In a joint statement from the La Porte County Family YMCA Board of Directors and CEO, Laurie A. Halaska, an  announcement was made that shared Halaska is stepping down from her position, effective September 9th.

“I have been honored to be a representative for our La Porte YMCA.  My passion for the Y’s mission combined with the legacy and support of our La Porte Y has made the past five years a true gift,” Halaska said in the release. “This was a very difficult decision for me; however, I have other pursuits which require my commitment and I believe it is good timing for the organization to bring in a change of leadership as the Y looks forward to the future.

“I will continue to assist in any way that I can to move the organization forward and will work to help those who continue to serve our La Porte YMCA’s 114-year mission. I am truly blessed to have witnessed the many lives that have been positively impacted by the La Porte County Family YMCA but most importantly to me, the Y staff, who are truly dedicated to the Y’s Mission, are second to none.”

Dawn Zigler, the board president, stated, “from my volunteer perspective and the fact that I have worked with Laurie for the past five years, Laurie embodies the core values of our YMCA: honesty, caring, respect and responsibility.  Laurie should be credited for advancing the work of the YMCA in significant ways”.

Halaska reinforces Zigler words by speaking about some of the many accomplishments of the La Porte County Family YMCA during her tenure.

“In the past five years, membership has grown 20% as our communities seek to claim or reclaim their health,” Halaska said. She also stated, “Last year, we started our free swim lessons to fourth graders.  We do this in our aim to reduce youth drownings and to build confidence in our youth



throughout La Porte County.  However, what makes these lessons different is that each student receives a free swimsuit, goggles, towel, and swim bag. This is an important benefit as this allows for any student, regardless of their families’ financial situation, to fit in with other students.  One more example is the expansion to offer our Y’s 11-week summer day camp to our Michigan City branch. Through this program, like all the others we offer, we touch the lives of dozens of children and families who don’t have the financial ability to provide a wholesome experience.   All of our programs, whether it’s in wellness, sports, camp, aquatics or special events have grown exponentially and have impacted hundreds of people throughout our County and that again, is all attributed to the hard work of our Y team!

Zigler noted, “We are utilizing the support of the YMCA’s national office to assist in conducting a national search for our next CEO. To give us proper time to vet potential candidates we have engaged an interim director that will fill the gap between Laurie’s departure and the identification of a new CEO.”