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YMCA Adds Members, Completes Renovations

By Tom Gacse, CEO, YMCA of Youngstown
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The three branches of the YMCA of Youngstown — Central downtown, Davis Family in Boardman and Camp Fitch on the shores of Lake Erie in Springfield, Pa. — enjoyed an exciting and impactful 2017.

The year began with a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the $5 million renovation of the Central Branch. Additional improvements completed over the course of last year included the renovation of the men’s Health and Fitness Division locker room and the women’s locker room.

As a result, membership increased at Central as well as the number of program offerings. Our downtown branch now offers 70 fitness classes: among them spinning, jump stretch, 12 rounds, TRX suspension training, yoga, kettlebells, zumba, kids fitness and aquarobics.

Through a partnership with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley and the Youngstown City Schools, more than 400 second- graders will come to the Central branch during the 2017-2018 school year and learn water safety.

At the Davis Family Y, our aquatic staff tested and certified as safe 2,675 children via our deep-water swim test.

Membership sales at Davis in 2017 surpassed 2016 – and this year is off to a great start.
The Davis Family Y also had a strong summer camp season in 2017, averaging 135 campers per day. The Davis Family Y Enrichment Camp had 1,304 campers, up 10% compared to 2016.

Also last year, the Davis Family Y offered 110 fitness classes every week as well as 33 aquatic classes.

The ARTreach program at Davis provided art experiences to 180 people in 2017, which included families, children at risk, seniors and individuals with special needs. Instructors from the Y go into the community to provide this impactful program that serves people from the Rescue Mission, Daybreak and the YWCA.

The Camp Fitch YMCA enjoyed one of the greatest years in its long and storied history.
Under the leadership of its new executive director, Matt Poese, Camp Fitch recorded a 20% increase in new campers while summer enrollment increased by 12%. A master site plan is being designed to accommodate future growth.

Also last year, the Y joined with the Cleveland Cavaliers to offer Jr. Cavs basketball leagues for youth. Players in the YMCA of Youngstown Jr. Cavs league were honored at Cavs pre-game events and played five-on-five basketball as the halftime entertainment during a Cavs game in November.

The Y’s Annual Campaign, which raises funds to provide financial assistance to children, families and individuals, surpassed its goal in 2017, raising more than $681,000. This enabled 368 kids to receive a summer camp experience and thousands of children, families and individuals were given the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Y membership.

One of 2017’s highlights centered on Nathan Taylor, a young man suffering from Blau Syndrome, which affects his joints, mobility and eyesight. The Y collaborated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Macy’s to grant Nathan’s wish of a YMCA of Youngstown membership.

An emotional ceremony was held Dec. 6 at Macy’s in the Eastwood Mall, followed by Taylor and his family joining Y staff for celebrations at Central and Davis. The occasion marked only the second time that any YMCA has collaborated with Make-A-Wish.

Finally, the Y introduced corporate memberships in 2017 and partnered with companies and organizations interested in promoting the health and wellness of their employees. Numerous organizations signed on for the benefits of corporate membership and the Y looks to expand those memberships in 2018.

Nationwide membership is now a benefit of belonging to the YMCA of Youngstown. Members have the flexibility to use participating Y facilities throughout the United States at no additional charge.

Editor’s Note: This story was published in The Business Journal’s Growth Report 2018. The 144-page edition features growth reports from more than 200 local businesses and organizations. It was published this week. If you are not a subscriber, CLICK HERE to purchase a copy or call Eileen Lovell at 330 744 5023 Ext. 1008.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.