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Happy to Be Here: Building Mosaic Walls


When he arrived at the Central Bucks YMCA as the new director, Zane Moore did not have a crystal ball. He could not imagine what the future would bring.

Today, he is president and chief executive officer of a unified group that includes five branches since the recent merger of Quakertown, Lower Bucks, Newtown and Warminster with Central Bucks.

There are also child care centers in Fairless Hills, Morrisville, New Britain, Newtown and Quakertown and an outdoor camp center in Holland. The Y added an after-school program in New Hope for this school year.

Together, they are named the YMCA of Bucks County. The annual budget is $2 million and the combined facilities employ more than 2,000 people.

In 2017, the Y launched a $20 million campaign to renovate and add to extensive network of pools and gyms and classrooms. After gathering millions of private pledges, the campaign “For a Better Us,” is into the public fundraising segment.

“We’re on the 20-yard line,” Moore said during a tour of the Doylestown Y last week.

Walk into the constantly buzzing Doylestown Y and you’ll see a table set up for pledges from members and visitors. Last week, Mosaic Week, there was a major push by staff, volunteers and board members to sell places on the Mosaic Wall growing along a corridor with high visibility. It’s a wall of colorful tiles bearing donors names.

The tiles come in sizes – small to large – based on the amount of a donation – $1,500 to $10,000, to be paid over two years.

With Doylestown membership more than 13,000, Moore says, the building is at capacity.

Donations for the Mosaic Wall will help fund a new addition that answers needs of many in the community – a 3,445-square-foot addition to the 8,807-square-foot fitness center, a spin studio and additional program space and locker rooms.

The universal locker rooms are specially designed with changing rooms, toilets and showers to accommodate special needs individuals, some with prosthetics, who need more private spaces than the Y currently provides.

The universal locker rooms will also have improved changing spaces for families.

The addition’s second floor will be held for future programming.

The idea of the fund drive, Moore said, is to build without incurring debt. That’s because the YMCA gives so much away.

The Y has been able to help families and individuals of all ages with subsidized memberships and programs for those who need them most but cannot afford them.

Financial assistance amounted to $2.1 million in 2018. It subsidized child care programs, camp, memberships (all seventh graders get free memberships). The Y also has programs for cancer wellness, diabetes prevention, veterans, olders and the second grade swimming program.

There are also programs for men and women with physical handicaps. And the Y provided free lunches to 1,380 students in 2018.

Paid memberships, special events, designated grants, donations and subsidies from the general operating budget and donations to the annual fund pay for all those services. The “Better Us” campaign is aimed at facilities.

In adition to the expansion of the Doylestown facility, the countywide YMCA is filling building needs at other locations.

The Newtown branch recently installed new state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment and wall televisions. New exercise classes have been added and the climate control and ventilation systems were upgraded.

Growing up, Moore was a member of he Lower Bucks YMCA, built in the 1960s as the communities of Levittown and Fairless Hills were growing, has needed renovation for some time. A 5,524-square-foot fitness center expansion plan includes state-of-the-art machines and space for the new partnership with NovaCare Rehabilitation.

The building is in for a facelift inside and out. Brand new locker rooms with changing stalls will be installed. The gymnasium, walking track and pool will be painted and an observation area will be added to the aquatics center. All will be ADA accessible.

Like the Doylestown Y, Fairless Hills is building a Mosaic Wall.

“The energy is very special here,” said Debbie Sontupe, chief development officer. “We are part of the fabric of the community.”

The YMCAs in Bucks County have come a long way, growing and changing as community needs and desires change. And the local communities have given their support, reminded that the mission is “to strengthen the community through membership and programs that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for all.”

To support the Community Mosaic contact Angela Jacobsen, regional director of development, at 215-348-8131 x1124, or