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February 12, 2013 09:59 PM

YWCA Cutting Ties With National Organization

Sioux Falls, SD

The Sioux Falls YWCA is changing its name this spring. Beginning April 16, the YWCA will become an independent organization, cutting ties with the national YWCA.

The YWCA has been a Sioux Falls presence for 91 years. President and CEO Laurie Knutson said the change comes after years of discussion.

“This has been a conversation around the board table probably for the last ten years, and our current board has decided it is time,” Knutson said.

In a letter released Tuesday, Knutson and Board Chair Kris Attema said the YWCA is stepping away from the national organization, in part, to run local programs without limitations and keep local funds in the community.

“We're often talking about topics of interest to a lot of our organizations across the country, like domestic violence. That's not an issue for us as a YWCA. It's a topic we're concerned about, but it's a topic addressed by other agencies in our community,” said Knutson.

The two YWCA locations in Sioux Falls provide youth, children and women's programs along with health and wellness. Knutson said those programs will stay the same. She also said no staff will be lost as a result of the change.

“We have great momentum going as an organization right now. Our programs are strong; our services are strong. Our staff is strong.  Our financials are in really good shape, so it is a good time for us,” she said.

The change is effective April 16. A new name will be announced before then. YWCA leaders will talk more about the changes at the annual meeting next Thursday.

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