EASTON — On June 10, the Perkins Family YMCA and Bay Hundred Senior Center in St. Michaels celebrated its first anniversary. This first-of-its kind facility on the Shore has provided the Bay Hundred communities with new programming and expanded services for youth, families and seniors.
“Our plans for a big celebration were put on hold by COVID-19 as our team shifted our focus to serve those hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Tracy Eutsler, branch executive director.
“While we were not able to throw the big party we would have wished for, the past months have shown us just how much our facility has become part of the fabric of the Bay Hundred Community in just one year,” Eutsler said. “There is so much to celebrate and be thankful for as we come through to the other side of this pandemic and reopen our doors to members.”
Unlike other YMCA of the Chesapeake facilities, the Perkins Family YMCA and Bay Hundred Senior Center is a shared space for both YMCA and Senior Center programming and is also located adjacent to St. Michaels Middle High School. These intentional partnerships have created unique opportunities for collaboration and greater access to the facility and its programming.
In the past year, the Perkins Family YMCA grew by 964 members, including adults, seniors, families and teens. Some 226 seniors joined the Bay Hundred Senior Center and 34 sixth grade students enjoyed a free year-long membership as part of their first year in middle school. The Y also welcomed an average of 70 middle and high school students as part of its “Hang Time” afterschool program.
The facility offered daily health and wellness classes and programs for members of all ages including water fitness, pickleball, swim instruction and water safety, group exercise, senior fitness and more.
The Senior Center has provided nearly 1,000 meals and hosted arts and crafts classes, musical performances, nutritional seminars, medication management counseling, financial and legal clinics, computer and cell phone instruction and much more.
Joint and intergenerational programming has included the Auto Enthusiast Group where members of all ages come together to discuss their love of cars and Introduction to Spanish classes for seniors taught by St. Michaels High School students.
In recognition of the significant impact the Y has made in the Bay Hundred, the Perkins Family YMCA was recently named the Talbot County Public Schools Community Partner of the Year for its year-round programming supporting both students and staff.
In addition to Talbot County Public Schools, The Perkins Family YMCA and Bay Hundred Senior Center also partnered with the following businesses and organizations: Care Packs of Talbot County, Soroptimists of Talbot County, Talbot Mentors, Maryland Food Bank, St. Michaels Head Start, Home Instead Senior Care, Christmas in St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Forum, an Academy for Lifelong Learning.
“The Perkins Family YMCA and Senior Center has been a tremendous success for the Bay Hundred Community and the YMCA of the Chesapeake,” said Robbie Gill, YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO.
“When we first embarked on this journey, many said it could never be done, but thanks to the hard work of our team and support of our volunteers, members, local schools, county government and other partners, we have created a thriving and growing community center that is a model for the future,” Gill said.About the YMCA of the Chesapeake
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and the largest Human Service organization on the Eastern Shore; strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Shore, Ys engage 40,000 members and their families, regardless of age, income or background, to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the Shore’s health and wellbeing, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of the Chesapeake operates facilities in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico Counties in Maryland and on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Last year, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided over $1,750,000 in assistance to over 16,000 community members, turning no one away due to inability to pay. Additionally, the Y spent $200,000 on outreach efforts and programming in the communities it serves.