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Arocha to lead Liberty County YMCA
Mary Arocha
Mary Arocha is all smiles, holding her going away cake. Photo provided.

District Vice President Mary Arocha was honored Sept. 15 at a meeting of the Richmond Hill YMCA Board of Managers, who thanked her for 11 years of tireless work and enthusiasm.

Arocha leaves the Richmond Hill branch to lead the Liberty County, McIntosh County, and Golden Isles (Brunswick) YMCA. 

Krista Phillips, formerly membership director for the West Chatham Y in Pooler, assumes the duties of Richmond Hill branch director.

According to the organization, YMCA membership is down due to COVID-19 and with a reduction in revenue, many branch and program directors have been laid off or furloughed. The vice-presidents, such as Arocha, will work harder, with more branches and responsibilities.

“This is the arrangement for now, but it may change in six months to a year,” Arocha said, “and the YMCA will bring back some of the people who have been furloughed.”

“I will greatly miss working with my friend, Mary Arocha,” said board chairman Lee Ergle. “She is the face of our Y in the Richmond Hill community. It will be hard for us to rebrand our Y, but we wish Mary the best, as all of the branches work to rebuild and fill the needs of our communities.”

The Richmond Hill YMCA has 60 percent of its membership back and active again, according to Ergle. “Mary says we’ve taken cleanliness past the CDC guidelines with cleaning the equipment by a staff member after each use, and with closing down the Y midday for cleaning. All Y’s greet their members at the door with hand sanitizer, a thermometer check, and a series of questions.”

The all-time high for membership units at the Richmond Hill YMCA was 1,500-1,800, Ergle said. The current facility on Thunderbird Drive was opened in October 2009 with 250 members.

“Quality leadership, innovative ideas and a people person,” is how board member Steve Scholar described Arocha. 

“Mary brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and a desire to be as positive of an influence on the local YMCA branch and her team during this time of uncertainty,” said Chris Barr, finance director. 

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