The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Monday, February 26, 2018 that the Downeast Family YMCA will receive the Top Drawer Award at the Chamber's Annual Meeting on May 17, 2018.

The Top Drawer Award is the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce's highest honor, given to a business, organization or individual who has made a substantial contribution to the growth, development and improvement of the City of Ellsworth, county or state. The Top Drawer Award, has been present annually since 1980. The award is in fact a miniature chest of drawers, designed and built by a local craftsman to fit the business being honored.

In a press release, Gretchen Wilson, the Executive Director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce stated "We are thrilled with the selection of the Y this year. Their history and continued growth in the community and county has given so much to families. I am not sure where we would be without so many of their events and programs!"

The YMCA  was first organized in 1961, 57 years ago, as the East Central District YMCA under the Maine State YMCA. In January 1986, the Y separated from the Maine State YMCA, becoming its own entity and changing its name to the Downeast Family YMCA. In 1990 the facility opened at its present location on State Street in Ellsworth.

Thru the start of the new century the Y began leasing and then purchasing land on Webb pond for their Camp Discovery. They also moved their after school program out of the YMCA building to the vacated Gen Bryant E Moore School.  With the renovation into a new community center, the Y expanded programs and leased space to Friends in Action.  It also began partnerships in both the Blue Hill and Bucksport communities for satellite fitness and recreation programs. Blue Hill announced the building of an expanded facility that the Down East Family YMCA will manage once completed.  In 2017 the Y and Jackson Lab partnered to establish another childcare facility, on Beechland road for the expansion of Jackson lab jobs into Ellsworth.  The Beechland Road Early Learning Center opened in November of 2017.

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