Jim Cabrera deserves credit for making the YMCA a thriving institution again

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

I want to take a moment to recognize Jim Cabrera for his remarkable work as chairman of the board of directors of the YMCA for the past four years, especially the last two that I have had the privilege to serve under Jim.

Today, once again, the YMCA is a growing, integral part of our community because of the work Jim has done.

Not too long ago, the YMCA looked more like an abandoned construction site than a place to exercise and enrich young lives. As we all know, the construction and expansion of the YMCA had started, ran way over budget and then halted before the project was complete. But Jim stepped into the chairman position when everyone else was running away.

He worked tirelessly to secure financing and complete the entire project, which was an almost impossible feat. Today, the YMCA is moving forward, as Jim likes to say, into the next 100 years debt-free and ready to serve the Greenwich community.

Jim is not shy about telling everyone how proud he is that the YMCA has a balanced budget and that membership is on the rise, bringing in new revenues and enabling us to improve our facility and programming without accumulating any debt. However, Jim is very shy when it comes to taking the credit he deserves. I believe he deserves a big thank-you for working quietly and persistently behind the scenes to reclaim one of Greenwich’s treasures and securing it as one of the icons of our community.

Recently, Jim has stepped down as board chair but of course he is still actively involved with the YMCA, remaining on the board. Sandy Waters is our new chairperson. Sandy will be a fantastic chairperson and I know the YMCA will reach new heights because of her leadership. Thank you, Jim, for believing enough in the YMCA when so many did not. Thank you for putting in the time and effort, for providing great leadership during a time of great doubt and for leaving behind a legacy that will be built upon by our new board chair, Sandy Waters.

Our town and the thousands of Greenwich residence who use the YMCA every month owe you a great deal of gratitude for your service and commitment to our community.


Stephen Paletta

The author is a member of the YMCA’s board of directors.

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