The Cumberland County and Northern York County YMCAs have announced that, effective on Monday, the organizations joined together to form the YMCA of Southern Maine.

The Northern York County Y of Biddeford will become a branch of The YMCA of Southern Maine, joining the Casco Bay branch in Freeport, Pineland branch in New Gloucester and Greater Portland branch in Portland.

The new arrangement will benefit people who go to all these YMCA facilities — the Y in Freeport included.

Previously, the Biddeford facility was not available to members of the Southern Maine group.

Helen Breña, chief executive officer of the new association, said Monday that people oftengotoaYinatown they’re working in.

“There’s a lot more overlap than we thought,” Breña said. “They can go to one branch with their families on the weekend and another on weekdays, if they work at that town.”

The announcement comes after thorough analysis and planning over many months. Last May, the two YMCAs entered into an agreement to share management resources. Based on the success of that initial partnership, the boards of both Ys voted to work towards a permanent unification.

“We are thrilled to be able to move forward as one, united association,” Breña said. “We entered into this process driven by the goal of determining how the YMCA could best serve our communities. This partnership will elevate our impact in all of the communities we serve in Cumberland and northern York counties.”

Scott Maker, Cumberland County YMCA board chairman, said the merger was “an incredible opportunity to enhance the Y in this area and advance our cause of strengthening community. By combining our resources and traditions, we will be able to more effectively address critical community needs in our focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We also will be able to offer an enhanced membership experience to our current and future members.”

In the coming months, the combined association will announce new resources and programming for each facility. Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the new association can be found at www.cumberlandcountyymca.org and www.nycymca.org.



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