Support the Whitin Community Center

For over ninety-eight years, the Whitin Community Center trustees, corporators, staff, members, donors, and volunteers have been steadily building community in the Blackstone Valley by providing comprehensive fitness and recreational programming, outreach programs, and community support. The Whitin Community Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Enthusiastically embraced by the public since 1922, the Whitin Community Center (George Marston Whitin Memorial Community Association, Inc) is indeed a local treasure for families, youth, young adults, and seniors alike. The WCC remains the most comprehensive fitness and recreational facility for all ages, fitness levels, and socio-economic backgrounds in the Blackstone Valley. An active participant in the community, the Whitin Community Center established and operates a free youth outreach program, provides community support to local and regional organizations, and offers many annual community events. These programs and efforts to benefit our community are funded entirely by donations. The Whitin Community Center does not receive financial support from the town, state or federal governments.

MISSION: The Whitin Community Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of families and individuals and to building a strong community in the Blackstone Valley.

Annual Operating Fund

Every gift matters as we strive to ensure a healthier, happier, and brighter future for our community.

Your generous fully tax-deductible gifts to the Annual Fund Drive serve as the primary means of raising unrestricted dollars for the Whitin Community Center’s annual operating budget. Individual donors continue to provide the most significant source of that support. Your gifts provide critical support of the Whitin Community Center’s core mission activities including free youth outreach programming, special events open to the community, Camp Whitin camperships, and affordable membership rates for children in need in our community. Our donors make it possible for us to welcome members of the Blackstone Valley community to participate in a wealth of healthy living activities.

Gifts to the WCC are also a great way to honor or memorialize a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion.

Corporate Matching Gifts double, sometimes triple your gift. Many corporations have matching gift programs for their employees, retirees, and board members that will double and, in some cases triple, the portion of your gift that is tax- deductible. Contact your employer for details.

Your financial support of our non-profit organization is very much appreciated.

A Message From The Executive Director

Let me start by saying we are grateful that you are part of the extended Whitin Community Center family and that we hope you and your family are safe and well.
It is nearly impossible to summarize what we have been through as an organization in the past year and a half as I am sure it is for all of you. However, we are resilient because of our team and all of you. Rather than focus on all the challenges, I want to talk about how we realized what it means to build a strong community.
It was made clear that our community depends on us. At the peak of the pandemic, parents entrusted us with their children. They trusted us to keep their children safe while they went back to work to provide essential services. Our amazing educators cared for the families and children as they transitioned from isolation, full remote, hybrid, and then back to in-person learning. We treated everyone with the care and respect we would give to our own families including personal phone calls to check in on our seniors. So many of our members and families in our care were so grateful to return to the WCC and shared how much they missed us.
Our community was there when we needed it the most. We could not have survived the past year without the support of our donors, partners, and neighbors including so many of you. The grants from foundations and state organizations were invaluable in enabling us to support our staff and the individuals and families in our care. Without the PPP loans, we would have had to lay people off. The donations from businesses and individuals like you enabled us to provide for people in need in our community through our Youth Outreach programs and scholarships.
Our community is counting on us to be here in the future. There is a youth mental health crisis going on in our community, region, state, and nation. We have children in our care, as young as elementary school, who have threatened suicide and self-harm. Over 40% of our students at the Rockdale Youth Center have diagnoses of anxiety or depression, that doesn’t include the many who are undiagnosed or the countless adults and seniors who are also suffering in our community. To provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone at the WCC, we must also improve our infrastructure and expand our programming. In less than 2 years, we will turn 100 years old.
Many have said that the WCC and its Blackstone Valley Children’s Place, Youth Outreach, and Camp Whitin staff and programs are gifts to the community. I couldn’t agree more. This is why we must continue to raise money.
Thank you for being there when we needed you the most. We ask for your continued support to be here in the future for the people who need us and to continue to make our whole community resilient – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Heather Elster
Executive Director

BE THE ONE - To Turn Dreams Into Reality


A glimpse into the incredible impact stories from some of our Members, Blackstone Valley Children’s Place Parents, Staff, and the Rockdale Youth Center.

BE THE ONE - To Turn Dreams Into Reality

Charles E. Thompson
Director, Whitin Community Center 1974-2007
I was asked to share why I choose to give to the Whitin Community Center and it brought to mind one of my favorite moments.

BE THE ONE - To Inspire Change

I was asked to share why the Whitin Community Center is so important to me and I have created a video on how the WCC has helped me reach my goals and inspire change.
Joe Domenech, WCC Member since 2016

BE THE ONE - To Make A Difference

Jennifer Castro
Assistant Outreach Director, Whitin Community Center
Our Rockdale Youth Center students wanted to share why it is so important to “Be The One” from their point of view, and here are their stories!

BE THE ONE - To Ensure Critical Life Saving Training Continues

In 2014, Denise, Aquatics Director at the WCC, was thrown into action using her knowledge of life saving skills to perform CPR on my best friend and husband at the pool. This is why it is so important to be the one to give, so critical life-saving training can continue! Here is my story.
Tracy Sherman, WCC Member

BE THE ONE - To Give Back!

Heather Elster Executive Director, Whitin Community Center 
The Whitin Community Center is more than just a fitness center, we are a philanthropic organization that teaches and encourages the youth in our programs the importance of giving back to the community. Here are just a few of the student leadership projects we’ve worked on this year.

BE THE ONE - To Give Parents Peace Of Mind!

Kim Reed, BVCP Parent
I was asked to share why the Whitin Community Center & Blackstone Valley Children’s Place are so important to our family. Here is my story.

BE THE ONE - To Provide Seniors With Socialization Instead Of Isolation

August Scarglia, Silver Sneakers WCC Member
Monique Boucher-Adams, Director of Outreach asked me to share how I learned about the Whitin Community Center and what keeps me coming after all these years. Here is my story!


We know that the demand on your limited sponsorship dollars is significant.  We appreciate your consideration and commitment to our organization.

As such, our sponsorship program can offer you:

  • Advertising in our program schedules.
  • Exposure on banners, t-shirts, posters, constant contact, and/or social media.
  • Marketing opportunities via booth at an event.
  • Tickets To Events for Family, Friends, or Employees VIP Treatment.

As a local, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, we treat your sponsorship as an investment in our community.  We use the money we raise to:

  • Cover the costs of the free community events & programs.
  • Offer membership and camp scholarships and reduced child care for children and families with financial need in our community.
  • Re-invest in improving the community center in our quest to meet our mission.

If you have any questions or are ready to discuss further, please contact our Executive Director, Heather Elster, at 508.234.8184 ext 112 or

We can do so much more together to impact the lives in our community!

Thank You - For All You Do!

90th Anniversary