When Dan Dummermuth started at the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region a decade ago, he brought a wealth of experience with him.
Dummermuth has worked at YMCAs for 27 years, starting at the Valley of the Sun YMCA in Phoenix, then moving to the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. When he found the position as President/CEO of the YMCA in Colorado Springs, he knew he was home.
“Colorado feels like home even though I grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D.,” he said. “Our family loves this community and all it has to offer.”
Dummermuth received an undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University and a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota. He recently took time to answer a few questions for the CSBJ.
What separates the YMCA from other nonprofits? What is your overall mission?
The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Y is community-centered and yet also has a global reach with YMCAs in 119 countries. We mobilize communities to effect lasting, meaningful change. The YMCA strengthens more than 10,000 communities across the United States through our pillars of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the country, 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to support neighbors.
We know that lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together. At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
How do you work to reach that mission?
Our board of directors, made up of a cross-section of dedicated community leaders, set our strategic vision and priorities. Our valued staff and program volunteers deliver a wide-variety of programs and services to more than 60,000 members and more than 11,000 program participants of all ages, interests and abilities.
In 2012, we awarded more than $1.4 million in financial assistance for children, families and seniors to access much needed YMCA programs and services. On an annual basis, a dedicated group of volunteer campaigners help us raise funds to provide financial assistance to those in need, and hundreds of donors’ contributions enable us to provide needed programs and services to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.
The Y currently provides programs and services through five full-service facilities: Downtown, Garden Ranch, Briargate, Southeast and Tri-Lakes. We have a YMCA facility in Fountain provided to us through a strong collaboration with Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. We manage the recreation centers for the neighborhood communities of Meridian Ranch and Cordera, and also operate the city’s year-round indoor aquatic centers, Memorial Park Recreation Center and Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, in addition to the city’s outdoor aquatic centers at Monument Valley, Wilson Ranch, Portal and Prospect Lake Beach House. Since 1948, we have been serving kids and families at Camp Shady Brook with outdoor adventures/education and values clarification. We also provide before-and- after-school child care in five school districts at 15 sites.
What’s your favorite program at the Y?
I would have to say YMCA membership — as all of our programs are vehicles for us to enhance the lives of individuals and families. In most cases, people come to the Y for a specific reason, but end up gaining so much more. They develop many friendships, a deeper sense of community, are introduced to new interests and have opportunities to give back to their community.
Another great part about the Y is that we’re here to serve people of all ages, races and abilities. People engage with the Y at different stages of their lives: as a child, teen, new parent, empty-nester, senior. What they all find is the same welcoming organization that meets and exceeds their needs no matter where they are on their health journey with programs and events that nourish their spirit, mind and body.
What does the future hold?
The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region has been serving our community for more than 135 years. I believe our long-term success is largely due to our ongoing commitment to maintaining our relevancy in addressing the changing needs of our community over the years and yet never straying away from our mission. We also will remain committed to partnering with other organizations to continue to make positive impact and make our community an even greater place.
One of our charges we have as a charitable nonprofit organization is to ease the burdens on government. Some examples of this is the Y operating the city’s aquatic recreation facilities, our collaboration with the military post and bases in delivering YMCA Armed Services programs and events tailored specifically for military personnel and their families, and 21st Century Learning Centers for teens at our Southeast and Fountain locations. We are honored to be trusted with the delivery of these services and value the on-going partnership we have throughout the community.
The health care industry is changing rapidly and it is more important than ever that the Y continue to focus on holistic wellness. Once again the Y is playing an important role by partnering with Penrose-St. Francis to provide integrated programming at the Tri-Lakes Community Health Village that will open to the Monument community in late fall 2014. When you combine the wellness programs we bring along with the medical services from Penrose-St. Francis and the other tenants in the building, it will provide a full circle of care that includes preventive health, treatment and follow-up care, all from one central hub.
With the help of a variety of health care providers and specialists, we have the opportunity to make wellness more understandable, accessible and effective to those we serve. I believe this concept will be replicable in our other operations in the Pikes Peak Region and throughout the country.