According to a release distributed Monday, the agreement calls for a 30-day transition period, with the Y taking full ownership and management effective September 19.
The Capital Gazette reported that dues for the Arnold Big Vanilla's nearly 9,000 members will not increase.
The Big Vanilla originally opened in Arnold in 1977 as a tennis and racquetball club. Since its inception, Big Vanilla has transformed into a multi-purpose, family-focused, sports, wellness and recreational club.
The Y will continue to provide high-quality programs and membership experiences while maintaining a commitment to the community and dedication to promoting a health-centered lifestyle, which Big Vanilla and the Y share as common values.
There will be several changes made to align the center with the Y’s quality standards (in effect in all Family Center Ys across the region) and to reflect the Y’s core mission. The changes include special member discounts on youth development programs, scholarships for those who can otherwise not afford Y services, opportunities for volunteerism, access to the entire network of Family Center Ys throughout Central Maryland and many free programs, services, special events and activities.
The Y currently operates four summer camps and eight before and after school enrichment program sites in Anne Arundel County. With the addition of the Greater Annapolis Family Center Y, the Y will now have a hub from which to fully deliver Y programs and services that support its charitable mission and provide full access to Y services for the surrounding community.
As part of the transition process, current staff of the Arnold location will be offered the opportunity to become Y employees and it is the Y’s desire that they will decide to stay on and join the Y team.
“The Y and Big Vanilla share many of the same values. This was a great opportunity to join forces with an organization that is community-centric and will continue to support families in the area,” said Larry Ray, owner of Big Vanilla Athletic Clubs in Arnold and Pasadena in a release. “As someone who has been in the health and wellness business for a very long time, I have a great deal of respect for the Y and I know that I am leaving the business I built in the hands of an organization that will do good for the community.”
Ray will continue to oversee operations at Big Vanilla’s Pasadena location.