Hawaii Island YMCA hoping to get back in black in 2014


The Island of Hawaii YMCA is hoping to get back in the black this year following significant cuts to its programs in 2013.

The nonprofit organization in Hilo suspended its child care programs last year while facing a $400,000 deficit.

As a result of the cuts, Bobby Stivers-Apiki, who took over as interim CEO on Wednesday, told Stephens Media Hawaii the YMCA is down to four staff positions.

“We had maybe 25 at one point,” he said.

With the loss of child care programs — including Y Tots preschool, School Age Child Care and Y Teen — the YMCA is promoting “Healthy Lifestyle and Social Responsibility,” its “pinnacle program,” according to a press release.

It includes its “Nothing Fancy. Just Feel Good” fitness center with a personal trainer available, Zumba classes and a strength and cardio fitness center for adults.

Volunteer fitness instructors are being sought.

The YMCA is continuing its supervised visitation program for children with separated parents.

Stivers-Apiki attributed the YMCA’s deficit to a decrease in membership and competition for services.

He said it will likely continue to operate at a loss for the first half of the year but he is hoping to turn it around afterward.

Stivers-Apiki said the YMCA is looking at new programs to increase revenue, but he wasn’t ready to discuss details.

The YMCA operates at 300 West Lanikaula St. in Hilo.

Previously, it had centers in Waimea and Kailua-Kona.

Stivers-Apiki said the Waimea location closed in 2009. The Kailua-Kona location, downgraded to a “program center,” closed in October, he said.

“Our mission is still solid and we will still serve our community,” he assured.

The YWCA of Hawaii Island also made cutbacks recently by closing its pool.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.