Berkshire Family YMCA
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Catholic Youth Services joins forces with YMCA

Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2016 6:00 am

By Patricia Leboeuf , Berkshire Eagle

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PITTSFIELD —The Catholic Youth Center now has a home base three years after vacating its previous building on Melville Street due to deteriorating conditions. The CYC has partnered with the Berkshire Family YMCA in a move YMCA CEO Randy Kinnas called “paying it forward.” “It’s helping another organization that has done so much for me in my life,” he said. Kinnas played basketball at the CYC for years as a child. “It’s good to have [a place] to go that we haven’t had in the last three years … that’s open extended hours and offers things kids might want to do,” said Jeff Quinto, board chairman of the CYC.

The center moved out of its former building at 16 Melville St. in Pittsfield in August 2013. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield sold the 24,756-square-foot building to the Boys & Girls Club last year.

The CYC will use the Pittsfield Family YMCA facilities for practices and some games, and also will continue its long-running community partnerships with other organizations like the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center and Berkshire Community College, Quinto said. “This partnership … is an expansion of our relationships, not a contraction,” he said. “We want to be able to give people more.”

The CYC’s three major sports program – basketball, volleyball and flag football – will remain under the same staff members, who will be YMCA employees. The YMCA will provide administrative support for CYC programs, including handling finances and payroll

“It’s the same people, the same program[s],” Kinnas said. “They’re getting administrative help.” The partnership enables parents and kids to access conveniences like electronic payments, which would be expensive investments for the CYC alone, Quinto said. The fee for the CYC’s programs will remain the same – $65 – but will include the $40 annual youth membership fee for the YMCA. Discounts for CYC programs will also be offered to current YMCA members, he said.

“Both organizations have a benefit to this,” Kinnas said. The YMCA will get new members, and CYC participants will have the opportunity to get financial assistance from the YMCA, which has a $3.5 million operating budget, he said.

Berkshire Nonprofit Solutions was the major driving force behind the partnership – technically a management services agreement – which began on July 1, Quinto said.

Berkshire Nonprofit Solutions, operated by 1Berkshire, provides assistance to local nonprofits regarding potential shared services, from sharing space to full mergers, said Jonathan Butler, president and CEO of 1Berkshire.

The partnership will enable the CYC and the YMCA to continue perpetuating their different – but similar – missions, he said. Many small and even medium-sized nonprofits have difficulty reaching their maximum potential because of overhead costs and the demands of fundraising – a big issue in a rural area like Berkshire County, with a large number of critical nonprofits and a low population, Butler said. As the area’s population declines, collaboration between local nonprofits makes sense, Kinnas said.

“The CYC’s not going away,” he said. “There’s no hostile takeover or anything like that. It’s a way to pull everybody’s resources together and provide the best impact for our community.”