Meadville Tribune

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May 28, 2009

Meadville's YWCA changing name, mission

The YWCA of Meadville plans to soon have a new name and a mission all its own.

Executive Director Judy Ventresca and the Board of Directors announced Thursday that the process of changing the organization’s name and ending its affiliation with the regional and national YWCA is now under way.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Ventresca said the structure of the organization will remain the same. “The only thing that is changing is our name,” she wrote. “We will continue to have the free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, Martin Luther King Dinner and Program, the Annual Tribute to Women, and other events that have made the YWCA of Meadville a pillar in the community.”

The new name and mission statement are expected to be announced during the summer, wrote Ventresca, who has been in charge of the local YWCA since last July. “We look forward to continuing operations in Crawford and Venango counties.”

In addition to offering fitness facilities, classes and activities for the general public, the YWCA administers grants funding Child Care Information Service of Crawford County, CCIS of Venango County, Twin Creeks Head Start, Early Care in Education and RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Ventresca serves as both executive director and early care and education grant coordinator.

Earlier this week, Morris Waid, chairman of the Crawford County commissioners, said the commissioners have asked the state to take the county out of the funding loop for the Crawford CCIS grant. Waid, who was not available for comment Thursday, said last week that the county’s first choice would be for the grant to go directly from the state to the organization administering CCIS without “passing through” county offices.

A changing mission

According to Thursday’s statement, YWCA of Meadville’s decision to sever its ties with the national and regional YWCA is based on a change in the national organization’s mission statement and a dispute over dues charged by the regional YWCA.

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