There is no other nonprofit quite like the Y. The belief that real change can only come about when we all work together. That is why the Y works every day, side by side with our neighbors and community leaders, to help move people and communities forward. And the Y couldn’t do it without every donor, member, volunteer, or staff member, working together to strengthen the very fabric of our Frederick Community! We are Stronger Together! 

At the Y’s annual Endowment Dinner, they recognize a Philanthropist of the Year. This year the event was held virtually in September, and recognized and celebrated the charitable contributions of Frederick County resident Chris Smariga!

Chris is a humble man with the soul of a servant. He has served the Y for more than 20 years including as Chairman of the Board. Chris served on the Board during an integral time for Strategic Planning. Chris hand-picked the search committee for a new CEO, and thanks to him, the committee, and their vision, the Y has been blessed with Chris Colville at the helm for the past eight years.

According to Luke 12:48, “From everyone to whom much was given, much will be expected. From the one who was entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” And as President and CEO of Harris Smariga, Chris has been blessed with the skills and the team to provide the knowledge and insight in civil engineering and land development to turn the South County Family YMCA into a reality. The YMCA was gifted the land the current South County Family YMCA is being built on and for nearly 15 years it sat and Chris pushed and prodded to move from paper to brick and mortar!

It’s said the more things change, the more they stay the same; this is certainly true of the YMCA. The challenges will change, the programs and services will continue to evolve, but their unwavering willingness and ability to support our communities will always be at the core of the Y. At the Y, strengthening our community is our cause.

Should you or a loved one be interested in learning more about planned giving options at the YMCA of Frederick County, please contact Tom Clingman at (301) 663-5131 or

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