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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
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North Brandon Family YMCA welcomes new director

Darren Dannelly of Lakeland, former executive director of the YMCA’s Camp Cristina, has taken the helm of the North Brandon Family YMCA.

Dannelly has been involved with YMCA facilities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida for more than 15 years. He majored in human development and learning with a minor in special education at East Tennessee State University, where he played football and wrestled. He enjoys playing tennis, biking and running.

In 2009, he started leading the 65-acre Camp Cristina. In the five years he was there, the number of campers tripled from 157 to more than 460 per week, he said.

Recently, he and his wife, Coral Dannelly, welcomed their first child, Declan Jacob.

He said that becoming a father has given him an even greater understanding of the importance of communicating core values to children at a young age, enabling them to grow into sound teens and productive adults.

Becoming executive director of the North Brandon Family YMCA “is a tremendous opportunity to get involved with and impact the Brandon community,” Dannelly said in a telephone interview. “Our board, which represents the local community, will help me determine three critical causes to highlight here.”

One could be drowning prevention, he said, expanding the Go for Green! program for non-swimming campers that North Brandon Family YMCA already offers.

Other projects might be bringing more awareness to the free Livestrong program for cancer survivors or providing more services for special-needs children.

“We do so much here,” said Dannelly. “We need to ask, ‘Can we make it happen?’ and ‘How do we make it happen?’ The Y is a tremendous resource and I am excited to be a part of the impact we have in the Brandon community,” he said.

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