I read "YMCA in poor health" (Nov. 4, Page A-1) and was appalled. The YMCA has been struggling for years and asking for community support. Instead of focusing on the good the YMCA has done for this city and telling the stories of long-time members, The Bee wasted space and chose to blast the former CEO, Steve Smith. Scandal being more enticing than compassion.
I worked at the YMCA for five years, and two and a half years under Smith's leadership. I saw the before and after. Steve Smith is a great man who put his heart into that organization right along with every employee, volunteer and member. Together, they turned a building in shambles, programs that were suffering and declining membership into a building that thrived, child care that embraced youth, and a family environment that enriched lives. The Y would not be the place it is today without his hard work and devotion.
The decline of the Y does not lie on one man's shoulders but a group of people, this community. The Bee had an opportunity to help rally the people, but instead showed poor taste choosing to create a scandal. For as good as the YMCA has been to this community, one would have hoped The Bee might have returned the favor.