The Lancaster Family YMCA, includes the City Center, pictured, and Lampeter-Strasburg YMCA branches, is merging Dec. 1 with the YMCA of York and York County to become "YMCA of the Roses."

The merger of the Lancaster Family YMCA and the YMCA of York and York County becomes official Dec. 1.

The new “YMCA of the Roses” combines two Y branches in Lancaster County and four in York County, all of which will retain their names. The new organization will have 30,000-plus members, a combined budget around $15 million, and more than 500 employees.

The move helps secure the future of the Lancaster Family YMCA, which had a brush with bankruptcy last year. A planned merger with the YMCA of Greater Brandywine in Chester County fell through shortly after Gov. Tom Wolf announced the state’s pandemic shutdown order in March 2020.

In June 2020, Lancaster Y board members made a public ask for donations in order to prevent a permanent closure of the organization. It was weighed down by nearly $6 million of debt stemming from, among other things, the construction of its City Center branch in Lancaster city and its Lampeter-Strasburg location in West Lampeter Township.

Before the pending merger with York, the Lancaster Family Y was able to cut down its debt by selling the land that hosts Camp Shand every year in Cornwall to Lebanon County.

Members at both YMCAs will automatically become members of the new association in the same category as they were before the merger. No significant changes are planned to programming or facilities although pricing may be adjusted to become consistent, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the YMCA of the Roses.

Larry Richardson, who has been the president/CEO of the YMCA of York and York County for over 27 years and the acting president/CEO of the Lancaster Family YMCA since September of 2020, will serve as the merged YMCA’s president/CEO. Each county will have its own director of operations although a single corporate office –based in York – will manage both counties.

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