Last month, the Merrimack Valley YMCA held its 143rd Annual Meeting at the Vault in Lawrence. With over 160 attendees, YMCA staff and volunteers celebrated the accomplishments of the organization in its last fiscal year, especially the initiatives that the YMCA and its community were able to achieve together.

A highlight of the evening was the Y’s Volunteer of the Year Awards. The awards are an opportunity for the Y to celebrate the achievements of all of its volunteers and to recognize specific volunteers for their outstanding participation and impact on the organization. This year’s award recipients were Enterprise Bank, George Fantini, Ruby Balborda, Sara Saldana, Mark Kristiansen, John Champagne, Donna Luisi and Tish Bachmann. As the Methuen YMCA’s award winner, Saldana has worked for the Methuen Y since 1998 and, even after retirement, has continued to volunteer countless hours to childcare, the Mobile Market, and anything else she do for the Y and the community! 

Members of the Board of Directors and Branch Boards were also sworn in. The night was filled with empowering conversation, impactful stories, and most of all, community.

For over 140 years, the Merrimack Valley YMCA has been a beacon of hope in Greater Lawrence. 2023 provided the Y the opportunity to further strengthen and expand its partnerships, which ultimately allowed it to serve more people. This year brought over 55,000 people together at the Y through membership, programs for children and teens, camp, and outreach services.

The Methuen YMCA is located at 129 Haverhill St. Find out more at