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The Newport County YMCA has announced that they will be purchasing the land that their YMCA building is built on at 792 Valley Road in Middletown from the John Clarke Trust.

The announcement came from Newport County YMCA via their email newsletter and social media on Wednesday morning.

The Newport County YMCA provided the following press release on Thursday, November 1st;

Newport County YMCA and The John Clarke Trust announce the execution of a Purchase and Sales Agreement on the 8 acres of land at 792 Valley Road in Middletown

The Board of Directors of the Newport County YMCA and the Trustees of The John Clarke Trust have agreed to the sale of the Y’s current site after a period of discussions revolving around the upcoming end of their 50-year land lease dating to 1974. The Agreement will allow the Newport County YMCA to continue serving the Newport County community at its Valley Road location and will allow the Y to pursue expansion and renovation opportunities that will better serve the community for decades to come. The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2018.

The Newport County YMCA has been serving Newport County since 1878. The YMCA is recognized as the country’s leading nonprofit and is committed to strengthening communities through three focus areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Newport County YMCA has over 6,000 members that range in age from birth to 85 years or older. Serving men, women, children and families of all ages, ethnic origins, religious affiliations, and socio-economic levels in Newport County, with a primary service area of Aquidneck Island. With programs that range from athletics to advocacy, dance classes to disease prevention, volleyball to volunteerism – “We’re more than a Gym, We’re a Cause.” The Newport County YMCA is committed to reducing financial barriers to participation and no one is turned away due to an inability to pay program or registration fees. The Y’s purpose is basic: to improve the quality of life of their members, families and community through meaningful health, wellness, and educational programs. The Newport County YMCA has been striving for 140 years not to be a community center, but rather, the center of the community.

The John Clarke Trust, established upon the death of John Clarke in 1676, is the oldest charitable trust in the United States. His will instructed that the trust be created “for the relief of the poor or bringing up of children unto learning from time to time forever”. Every year, the John Clarke Trust donates thousands of dollars to social service and educational institutions throughout southeastern New England. The 8-acre parcel of land on Valley Road has been an asset of the Trust for over 340 years.

“After several meetings and discussions over many months, it became apparent to the Trustees of the John Clarke Trust that the Newport County YMCA mission is very much in line with the John Clarke Trust mission regarding our community’s poor and the welfare of children in general.  The YMCA has been an excellent steward of this land over the past 50 years and they continue to maximize the philanthropic value of the land to the benefit of our Newport County community. The sale of the land to the YMCA is a logical collaboration of our two organizations’ mutual efforts to continue to serve our community.” John Clarke Trustee, William W. Corcoran, Esq.  

“The Board of Directors of the Newport County YMCA is eternally grateful to the Trustees of The John Clarke Trust for seeing the importance of the YMCA’s mission in this community and agreeing to sell the land upon which our aging and expansive building has been sitting since the

mid 1970’s. This purchase will allow the Y to now concentrate on an expansion and renovation plan for our building, which will better serve the community as the Y moves forward with its vision,” Lee Merrill, Board Chair, Newport County YMCA.

The vision for the Newport County YMCA was articulated by one if it’s first Board Chairs, in the late 1800’s, “The Y’s members are friends who have watched the wants of our city most closely and agree that we undertake nothing better than to furnish common meeting places for our members to promote sociability and general acquaintance by proper means, to make abundant provision for such recreation and exercises as health of body and mind demands”.

“Every day people of all ages and all walks of life come together at Newport County YMCA to grow healthier and stronger in spirit, mind, and body. We’ve been proud to help our neighbors learn, grow, and thrive for 140 years. Through this purchase, the Y can continue to meet the needs of our community members,” Mike Miller, CEO, Newport County YMCA.

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