Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Strengthening Community!

We recently asked participants in our aquatics classes how they feel about being a part of the Y and here is what your neighbors are saying:

"I love the philosophy at the Y [and] the multiple services to the community [it provides]!"
-Elizabeth Reece, 75, Mount Vernon

"I have two joint hip replacements and this exercise is very helpful. [I come to the Y] not only for exercise, but for meeting many wonderful friends!"
-Marion Larsen, 86, Mount Vernon

"The Y community is a great support individually and with classes and groups!"
-Janet, 67, Mount Vernon

"I can do so much more physically-more gracefully. When I look back, I am amazed at my gains and I thank Leanne and her predecessor for it all!"
-Susan May, 81, Burlington

Look for more YMCA stories from your neighbors here on the blog, newsletter, and Facebook!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lion's Club Food Drive Feeds Oasis Teens!

On Nov. 20, at several locations in the area the Lion's Club had a food drive to benefit the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter and the Skagit Domestic Violence Shelter. With your help, they raise more than 1,200 pounds of food and got quite a bit in cash donations!

According to Camille Danon, Oasis Teen Shelter Director, the shelter would not be able to provide as many meals to homeless youth without the Lion's Club food drive.

"Last year Oasis provided 5,322 meals to 129 youth," Danon said. "Without the support of the Lion's Club this would not be possible. Oasis has a very limited budget for purchasing fresh food. Because of that,  we rely on the non-perishable food donations that are provided in the food drive."

Thank you to everyone who particpated! If you would like to give, Oasis is accepting food and gift donations for the holidays to make sure the homeless youth of our community can have a special holiday season, too. Join us for the Oasis Open House on Dec. 17 to learn more about the program, show our youth that we care about them, and enjoy some cookies!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why the Y Swim Team is Different

The following is an article written by Jim Cornforth, Chinooks Swim Team Coach, as edited by Marketing Director Vanessa Harrington.

At the Y, swim team is about more than building a competitive swimmer. It is about investing in our kids and developing them as people using our four core values to guide us: Caring, Respect, Responsibility, and Honesty.

The Skagit Valley Family YMCA has close to 100 young swimmers, age 7-19, who invested their times and talent in the Chinooks Swim Team. The team is very diverse. There are families that can afford the team and families with strains on their budget. There is a great mix of cultures and ethnic background. There are some brilliant students and some who struggle. But all swimmers are welcome and treated equally.

They also have a lot of fun.

All kids, no matter their socio-economic backgrounds, are nurtured with love, the opportunity to do really hard work, and the chance to integrate with other cultures. The YMCA swim team is a cosmopolitan collection of very good families who are having very good YMCA experiences. The Y standards are high and expectations are higher.

It is interesting to be able to meet the needs of all swimmers. The ones who have needed financial assistance received it through occasional support from our very caring parent group and through funds made available from the YMCA Step Up Campaign.
Since all this is done quietly, few know the swimmers who are wealthy and those who are not. And this is just the way we want it.
No one is turned away from the opportunity to swim competitively, make new friends, and develop character at the YMCA because they may not have the money to participate elsewhere.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pool Therapy Can Change Lives

The Skagit Valley Family YMCA pool has changed the lives of many who have used it to improve their general health, specific ailments/injuries, and is a social community the fills the needs of many.

Janet, 67, of Mount Vernon attends the arthritis exercise class in the pool and said attending the class has improved her range of motion and she now has less osteo-arthritis pain. Not only that, but she has a place where she belongs.

"The Y community is a great support individually and with classes and with groups."
There are many stories we could tell about people who came to the Y who could barely walk, but after using the YMCA pool were moving around with much less pain and unassisted.

The buoyancy of the water means pool exercises are much easier on the joints than land exercises. The warmth of the water is also excellent for those with arthritis. The YMCA pool is home to aquatics fitness opportunities, including: aqua step, aerobics, arthritis exercise, H2O Fitness, and lap swim.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Y is Cause-Driven

The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That's why at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors in 10,000 communities to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

The Y is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. Every day our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Weight Management Class!

We are starting a new 8 week weight managment class in January! This isn't about New Year's Resolutions, this is about making lasting, positive changes. The class will be led by Patty Urbick, who was a Weight Watchers leader for 10 years and current Zumba Gold instructor at the Y. Her humor, energy, and knowledge will help you build healthy habits!

The 8 week course will include classes about nutrition, diet, exercise, menu planning, self image, self empowerment, stress management, and more. If you need to make a change, plan to make with us!

We also need a catchy name for this series of classes; if you have an idea, leave a comment or email Marketing Director Vanessa Harrington at v.harrington@skagitymca.org by Dec. 1. If we choose the name you came up with for the class, you'll get a free Y sports bag!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oasis Gets New Furniture!

The YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter was able to purchase some much-needed new furniture! The new chairs, couches, and beds have really improved the shelter and both Oasis teens and staff love it!