GAINESVILLE - Between bankruptcy and multiple leadership changes in the past year, the North Central Florida YMCA has fallen on hard times.
A new CEO is bringing new energy and ideas to the longtime community center.
John Bonacci will simply have to make every dollar work harder than they have in the past.
He helped turn around the "Big Brothers Big Sisters" program and now faces a similar challenge with the YMCA.
"I think things are starting to change for the better," said Jim McMillian.
McMillan has been coming to this YMCA for the past 12 years.
He doesn't like to think about what he would have to do if the YMCA closed.
Three locations were force to shut down since the organization filed for bankruptcy.
"You know we would have to get another membership and it would cost us more money," said McMillian.
Bonacci said he is trying his best to keep the two remaining YMCA locations open; one in Northwest Gainesville and the other in Archer.
"My goal here is to save as much of our services and programs that I can and continue to provide a more fiscally-responsible way of doing business," Bonacci said. "Operating a non-profit as it if were a for profit business."
He is expanding services and programs by including dance, cheer leading, gator game day, mom's night out, massage therapy and the list goes on.
"The little projects that I am talking are taking use of are existing resources making use of the economy of scale. Our existing staff can do these things. We have the facility already in place to offer these programs," said Bonacci.
As for other programs that may cost some money, Bonacci said he hopes they will bring more money.
"The idea is that with a small investment we are going to have ongoing significant revenue added to the book, which will then be invested for more projects," said Bonacci.
He is not planning on reopening facilities at the old locations, but he is hoping to expand the services and programs into those communities.
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