.
“So far I feel we’ve done all three. This is our second year in progress toward that and we would just like the community to come together as a whole itself to support the Y,” Wise said. Donations and volunteers are being accepted.
“The Y is serving us well, but a full service Y would be serving us much better and be even more convenient for those who work away,” Wise said.
Recently, Brandon Johnson was selected as the new program director at the Westmoreland Branch after serving with the YMCA branch in Kilmarnock. The graduate of Washington & Lee High School is now turning his focus to helping the branch in Westmoreland grow.
“Getting the opportunity to come back home was a piece of joy and excitement to effect children in the area I grew up,” Johnson said.
When Johnson learned about the proposed plan for the Westmoreland branch he was excited.
“I know there is a lot of hard work that comes before we can have our hands on something,” Johnson said.
The most recent YMCA to be constructed is in Caroline County, and before that Northumberland and King George.
Volunteers are always encouraged. Shirts will also be sold to help fundraise towards making Westmoreland into a full service YMCA at the Montross Fall Festival.