Sarasota YMCA


[SARASOTA, Fla. December 19, 2017]– The Sarasota Family YMCA is pleased to announce the award of $10,000 from the Bank of America Client Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee. The Y will use the funds to invest in the HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program. These generous contributions from Bank of American Client Foundation will improve the lives of children, families and individuals to create lasting change in the community.

HIPPY provides free, in-home parent and child engagement to families facing overwhelming poverty. The program helps lay the foundation for reaching grade level reading proficiency and achieving academic success and serves as an excellent early educational program for preschool age children. Since 1992, HIPPY has been serving a targeted population of families in Sarasota areas with the greatest economic, social and educational challenges.


About Sarasota YMCA:

THE SARASOTA YMCA is a nonprofit committed to strengthening the community through youth development by nurturing the potential of every child and teen; healthy living by improving the community’s health and well-being; and social responsibility by giving back and providing support to our neighbors. Every day, we work to make sure that everyone regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For more information visit or call 941.951.2916.

Proclamation declares May as Water Safety Month

The County Commissioners of Sarasota County presented Sarasota YMCA representatives a proclamation declaring May as Water Safety Month. The YMCA was recognized for being a community leader in preventing drowning, the leading cause of unintentional injury and death for children ages 1-4 in Florida, through water-safety awareness and education.

Sarasota YMCA Names Laura Gilbert President and CEO

The Sarasota YMCA Chairman Paul Bowman announced today the appointment of Laura Gilbert to President and Chief Executive Officer after serving as the interim President and CEO since October 2016. Gilbert will continue to guide the operations of the Y while strategically planning for future growth. As a 20 year employee of the Sarasota YMCA, Gilbert has served the Y in many capacities including Director of Contracts, VP of Operations and Interim President and CEO.

Gilbert is the first woman to lead the organization in this role in its 71-year history. “It is an honor to become the next President and CEO of the Sarasota YMCA,” said Gilbert. “This association is known as a leader in ground breaking social impact programs and innovative collaborations across the Y movement. Continuing that tradition and implementing new programs and partnerships that meet the needs of the communities we serve is our primary focus.”

In making the announcement, Bowman stated, “Laura has proven herself to be a strong leader, relationship builder and collaborator.” He continued, “She has worked side-by-side with staff, community stakeholders and membership throughout her Y career.” He concluded, “The YMCA is confident that Laura’s leadership will result in the continued success of the many programs and services provided to over 50,000 people in our community each year, from health and wellness programs to Foster Care and Adoptions.”

A graduate of Florida State University, Gilbert earned her MBA at St. Leo University and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. She is also a member of The Association of YMCA Professionals, North American YMCA Development Organization and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.