SIDNEY — “What a year 2018 was for the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA as we celebrated 50 years of strengthening our community and all those we serve,” said Ed Thomas, executive director. “Highlighting this historic year were three special events: our Birthday Celebration, Y-Fest, and the Heritage Club Foundation Dinner. Each one designed to help celebrate our rich heritage since 1968 and the many incredible volunteers, donors, members and Y staff that have helped make our Y what it is today.
“Of special note, a second Y-Fest is being planned for August 10, 2019. You will not want to miss it since it is open and free to all. Thanks to last year’s generous sponsors, led by Wilson Health, all Y-Fest funds raised were used as part of our Community Partners commitment to providing assistance for all individuals or families in need. In total, thanks to our many caring donors, over 2,000 individuals and families were provided life changing and transformational programs throughout the year,” said Thomas.
His report continues:
In our never ending quest to add more value to the benefits our members receive, the Nationwide Membership program was introduced which provided our nearly 5,000 members with full and unlimited access to over 2,400 Y’s across the country at no additional cost. Also for 2018 was the purchase of a new line of free-weight equipment regarded as one of the top brands in the industry. Other new exercise equipment included a functional trainer, recumbent bikes, Cybex Arc Trainer, and a NuStep. In addition eight new larger flat screen TV’s were added, making the Y’s Wellness Center the largest and most current in our area.
The Y also experienced record growth and accomplishments in other programs. All three of the competitive teams for cheerleading, gymnastics and acrobatics won National titles. No other Y in the country has this distinction. The Kinetics Department offered the new sensory friendly super hero gymnastics class, home school drop-in opportunities and a wide variety of tumbling and gymnastics classes for all levels.
In addition to the hundreds of kids who were taught to swim through the traditional small group classes, the Aquatics Department offered a record number of one-on-one private lessons that taught over 80 participants. Thanks to our four sponsors, the one week Water Safety-Splash program provided free water safety classes to nearly 350 participants from Shelby County. New aquatic programs included water discovery/exploration for infants, and a wide variety of water exercise and swim classes for both youth and adult. Family members took advantage of the added value provided to their membership by having their children participate in a variety of classes including soccer, T-ball, flag football, counselor-in-training, teen leaders and two youth speed/agility classes called ACE and SET – all at no additional cost.
The Child Development Center (CDC) experienced its own historic growth. A sizeable investment was made in equipment, staff development and facilities. Classroom areas were expanded by adding new and improved sound absorbing walls, LED lightning replaced florescent lights and the program continues to maintain the only three star rating program associated with the state of Ohio’s prestigious Step-Up-To-Quality system in the county. Demand for the CDC program continues to be high operating at near full capacity with over 180 children enrolled. New for 2019 is the addition of a computer lab designed primarily for Pre-Schoolers to aid in their development and better prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. Two-way radios will be purchased in an effort to improve communication among teachers and provide greater safety for all. With all of these changes, our commitment and mission to ensure that each child is cared for and given the opportunity to develop to their fullest capacity in a safe, positive and nurturing environment remains our top priority.
Other safety upgrades included the installation of 37 state of the art high resolution security cameras that monitor all key areas inside and out of the Y. Additional improvements also included the repair and re-surfacing of the west and east parking lots, the upgrading and beautification of the Westside entrance, new signage, and the renovation and upgrades to both the woman’s and men’s locker and shower areas. More information on these new additions can be found on the Y’s Web page at www.sidney-ymca.org .
For 2019, we are excited to offer a new 12 week program called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. Our Y was selected as only one of a few in the country based on meeting all of the standards and requirements. This program is specifically designed to help cancer survivors begin or continue their journey towards recovery. The program offers adults a safe, supportive environment that encourages them to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. For more information, please call the Y.
As we look forward to the New Year, we give thanks to God for His blessings and guidance, for our amazing caring volunteers and their commitment to helping others, for our supportive and generous donors, for our loyal members, and finally for our dedicated, hardworking and talented staff. Our Y is blessed, and we are honored to serve our community through all that we have to offer.