Recent news from the Valdosta-Lowndes County YMCA may not have sounded positive, but it represents a step in the right direction as the institution tries to recover from a bad situation.

Executive Director Nicky Tampas, who has been with the Y since 1977, resigned Friday at the request of the organization's board of directors. Tampas had been on mandatory administrative leave with pay since March 12.

The resignation comes more than two months after the board started a probe into the institution's finances. Discrepancies between bank statements and internal documents are still being investigated. An auditor's report is expected in a couple weeks.

Although a bookkeeping employee was fired and the FBI is investigating, no one has been charged with any crime.

The discovery process is slow, but we urge the public, especially members, to continue support for the YMCA during this time. The decision to move on without Tampas was difficult, but board members felt it was necessary, board Chairman John Davis said.

While waiting for reports and audits to be completed, the YMCA board continues to act in its advisory role with an acting director in charge of daily operations.

The YMCA is an integral part of our community, serving numerous individuals and families.

Its membership is diverse, and many of its programs and services go beyond fitness and recreation to include after-school care and other programs such as the Challenger League.

The philosophy of the YMCA is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy body, mind and spirit.

We hope the board and its supporters will be able to resolve the recent fiscal problems so that the YMCA can continue its important tasks.

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