Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Means 100 Years for the Skagit YMCA

The Skagit Valley Family YMCA is one of only 45 incorporations in Washington State created in 1911 to still be in existence today...100 years later! On April 20, 1911 members of the Skagit Valley Family YMCA travelled to Olympia (probably by horseback) and appeared before Secretary of State Ithamar Howell to formally incorporate.

While much of the history of Skagit Valley Family YMCA is unknown before the Fulton Street building was built in 1941, what we do know is the current YMCA was forged by the early members of Skagit Valley. Here are some details:
  • In 1920, Thomas Barrett, a local farmer, willed his estate of $30,000 for a capital support of the YMCA in Skagit Valley. His estate was invested by trustees and by 1941 had grown to $60,000.
  • With the help of WPA (Work Progress Administration) and the community, a small pool and gymnasium were constructed.
  • That year (1941), the Y registered 600 members (today we serve 4,180 members and 1,062 program members)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter Has a Merry Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who donated to the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter this holiday season. The outpouring of support was 'wonderful' according to Oasis Director Camille Danon. Because of you 38 teens each received:
  • A brand-new hooded sweatshirt
  • Mittens
  • A hat
  • Flashlight
  • New pair of socks
  • Gift card to a restaurant (Dairy Queen, Denny's, or Subway)
Some youth also received a new pair of shoes or back pack! Thank you so much for your generosity. The YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter is always in need of basic necessities, so if you would like to donate, please contact Camille Danon at 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Take Charge at the Y

Leanne Hickman knows what it takes to get healthier: initiative and perseverance.

"I had to do it myself...there's no magic pill. I had no one to go with me. You have to do it yourself and along the way you find people to do it with you," Hickman said.

And Leanne, 46, of Sedro-Woolley did it. Since March of 2007, Leanne has lost 82 pounds. Starting at 215 pounds, she now weighs a dainty 133. But she will be the first one to tell you it's not easy. She's learned it hurts to exercise (in a good way), but it also hurts not to exercise. Before Leanne lost all the weight, she was a chronic sufferer of acid reflux and sleep apnea, but by the time she lost the first 20-30 pounds she had no more acid reflux and slept soundly through the night. Now she does not take any medications.

Leanne is now in the process of maintaining her weight and people often ask her what diet she is on, but tells them it's a combination of exercise and changing her eating habits.

"I'm not on a diet. I changed the way I ate; I don't deep-fry anymore, I bake things. I don't eat things out of a package," Hickman said. "People think you're being corny, but it really is a lifestyle change."

That is what the Skagit Valley Family YMCA's new weight management class, Take Charge at the Y, is all about. This 8-week course will give you the tools you need to make the changes you want. During the course, participants will learn:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Volunteer for One of the Largest Non-Profits in the Country!

The Y is a cause for strengthening communities, comitted to every day youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. When you volunteer at the Y, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change right in your neighborhood. You can make a difference in Skagit Valley by becoming a volunteer at the Skagit Valley Family YMCA. We could use someone like you.
The Y has more than 500,000 volunteers in 10,000 communities, which means we deliver on our promise to create positive, personal and social change. At the Skagit Valley Family YMCA, we have more than 100 active volunteers at one time who give thousands of hours of service.

If you are interested in volunteering, we have opportunities to work in our child care sites, doing maintenance/facilities work, coaching youth sports teams, instructing fitness classes, and more! In fact, one of our biggest needs right now is for volunteers to staff the Daylight Shelter at the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter on Sundays. The Daylight Shelter provides important services like meals, laundry, showers, and a Safe Place!

If you are interested in volunteering at the Y, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Kerkvliet at 360-336-9622 or

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Be Santa! You Can Jingle Bell Bash!

Don't want to look like Santa (with his bowl full of jelly) after this holiday season? If you're worried about adding some holiday pounds, than the Y has something for you! Besides all our regular fitness opportunities, you can also join us for the Jingle Bell Bash 9am-10:30am on Saturday, Dec. 18!

The Jingle Bell Bash class will be a mix of several fitness classes including Zumba, powerball, and conditioning. We will provide bells to wear on your shoes and dress in your most festive holiday exercise outfit because the most festive outfit wins a prize! We'll all sweat to Christmas music! There will also be light snacks and drinks after the class so plan on sticking around for a holiday mingle afterwards.

We are also asking that each participant bring an item off the Oasis Holiday Wish List, so as a community we can make sure that even the homeless kids in our community are taken care of. We look forward to seeing you with bells on your shoes, in your holiday exercise outfit, and ready to sweat on Dec. 18!

Below is the Oasis Holiday Wish List:

  • Belts
  • Socks
  • New boys' boxers and girls' underwear
  • Good clothes in teen/adults sizes
  • Coats and winter accessories

  • Dairy Products (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cream cheese)
  • Meats/lunch meats
  • Ravioli, Spaghetti-o's
  • Juice boxes, soda
  • Frozen pizza
  • Tortillas, bagels, bread,
  • Chili
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Crackers, granola bars
  • Free meal coupons
  • (For a complete list, please contact Oasis!)
Cleaning Products:
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Lysol Spray
  • Lysol Wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine products
  • New vacuum (vacuum bags)
  • Bunk bed
  • Wii games and remotes
  • Computers
  • Musical instruments
  • Stereo System
  • Big shampoo, conditioner (we've got lots of hotel sized bottles)
  • Movies (PG-13 and under)
  • School supplies (backpacks, writing tools, binders)
  • Craft Supplies (colored pencils, paints, etc)
  • Sewing machine and supplies
  • Light Bulbs
As you can see, these kids need the basics and you can help them while you help yourself get healthier!