The Westport Weston Family Y has hired Paul Bernetsky to serve as chief development officer. Bernetsky will oversee the Family Y’s “Building What Matters” capital campaign to fund and construct a new Y facility at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus, as well as the Strong Kids Campaign, the nonprofit charitable organization’s annual fundraising effort.
“We’re delighted to have Paul join our Family Y at such a pivotal point in our history,” says Rob Reeves, Family Y CEO. “We’ve raised $10.7 million over the past 19 months and are on track to break ground late this fall on Phase I of our new home at Mahackeno. We’ll still be partnering with our development consultants, Donor by Design, and the rest of our team of dedicated staff and volunteers. But now we’ll have a proven fundraising professional here every day working to keep our capital campaign moving forward and also to help grow our annual giving and endowment funds.”
Bernetsky, 51, has managed development campaigns and marketing programs for a variety of non-profits over the past 25 years, most recently St. Joseph High School in Trumbull. He has also served as executive director for Youth for the Third Millennium (Mission Youth) Inc., growing the organization from 60 youth members to more than 10,000 over a 10-year span. He began his career with the Boy Scouts of America, Inc., serving as a senior district executive, then field director.
“I’m most fortunate to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to working with Y leaders, members and other supporters as together we build a new Y facility that will allow the Family Y to continue to serve the community for generations to come,” says Bernetsky.
The Y has raised $34.3 million in funding to date, which includes the proceeds from the sale of its current home, built in 1923. The cost of the first phase of the new Y is $37.5 million. The Family Y’s campaign leaders are reaching out to the Westport and Weston communities to raise the remaining $3.2 million needed to build a 54,000 sq. ft. facility, which will feature two pools, a large, multi-purpose gymnasium, expansive Wellness Center, Child Watch/Kids’ Adventure Gym area, group fitness studios and other amenities of a modern, family-oriented Y. The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2014.
“We are optimistic that the recent progress we’ve made with fundraising will continue until we reach our goal of fully funding the first phase of our building project by the time construction starts,” said Reeves. “Paul will be instrumental in helping us achieve that goal and in ensuring the Y’s long-term success in future building phases as well as our ongoing charitable work on behalf of those in need throughout our community.”
Bernetsky received his B.A. in social work from Southern Connecticut State University and earned a masters degree in social work administration from Fordham University. A native of Watertown, Bernetsky and his wife, Bridget, have six children, and reside in Oxford. He can be reached at 203-226-8981, ext. 115, and [email protected]
For more information about the Family Y’s Building What Matters campaign, visit www.westporty.org.