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Financial struggles nearly forced the North Central Florida YMCA to close in December 2016. A grassroots fundraising effort, spearheaded by former CEO John Bonacci, generated the minimum of $1.2 million to keep the organization afloat.

Former CEO Sues North Central Florida YMCA Over Breach of Contract

In his suit, John Bonacci claims the YMCA's board failed to raise thousands of dollars in donations for the organization, which ultimately kept Bonacci from receiving his pay.

The former CEO of the North Central Florida YMCA, Gainesville, Florida, is suing the nonprofit and nine of its board members for an alleged breach of contract, according to a report by local ABC affiliate WCJB 20.

John Bonacci resigned from his post in September 2017 and has been temporarily replaced by interim CEO Rusty Black while the Y continues its nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

In his suit, Bonacci claims the Y's board failed to raise thousands of dollars in donations for the organization, which ultimately kept Bonacci from receiving his guaranteed pay.

After years of financial struggles, the Y announced it would close in December 2016; however, a grassroots fundraising effort raised the necessary funds—$1.2 million—to keep the organization afloat.

"I have spent the last four and a half years fighting for the fresh start that this funding would provide, and I am not ready to throw in the towel yet,” Bonacci said in an online statement during the fundraising effort. “With a little help, we can ensure that the YMCA continues to serve the Gainesville people.”

In 2014, the Y collected $1.2 million in fees and dues and spent $1.6 million on operations, according to That year Bonacci also earned a salary of $75,509 as well as $10,116 in additional compensation. No board members are paid.

Bonacci joined the Y after running Big Brothers Big Sisters for five years, according to The organization closed in 2015.

The Y first filed for Chapter 11 restructuring bankruptcy in 2011 after accumulating $9 million in debt. The nearly 50-year-old facility serves 5,000 members, and its amenities include a swimming pool, personal training, and yoga and Zumba classes

TAGS: Nonprofits
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