Where is the Parity at the Muncie YMCA?

According to Webster’s dictionary, parity is defined as, “the quality or state of being equal or equivalent.” Based on my recent experience, I question whether the Muncie YMCA has this quality.

The 2nd annual Shamrock 5k/10k was this past weekend in Yorktown was an overwhelming success with over 260 participants walking, running, pushing strollers and wheelchairs, and walking dogs. There were a host of first time athletes proudly wearing their very first event shirt as a badge of honor.

It was Life Changing Finish Lines at its best with a whole family of beginners proclaiming they will do every event they can in 2012.

There were even firemen running in full fire gear!

The organization raised $1,000 for the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency (DCEMA) Volunteer programs.  We enjoy the partnership with DCEMA in producing numerous events throughout Delaware County each year. The volunteer race team, and host of individual volunteers, should be very proud of the outstanding event at Morrow’s Meadow.

An interesting issue arose after the event – a first time walker wanted to know why the information for this event, and all the other Muncie Multi-Sport (MMS) events, were not posted at any of the Muncie Family YMCA locations, including the Yorktown branch just up the road. MMS is hosting 17 events throughout Delaware County and Central Indiana in 2012.

My answer was honest, “None of our event literature is allowed in the YMCA facilities, and anytime our MMS volunteers take literature into the YMCA for members, our material is placed in the trash.

The athlete looked dumbfounded.

“What? Your kidding me right” was his response.

He then said, “Why would the Muncie YMCA not be interested in their own members becoming more fit, keeping them for a longer term, and improving their member satisfaction and retention helping their own bottom line?”

Good question.

So, why would the current leadership of our local YMCA not want to follow their own national program initiatives like Activate America, Pioneering Healthy Communities and one of our own leaders visionary concepts; EnduraFest, launched by our own Edward F. Ball and a long time YMCA Board of Director Chairman?

That’s right. What Muncie Multi-Sport has become is exactly what Mr. Ball wanted the old EnduraFest concept to become; local events year-long for beginners, advanced and veteran athletes alike. A place to start your fitness goals one step at a time and keep them active throughout the year.

Why would our local YMCA not want to support their own members becoming more fit? Why would the organization that launched, or gave overwhelming support to so many of our local legend’s; The Muncie Endurathon, the Y-Tri, The Muncie Marathon, The Muncie Mini-Marathon and Corporate Games to name a few, now decide to no longer encourage these types of events?

If the Muncie Family YMCA is a charity that is promoting health and wellness for our entire community, why are they limiting members access to local events?

According to a recent statement in the newspaper by one of the Y’s board member, the Y is about “parity”.

Well, according to Webster’s definition of parity and the exclusionary actions take by YMCA leadership over the past several years, I’d conclude there is no parity at our Muncie Family YMCA.

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Steven N. Tomboni

Steven Tomboni is the CEO of both America Multi-Sport, Inc. and Cardinal Aquatics & Wellness. He is a former Pres/CEO of the Putman County YMCA in Ottawa, OH and served as Executive Director of the Muncie Family YMCA. He also served as Race Director for the Muncie Endurathon before it sold to Ironman Triathlon.
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