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Show yourself some love

Posted by: Marketing on 02.13.18 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

February is American Heart Month, and as a leading community-based network dedicated to improving the nation’s health, we are giving you the following tips from the USDA to help families in our community reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. 

  1. Get Physical: Being physically active every day is fun and can improve the function of your heart. Plan and schedule opportunities for active play; for example, include a brisk 10-minute trip around the block after meals or a 10-minute walking break during the day. If your family enjoys active video games, select versions that require moving the body’s large muscle groups while playing.
  1. Take a Snooze: Lack of sleep can be associated with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Adults need at least seven, but no more than nine hours of sleep at night to aid with the prevention of heart disease. Children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Develop bedtime routines for the whole family to assist with falling asleep faster and staying asleep.
  1. Shape Up Those Recipes: Makeover your family’s favorite recipes by reducing the amount of salt and saturated fat and substituting a lower fat food without sacrificing tastes. For example, use low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream and skip the seasoning packet and use pepper and olive oil instead. Read food labels to learn more about what is in the package, select foods that have less than 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.
  1. Feeling the Pressure: According to the American Heart Association lowering or maintaining normal blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Nearly 1 in 3 adults (about 80 million people) has high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control. Start self-monitoring your blood pressure and know the numbers. Discuss the results with you doctor if needed.
  1. Play Together: Spending time together as a family is a great way to reduce stress, which is important to heart health. Make homemade valentines for your children’s classmates or build a snow fort together in the yard or the park.
Posted by: Marketing on 01.09.18 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Have you been working out regularly but still aren’t reaching your fitness goals? Or are you having trouble squeezing a workout in with your busy schedule? A YMCA personal trainer could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Friendly and professional, our trainers know what they’re doing, and they can work with you to help you get out of a plateau. Here are five reasons why personal trainers are a good investment for your fitness!

Personal trainers will show you new things.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new! If you’ve always wanted to give the machine room a try but were too intimidated, your personal trainer can help you ease machines into your fitness plan. He or she can teach you how to properly use different machines to target different areas of your body. Your trainer can also give you tips on your form when you’re running or lifting, which will help you a lot more than simply watching yourself work out in the mirror.

They will be your #1 cheerleader.

When you’re reached a plateau, it can be difficult to keep up with your workouts. But the most important thing is that you don’t give up! Your personal trainer is not just a fitness coach; he or she is your biggest cheerleader, always encouraging you to keep going. Working with a trainer gives you a real person who has overcome real obstacles.. If your trainer can do it, then so can you!

They can tailor a plan to your lifestyle.

Your trainer gets it: life is busy. That’s why he or she will plan a fitness schedule that you can work with while juggling kids, a job, and other obligations. This involves a lot of conversations between you and your trainer: when you’re free, what you can handle, and why you’ve taken this next step to meeting your goals. No two people are the same, so once your trainer understands a little more about you, he or she can help you stick to a workout plan that makes sense for you.

Your trainer will help you learn to be patient.

Results may not come overnight, but they will happen with a little bit of patience. Your fitness plan will probably start off on the “easier” end so that you can work your way up from there. Your personal trainer will remind you that working gradually toward your goal will prevent injuries that come from doing too much all at once. By committing to your workout and putting in the time and effort, you will reach your goals. After all, slow and steady wins the race!

The relationship you build with your trainer will drive you to get better.

One of the best parts about having a personal trainer is that accountability factor. It’s a lot harder to cancel on someone who’s waiting on you than it is to push back an independent workout on your own time. He or she will also make sure you’re getting better each time you come to the gym. Even when you feel like you can’t do another rep or run another minute, your trainer will encourage you to finish strong. Once you start seeing those results, you’ll be glad you did!


Swim lessons saves lives

Posted by: Marketing on 01.08.18 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Years before he became a U.S. Olympic swimmer, Cullen Jones almost drowned in front of his parents.

Young Cullen loved the water. He happily spent hours in the bathtub, “until I was a prune,” he recalls. At age 5, his parents took him to a water park in Pennsylvania. His father slid down a water slide in an inner tube, followed by a gleeful Cullen. His joy quickly turned to terror. “I flipped upside down,” Jones, now 33, says. “Underwater, I held onto the inner tube, trying to pull myself up, but I didn’t have the strength.” Cullen lost consciousness; a lifeguard rescued and helped resuscitate him.

The terrifying episode prompted Jones’ parents to take him to swimming lessons. Jones – who won a gold medal as part of a U.S. men’s freestyle relay team in the 2008 London Olympic Games – recounts his near-drowning as part of his efforts to encourage kids, adolescents, teenagers and adults to learn to swim on behalf of the USA Swimming Foundation's “Make a Splash” program. He and other proponents of swimming and water safety point out that every year, about 3,500 people in the U.S. accidentally drown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Swimming programs not only teach people how to swim, but they also provide other safety training, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation lessons, demonstrations of how to use safety equipment, such as flotation devices, and tips on safer places to swim.

Outreach efforts by the USA Swimming Foundation (which works with hundreds of local pools), the YMCA and hundreds of local recreation programs are making a difference, says Debbie Hesse, executive director of USA Swimming Foundation. The foundation recently released a new study by the University of Memphis and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas measuring the swimming ability of kids ages 4 to 18 and parents and other caregivers in the U.S. Within this group, the study found that 64 percent of African-Americans, 45 percent of Hispanics and 40 percent of Caucasians have little or no swimming ability, which puts them at risk for drowning. Those numbers may not sound great, but they’re an improvement of 5 to 10 percent (depending on the group) over a 2010 survey released by the foundation. That survey found that 70 percent of African-Americans had little or no swimming ability.

A 2014 study by the CDC found that the rate of drowning in swimming pools for black kids and teens between ages 5 and 19 is more than five times that of white children. This lack of swimming ability has led to some high-profile tragedies: In August 2010, for example, a black teenager wading along the Red River shoreline near Shreveport, Louisiana, slipped off a ledge into deeper water. The teen didn’t know how to swim and yelled for help. Five siblings and cousins rushed into the water to save him – but none of them could swim, either. All six drowned.

Pre-civil rights era Jim Crow policies account for why relatively few African-Americans have learned how to swim, says Jeff Wiltse, a history professor at the University of Montana who wrote “The Black-White Swimming Disparity in America: A Deadly Legacy of Swimming Pool Discrimination,” published in 2014 in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues. He also wrote the book “Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America.” 

“The comparatively low swimming rates among black Americans today is, in large part, a legacy of past discrimination. Swimming became popularized among white Americans in the 1920s and 1930s at municipal swimming pools and in the 1950s and 1960s at suburban club pools,” Wiltse says. “Black Americans were largely denied access to these pools and the swim lessons that occurred at them. As a result, swimming never became integral to black Americans’ recreation and sports culture and was not passed down from generation to generation as commonly occurred with whites. In many cases, black parents passed along a fear of water to their children rather than the practice of swimming. In this way, the swimming disparity created by past discrimination persists to the present.”

Jones, one of the most prominent African-American swimmers in U.S. history, hopes he and other black swimmers can serve as role models for black youths. Jones wants blacks and everyone else to not only learn swimming for safety reasons, but to improve their health. Swimming is great exercise that's easy on the joints, so it’s excellent for people with arthritis. It doesn’t take a toll on your feet or legs the way high-impact exercise can. Swimming can also help ward off diabetesobesity and heart disease. “The ball is rolling, but there’s a lot more work to be done,” Jones says.

Source: US News and World Report


Guilt-free Eating

Posted by: Marketing on 11.03.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


2 cups mashed sweet potato can sub for banana or pumpkin
1 cup almond butter can sub for any nut or seed butter of choice
1/2 cup cocoa powder
For the Protein Frosting
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1-2 Tbsp granulated sweetener of choice
1-2 Tbsp nut or seed butter of choice
1 Tbsp dairy free milk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
125 grams cream cheese of choice
1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 Tbsp granulated sweetener of choice
For the Coconut Chocolate Frosting
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup canned coconut milk


For the brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease a small cake or loaf pan and set aside.
In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter. In a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potato, nut butter, and dark cocoa powder and mix very well.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, at the frosting and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
For the protein or cream cheese frosting
Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Using a tablespoon, add dairy free milk until a VERY thick batter is formed.
For the chocolate coconut frosting/ganache
In a microwave safe bowl or stove top, on low heat, combine ingredients and heat until just combined. Whisk until a thick, glossy, frosting remains. 
Recipe and photo from thebigmansworld.com.

Y Programs Build Confidence and a Family’s Network

Posted by: Marketing on 11.01.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

When it comes to the YMCA, 8-year-old Sienna Barber never wants to leave.

At least, that’s how it feels to her mom, Brittany Buenrostro. “When I come to pick her up, she never wants to go home,” Mrs. Buenrostro says. “She looks at me and wants to know why I came so early.”

Sienna attends the Y’s after school program at Millcreek Elementary and attended summer camp for the third year this summer. Her five-year-old sister, Maya will also attended camp. It’s something she’d been looking forward to for years.

Mrs. Buenrostro feels the Y experience is giving Sienna something very valuable. “They make her feel good about herself. The Y is helping her to be well-rounded, and the sports programs keep her active,” she says. “I want her to meet other kids from other grade levels and that’s something that happens at the Y.”

The Y experience has given Mrs. Buenrostro something too. When Mrs. Buenrostro moved to Lexington she made sure she found the Y. The parents were very welcoming. In fact, she’s now formed friendships with some of the parents and connects outside of the Y.

Without Y child care and summer camp programs, life would be a lot more difficult for the family. She and her husband work late hours and, because of the Y, they don’t have to leave work early or worry about her care. “Without the Y, it would be extremely hard for me to work,” she adds.

Learn more about our Before and Afterschool program at ymcacky.org/afterschool

The Four Benefits of Group Exercise

Posted by: Marketing on 11.01.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Whether you’re just getting into an exercise routine, or have been a fitness enthusiast for years, group exercise classes are a great way to ratchet your fitness level up a notch. And with all the different options the Y offers, there’s a group exercise class for every fitness level and every interest. Into dancing? Take a ZUMBA® class – or maybe even a cardio kickboxing class. Prefer a quieter workout? Try a yoga or pilates class. Looking for a challenge? You can always enroll in a boot camp or kettlebell exercise class.

But the benefits of taking one of these group fitness classes go beyond the obvious. Yes, you’ll get a great workout and improve your health while having fun doing something you love, but that’s not all. There are many other reasons why taking a group fitness class at the Y is such a great idea. Today, we’ll be discussing the top four benefits you’ll enjoy when you join up.

1. You’re more likely to show up – and keep showing up.  A resolution to exercise won’t do you any good unless you actually get started…and then keep it up, even when your motivation lags. The fact that the others in your class, not to mention your instructor, will notice your absence, usually provides enough of a impetus to get people out the door and into the gym. Having that accountability built in is an ideal way to ensure that you actually keep up with your intention to exercise regularly.

2. Having an instructor ensures proper form. Ever worried you weren’t doing an exercise correctly when you were alone at home? At a group fitness class, those worries won’t be an issue. Your instructor will check to see that everyone is doing each exercise correctly, for safety’s sake, as well as to make sure you’re getting the maximum fitness benefits.

3. You’ll be challenged to push yourself to the next level. When you’re on your own, you may slow down a little when you get tired, or even give up when you get winded. But in a group setting, the instructor will push you to keep going, even when you think you can’t make it another second. Not only that, but your classmates will also encourage you, simply by virtue of the fact that they’re still going. If they can do it, so can you.

4. Group exercise classes are, simply, fun. We’ve all heard the advice that in order to really motivate ourselves to exercise, we should choose an activity we feel is fun. And it’s true. If you love meeting up with friends to exercise through dance, water aerobics, cycling, or any other of the myriad fun activities available at the Y, you’re much more likely to show up and give your all every time. Whether it’s the activity itself, the friendships you’ll form, or even a spirit of friendly competition, enjoying yourself makes all the difference when it comes to fitness.


Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls

Posted by: Marketing on 10.16.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Give taco night a fun twist with these healthy Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls. And everyone gathered can customize their bowl with toppings of their choice. 



1.25 lbs ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Cooked rice
Taco toppings; shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, olives, guacamole, sour cream, tomato, lime wedges, etc.


In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the ground turkey with the salt & pepper until cooked through and no longer pink, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Drain.
Add the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, and flour. Stir the mixture constantly for 1 minute while it cooks. It will be crumbly (that's ok).
Slowly add the beef broth, a little bit at a time, while whisking to let it thicken up. Add in tomato sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add the black beans and corn.
Turn heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened.
Serve with rice and taco toppings for delicious burrito bowls.


It's easiest if you combine the spices and the flour into a small bowl. That way when you are ready for it you can just dump all at once and then stir.
To make this a quick, 30-minute meal. Prepare and chop your toppings while the meat mixture simmers. Put the rice in the rice cooker or on the stove top first thing.
Recipe and photo from togetherasafamily.com

October is breast cancer awareness month

Posted by: Marketing on 10.13.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Did you know?

About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2017, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
As of March 2017, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment,
(Source: BreastCancer.org)


As a cancer survivor, you understand the tremendous physical and emotional toll the experience has on your sense of health and well-being. The LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program can help you reclaim your health and continue healing. The program participants receive a FREE three-month citywide YMCA of Central Kentucky family membership to help further their wellness journey. 

To learn more about this life-changing program, contact our Director of Community Health Corey Donohoo

Program generously supported by:



Posted by: Marketing on 06.14.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Exercise is important to everyone in order to stay healthy.  For people with diabetes, it plays a vital role in helping keep blood sugar under goal, cholesterol values in an acceptable range and weight under control.  Take this quiz to see how much you know and maybe learn something new! 


Which of the following types of exercise is most important for people with diabetes?

  • Aerobic
  • Isometric
  • Stretching
  • Strength training

Which of the following are common health conditions, in some people with diabetes, for which not all forms of exercise is safe? 

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Eye disease
  • Liver disease

Why is it important to try to maintain muscle mass with age?

  • It keeps you looking younger
  • It improves mental clarity
  • It helps maintain healthy weight
  • It increases brain function

What are some ways to squeeze in exercise when you’re short on time?

  • Parking the car far away from the store
  • Doing jumping jacks or pushups during work breaks
  • Taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  • Doing household chores


Which of the following types of exercise is most important for people with diabetes?
Aerobic and Strength Training.  The American Diabetes Association [ADA] recommends that people with diabetes participate in some form of ‘heart pumping’ activity for 30 minutes five days a week. This includes walking, biking, jogging, cycling, dancing - anything that makes you breathe more quickly.  Strength training includes weight lifting, weight machines, push-ups, squats, lunges, and resistance training.  It is recommended two times per week in addition to the aerobic activity.  Ask your doctor about an exercise program that is appropriate for your current state of health and goals. 

Which of the following are common health conditions, in some people with diabetes, for which not all forms of exercise is safe?
High blood pressure, diabetic neuropathy and eye disease. According to the ADA, certain types of exercise may not be appropriate activities for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, neuropathy, or other conditions.  Always discuss what types of activity are appropriate with your doctor. 

Why is it important to try to maintain muscle mass with age?
It helps maintain a healthy weight. After age 30, both men & women begin to lose muscle mass.  Less muscle mass makes it more difficult to maintain your weight and control blood sugars.  Even though after age 30 all people lose muscle mass, exercising helps decrease the amount lost.

What are some ways to squeeze in exercise when you’re short on time?
 All of the above!  Even if you do not have 30 minutes to exercise, you can still benefit from activity.  You might choose other activities – carrying in grocery bags instead of using a cart, toe raises while waiting in line, or doing desk pushups on your break.  Be creative and keep moving!


Take a prequalifying questionnaire --> http://www.ymcacky.org/diabetes




Posted by: Marketing on 05.30.17 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)

Every summer, kids lose a bit of the learning they achieved during the school year. And every summer, kids from disadvantaged homes lose their achievements at a greater rate than kids from moderate- and high-income homes.

This achievement gap builds year after year, making it difficult for disadvantaged kids to keep up, finish high school, go to college and achieve their greatest potential.

This year, it will be different.

For the first time ever, the YMCA of Central Kentucky, through a partnership with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) and Fayette County Public Schools, is offering the Power Scholars Academy™, a program designed to help young scholars achieve grade-level understanding in English and Mathematics.

Power Scholars Academy will be held at Booker T. Washington Academy Elementary School, 707 Howard St., Lexington. Scholars will be selected for the program by the school, with 120 rising first- through fifth-graders participating.

The Power Scholars Academy is designed to increase students’ academic success, boost self-confidence and engage families in the learning process. Although this is the first year the program will be offered in Lexington, it has shown impressive results in cities across the U.S. On average, students gained two months average grade equivalency in English and one and a half month’s equivalency in math during the course of the six-week program.

“When you consider that the average student from homes with limited financial resources loses about two months of grade equivalency every year, this is a significant achievement,” said Vice President of Youth Development Jessica Berry. Further, 92 percent of parents reported their children were more confident, had a better attitude toward school and were better able to learn because they participated in the program, Berry said.

The Power Scholars Academy is taught by certified teachers using the BELL program, with enrichment activities designed to address social, emotional and physical development. The program will operate Monday through Friday, with scholars meeting for a minimum of 6.5 hours a day. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The Academy is offered free of charge.

Certified teachers lead instruction in both English and math using a customized Scholastic curriculum. The lessons focus on skills that are foundational and critical to student understanding and future success.

“The work that the YMCA is taking on in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools and BELL will give kids in our community the chance to be engaged and stay motivated with their academics throughout the summer,” said, 1st District Councilmember James Brown. “These children need these resources and extra support and I look forward to seeing the progress and growth of this new program,” Brown said.

The English curriculum focuses on reading, comprehension, critical thinking and writing. This is achieved through small and large group activities, book clubs, independent study and writing activities. Scholars develop writing skills: Idea, organization, choosing a voice, word selection, sentence fluency and conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation). The curriculum both challenges and engages scholars with themed materials providing continuity across all activities.

The mathematics curriculum, “Do the Math,” helps Scholars who have fallen behind catch up and keep up. Foundational concepts of mathematics are emphasized:

  • Number sense: Understanding what numbers are and their relationships to one another

  • Computation: A focus on basic skills of math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals that can block student progress

  • Problem solving: Using basic computational skills to solve problems; developing the skills to understand and solve word problems

English and math instruction are supplemented by enrichment opportunities in the afternoon, with themes ranging from civic responsibility, leadership, character development, science and technology, health and fitness and the creative arts.

Every Friday, Power Scholars will experience first-hand the rich array of resources in and around Lexington, exposing them to new ideas and offering new experiences. Scholars may visit the theater, medical centers, zoos, museum and historical sites.

Much of the Power Scholar Academy is focused on helping kids succeed in school, but families are important, too. Engagement with moms, dads, grandparents and siblings occurs over the course of the six weeks, with an open house at the beginning of the Academy and an event mid-way through.


Posted by: Marketing on 05.30.17 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)

Do you remember your best summer ever? Did you stay all day with your friends at the local pool? Did you head to the local park and play basketball? Or was your best summer when you discovered your favorite literary heroes and followed their adventures from the comfort of your own backyard? For most, your best summer ever was probably a combination of all of these - some exploration, activity and education.

Summer is the ideal time to get children out and exploring but for some, the end of the school year means no access to recreational and educational activities to help them learn, grow and thrive. Studies show that children can experience learning loss and even gain weight twice as fast than during the school year. For parents and caregivers looking to keep their children’s minds and bodies active, the YMCA of Central Kentucky has once again partnered with White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics to offer summer camps to give youth an adventurous, active and healthy summer.

YMCA camp programs offer a unique experience that gives children the opportunity to have their best summer ever - by meeting new friends, exploring nature, discovering new interests, being physically active and creating memories that last a lifetime.

Summer Day Camp has been a long-established YMCA program, encompassing many skill areas such as environmental education, leadership, team building, character development and sportsmanship. Weekly activities will include field trips and swimming, as well as an opportunity to participate in a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. At YMCA Summer Day Camp, each day is a new journey! With the careful guidance of our trained staff, campers’ eyes are opened to an exciting summer! They learn core values that will last forever. They explore. They grow. They have fun. And isn’t that what being a kid is all about?

“Attending camp is one of the most rewarding childhood experiences,” said YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Vice President of Youth Development, Jessica Berry. “This collaboration with White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics brings together the expertise of two organizations that are committed to youth engagement and development. Their gift helps us to ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp. Together, we are building a better us.

Berry says there are five reasons why children and teens should attend summer camp:

  1. ADVENTURE: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of new experiences and exploring the outdoors. YMCA camps have a new adventure for every child and teen. Visit ymcacky.org/camp for details.

  2. HEALTHY FUN: Day camps offer fun, stimulating activities that engage the body and mind, and also help children and teens learn the importance of nutrition to help improve their healthy eating habits. 

  3. PERSONAL GROWTH: While in the welcoming environment of camp, youth have a chance to learn new skills, and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Camps offer cognitive learning and social-emotional development opportunities for achievement.

  4. FRIENDSHIPS: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming and talent shows, campers meet new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The bonds formed at camp are important and lasting for many youth.

  5. MEMORIES: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories (and camp traditions) that will last a lifetime. Youth return to school with plenty of camp stories to share!

To ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp, financial assistance is available. If you’re interested in helping send kids to camp this summer, you can donate to the Y at ymcacky.org/camp.

A leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of youth, the Y has been a leader in providing summer camp for over 130 years. The YMCA of Central Kentucky continues to give youth an enriching, safe experience with caring staff and volunteers who model positive values that help build their kids’ character.

Registration for the upcoming camp season is open and the YMCA of Central Kentucky encourages parents to give their kids the gift of camp.

Special thanks to White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics for their support as the YMCA’s 2017 summer day camp sponsor.

For more information about YMCA of Central Kentucky summer day camps, visit ymcacky.org/camp or visit your nearest Y.




Posted by: DES on 05.27.17 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

For many kids, summer is considered to be a magical time. Summer means potential, energy and time for unstructured play. Magnify that magic with Y summer camp programs!

The Y is one of the largest providers of camp programs with over 1,850 day camps across the country. Many Y programs promote learning lifelong skills, developing character and making friends, but camp is a very special environment.

There are so many reasons for kids to attend camp. Here are just a few things your child can gain from camp:

Trying New Things: Exploring your backyard, neighborhood or city is fun and important, but there are lots of games and activities at camp that you just can’t do at home! Kids get to try things like volleyball, archery and fishing.

Meeting New People: Kids get to meet campers from all over. The special environment of camp where kids are stretching and growing creates camaraderie and leads to meaningful friendships.

Challenging Themselves: Not everything at camp will be easy! By enduring setbacks and pushing themselves in a nourishing environment, kids gain resilience and experience the reward of achieving something.

Appreciating Nature: It can be great to take a break from what’s familiar, your family, friends and neighborhood to get back in touch with yourself and enjoy nature!

Learning New Skills: Not only will kids learn how to do new activities and sports such as art, jewelry making or science, learning and growing with a group of new people will teach them life skills like independence, cooperation and tolerance.

Being Active: Getting out and exploring with all the games and excursions at camp is a great way to have fun while exercising and healthier alternative to hanging out at home all summer.

Having Fun: Of course, the most important part about coming to camp is having fun! We offer a variety of outdoor and sports & specialty camps in addition to theme weeks. Whatever their interest, whether it be reading, archery, jewelry making, horseback riding or gymnastics, we’ve got a camp for that!

We still have openings at some of our camps but spots are filling up quickly, visit ymcacky.org/camp to view our camp brochure and download registration forms. 


Aquatics Director Ready to Make a Splash

Posted by: Marketing on 10.10.16 at 6:00:00 am Comments (0)

Ellen Hartman is never one to shy away from diving into a swimming pool. From her first time getting in a pool as a toddler, to lifeguarding as a teenager, to training children and adults how to swim, she has spent a fair amount of her life in or near the water. Which is why her new role as the aquatics director at the Whitaker Family YMCA at Hamburg Place feels like the perfect fit.

“From the first time I got into the water, I knew I loved it,” Hartman said. “Something about the sense of freedom you feel while you’re in there really captivated me.”

Originally from Lexington, Hartman has lived in Indianapolis since her college years, but will soon return home as she takes on her new role as the aquatics director.

A lifelong fitness enthusiast, Hartman and her husband regularly compete in marathons, half marathons and triathlons. She recently completed her first Ironman Triathlon, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile run, and is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day events in all of sports. Hartman spent a year preparing for the event, and now that the journey is over, she is ready for her next journey as a YMCA director.

The new Whitaker Family YMCA features an indoor aquatic complex and an outdoor Splash Pad, and Hartman plans to showcase these features and get members involved in swim lessons and water fitness programs offered at the Y.

“Teaching and training others is what I love to do and that is a big part of this job,” Hartman said. “I really want to grow this branch and really push our aquatic features to the Hamburg area.”

Out of everything she loves about being in the water, Hartman said her biggest appreciation is that anyone of any age can enjoy swimming and benefit from it in some way.

“It’s something that you can do for your entire life. Once you get older there are a lot of things you can no longer do, but swimming is beneficial for people of all ages,” Hartman said. “It’s a lifelong activity and a lifesaving skill that anyone can do.”

Membership Director Wants to Hear Your Story

Posted by: Marketing on 10.10.16 at 6:00:00 am Comments (0)

Theresa Orlando has been with the YMCA of Central Kentucky since 2004, and from day one membership has always been her top priority. In her new role as director of membership and business at the Whitaker Family YMCA at Hamburg Place, Orlando will see hundreds and even thousands of people walk through the doors at Hamburg – each of them with a unique story to tell.

Orlando will often be one of the first faces members see as they enter the state-of-the-art facility, and likely the first they will share their desired fitness goals with - whether it's losing a few pounds after the holidays or making a lifelong dedication to healthy living.

”As the membership director you have that connection with everyone that walks in. You get to hear a lot of success stories from members and their families,” Orlando said. “I enjoy seeing how we make a difference in people’s lives every day. That for me is the most rewarding part about this job.”

Orlando’s duties as director of membership and business will include showcasing the Y to people that visit, discussing membership benefits and working with members to become established in the Y community.

She has already been front-and-center at the Whitaker Family YMCA for weeks in the on-site presale office, and of all the different stories she has heard, there is one common theme; the demand for a fitness facility in the Hamburg community.

“The number one thing I hear from people who come here is how much they need a Y in this area and how long they’ve waited,” said Orlando. “With people’s lives being as busy as they are, they need convenience when it comes to physical fitness, and we’re here to help with that.”


Say Hello To Your New Healthy Living Director

Posted by: Marketing on 09.22.16 at 4:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Lise McFarlane is only a few days into her role as Healthy Living Director at the upcoming Whitaker Family YMCA, but she already has a grand plan in motion to make members feel welcome as they work towards their healthy living goals.

Originally from Quebec, Canada, McFarlane moved to the United States in 1995, and has been in Lexington since June. She has fallen in love with the area, having a deep admiration for what she describes as a city with a small town feel.

“You can be downtown, and within minutes turn the corner and there’s open gorgeous pastures with horses and lush greenery,” McFarlane said of the Lexington area.

McFarlane has spent her career working in health and fitness management, mostly in the corporate setting for three different sites in Ohio with HealthFitness Corporation. Since transitioning to the nonprofit atmosphere, she has come to appreciate the genuine sense of community and family the Y offers.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Y because it’s very open and community-based,” McFarlane said. “I was blown away by the history of the YMCA and all of the great activities that have been created here.”

In her new role McFarlane will oversee wellness staff, personal and small-group training, group exercise and water fitness classes.

Just like the new Whitaker Family YMCA's Sports Director Steven Murry, McFarlane plans to take a hands-on approach to her job, engaging Y members as they take advantage of the facility’s healthy living features.

“When you see someone running on the treadmill with their earbuds, a lot of people might shy away from talking with them.  I will walk right up to them and start a conversation about their fitness goals," McFarlane said. "If I can make a difference to one person every day, that’s how I define success – to get to know people and make a difference in their lives."

McFarlane will look to encourage this type of interpersonal communication among all members, as the Whitaker Family YMCA will offer more than 80 classes starting in November, which will be geared to every level of fitness and serve every interest.

"Having that camaraderie and sense of community makes you feel like you're part of a family, and that's what we're going to build here at the Whitaker Family YMCA."

Meet Your Sports Director

Posted by: Marketing on 09.22.16 at 4:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Steven Murry isn't a fan of sitting in an office. He would much rather get out onto a field and do his work on the go. As a lifelong sports enthusiast, he expects his new role as the Whitaker Family YMCA's Sports Director will be the perfect fit for his working style.

“There are two types of people who strive to achieve physical fitness – those who like to go run a few miles on the treadmill and those that like to get out there and play. And that’s my approach, give me a game, and I’ll play it,” Murry said.

Originally from Owensboro, Murry has now lived in Lexington for four years. He previously lived in Chicago, where he worked for the U.S. Soccer Federation for 10 years, and more recently, for the Kentucky Youth Soccer Association.

“I’ve been on the administration side of sports for most of my career, which is great, but it’s also a lot of sitting behind a desk. When you’re a sports guy that’s kind of hard to do, and getting out into the community and really affecting the sports we provide is one of the biggest things that drew me to this job," Murry said.

During his initial days as the Sports Director, Murry met Healthy Living Director McFarlane, and after getting to know each other, the two realized their approaches to fitness, while different, are cohesive.

“As Lise and I have gotten to know each other we’ve begun to see ourselves as two sides of the same coin,” Murry said.  “We really feel that our styles will work hand-in-hand to provide an overall fitness for your community.”

A former soccer player at Centre College, Murry described soccer as his first passion, and he plans to advocate for soccer and other sports as a way to unite the Hamburg community by instilling values such as confidence and physical fitness, building teamwork skills and providing leadership.

"What sports can provide for groups and individuals is fantastic in my mind," Murry said, mentioning that he wants to emphasize sports like volleyball and lacrosse, but that all sports should have a home at the Y. "There's not a sport out there we can't bring to the Whitaker Family YMCA and really get the kids from this community involved."


Jones named Associate Executive Director

Posted by: Marketing on 09.07.16 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

The Y would like to congratulate Erin Jones, who beginning Sept. 15 will serve as associate executive director of the Hamburg Place YMCA.

"I can’t wait to be able to share our amazing new facility with the community. I know that we will offer something for everyone," Jones said. "My goal is to make everyone that walks into our building feel welcome and comfortable and that they are part of our Y family."

Jones' journey with the YMCA of Central Kentucky began 13 years ago when she was a senior at Transylvania University, contemplating her future.

"When I knew I needed to find an internship, I remembered how important the Y had been to my childhood and thought I would see if there was an opportunity," Jones said.

Jones immediately started her internship with the Y. "I instantly feel in love with the members and staff."

She served in a variety of roles including personal training, teaching group exercise classes and working the wellness floor.

In 2007, she became wellness director, serving in that role until being chosen to help lead at Central Kentucky's newest Y location. 

"I am very excited about the next step in my Y journey," Jones said. "The Y has been a very important part of my life since I was a small child. It is a place for members and staff to learn, thrive and grow."

Leading the board for Hamburg

Posted by: Marketing on 09.07.16 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

When Hamburg Place YMCA board chair Bryan Raisor learned there would be a state-of-the-art Y facility built in the community where he lives and works, he not only wanted to be involved – he wanted to be one of the first members to sign up. 

Raisor now serves as the Hamburg Place YMCA board chair in addition to his duties as the managing director of AssuredPartners NL.

His involvement with Y goes back to 80s when he was living in Cincinnati.  A regular at the Anderson Township YMCA, Raisor wrestled and swam at the Y. After moving to Lexington in the late 80s, he attended Bar Y, an all day outdoor adventure camp where he learned archery and shooting.

Now, he lives and works in the Hamburg area and wants to see his family involved in the Y just as he was during his childhood.

“As you get older and become more involved with the community, different things become important to you,” Raisor said. “This part of the community and Lexington in general in my opinion is very blessed.  There are a lot of folks that want to give back, and one way to do that is by being involved with a great organization like the Y.”

His daughter, who recently turned six-years-old, learned to swim at the Y, and Raisor said she will definitely take advantage of the Hamburg Y’s water features, such as the Indoor Aquatic Complex and the Outdoor Splash Pad.

“Since she learned to swim, she now thinks she’s a mermaid,” Raisor said.

A self-described morning person, Raisor said he looks forward to taking advantage of the Y’s exercise features himself before he heads down the road to his office.

Raisor said he is excited to be a part of the Hamburg Place YMCA, especially considering the high expectations surrounding the facility’s opening.

“To me, having a hub for all kinds of people to come together, in one of the fastest growing areas in Lexington is important,” Raisor said. “This community is thirsty for a Y – it’s been talked about for 10 years and now we’re starting to see it become a reality.”

Paying it forward at the Y

Posted by: Marketing on 09.07.16 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

The Y is committed to never turning away anyone based on inability to pay, and that kind of support can have a lasting impact on individuals and families. Hamburg Place YMCA board member Blake Reichenbach can testify to that.

Reichenbach, a medical devices professional, knew he wanted to give back to the Y, an organization that played an instrumental role in his childhood.  Born and raised in Louisville, he came from a divorced household, and his family was in need of financial support so that he and his brother could participate in the Y’s summer camps and youth sports programs.  

“Growing up, the Y was a big part of my influence as a kid,” Reichenbach said.  “It gave me a lot of opportunities to be involved in sports.”

Reichenbach now lives in the Hamburg area with his wife, and said he was looking for a way to give back and get more involved with the community, when he got a call from his friend Bryan Raisor, the chair of the Hamburg Place YMCA board, asking him to be a board member.

“When I was approached about the Y board, it really hit a chord because that’s the organization that allowed me to be involved with sports and physical activities when I was a kid,” Reichenbach said.  “I think at my age it’s important to give back to your community, now that I’m here and established with my wife, I want to start giving back, and this is a great opportunity to do just that.”

Reichenbach and his wife are expecting their first child around Christmas, and he said that he plans for him and his family to be involved with the Y in every way possible, from his work as a board member and volunteering, to his child playing in the Outdoor Splash Pad.  

“My wife and I are very excited about the Y coming, and I 100 percent plan on our family being involved with the Y in all different kinds of ways,” Reichenbach said.

He said that he knows the Hamburg Place YMCA will provide opportunities to the community, and to those in need of assistance as his family once was.

“That’s what separates the Y from any other gym,” Reichenbach said.  “They’re not going to turn a family away that needs support. They’ll help them get involved and be part of their community.”

Balancing Two Lifestyles

Posted by: Marketing on 09.07.16 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

On a daily basis, J. Tyler White deals with the hustle and bustle of the political world as the district director for the office of Kentucky’s 6th District U.S. Representative Andy Barr.  When he needs a chance to unwind, he finds his release in the form of a morning workout at the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

“Days in my line of work can be long and hectic, so getting to come exercise at the Y and take the edge off is very therapeutic for me,” White said.

Now White will add serving as a board member at the upcoming Hamburg Place YMCA to his list of duties, but he said he is nothing short of excited about serving what could be one of Kentucky’s most well-attended Y locations.

“Serving on a nonprofit board is a commitment of time and raising money for a cause, as well as being involved with the decision making,” White said.  “It really is just an honor to be involved with the Y.”

Originally from Lexington, White’s first introduction to the Y came during his childhood, when he engaged in a large number of the Y’s sports programs.  He played basketball and soccer at the Y, and also swam and trained for football.

Now a parent, White said seeing his children participate in the same kinds of programs he did during his childhood gives him a special feeling.

“It’s good because it teaches kids a valuable set of skills,” White said.  “Being able to know that they have a safe, fun environment where they can learn about team effort is a good thing for us.”

White also praised the Y’s child watch program, which allows him and his wife to work out with the knowledge that their children are in good hands.

“Having someone we can trust watch over our kids whenever we want to go work out is a huge benefit,” White said.

White said that his vision for the Y is to help those in the community who want to participate, highlighting the Y’s longstanding tradition of never refusing anyone for inability to pay.  He said that when he and his wife discussed donating to the Y, they knew their money would be aiding a noble cause.

“You can trust them to do the right thing with the funds, to be responsible and use them in a way that helps support the Y’s mission,” White said.  “It makes me feel honored that I have the ability to be involved, and I welcome that challenge because it’s a great way for us to give back to our community.”


Family Fun in the Sun

Posted by: David Martorano on 07.21.16 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

The Jessamine County Aquatics Center has welcomed many families to cool off during hot summer days over the years, and one family - the Ponders - have been loyal members since the opening day.

Melissa Ponder said she and her family love the atmosphere of the Aquatic Center, which is managed by the YMCA of Central Kentucky. She described going to the Aquatic Center as the family's routine summer activity.

Her children have taken Taekwondo and gymnastics classes at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA before and go to the Aquatic Center several times a week during the summer. She says that although they love the features of the facility, including the water slides and diving board, it is the friendly staff that keeps them coming back.

“We have always loved the staff and people that go there,” Ponder said. “I think they do a fabulous job.”

 Ponder has four children, ages 17, 15, 12 and 10.  15-year-old Simeon Ponder goes to the Y facility five to six times a week during the summer and plans to become a lifeguard at the Y when he turns 16.

“He loves the lifeguards and knows all their names,” Melissa Ponder said about her son Simeon. “He could write a soap opera about their lives.”

Simeon Ponder said he is good friends with the lifeguards and loves the comfort he feels at the facility, and has perfected his diving technique while practicing on the diving board.

“I’m very thankful for the Jessamine County Aquatics Center and all the wonderful days I have spent there,” Simeon Ponder said.

Become a Charter Member of the New Hamburg Place YMCA

Posted by: David Martorano on 07.21.16 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (3)

The highly anticipated Hamburg Place YMCA is coming this fall. We are excited to now be selling memberships and welcoming new indiviudals and families to our state of the art facility. 

The Hamburg Y is currently selling charter memberships online and on-site at our membership sales office located at 2681 Old Rosebud Road. Purchasing a charter membership will give members early access to the new facility before it opens.

Benefits of charter membership include an invitation to a special early access week before the facility’s grand opening, invitations to charter member only events and accessories such as a limited edition charter member tote, performance shirt and water bottle.

Charter members will also get the chance to meet our friendly staff, including newly selected Hamburg Place YMCA Vice President Dana Ensley, who encourages community members to come learn about the new Y and enjoy early benefits.

Earlier this summer the Y announced that after an extensive search, Ensley was selected as the district vice president for the new Y. “We are privileged to welcome Dana and her family to Lexington,” said President and Chief Executive Officer David Martorano. “We know that she will provide outstanding leadership to our new Y.”

The membership sales office will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the months of July, August, September and early October.

Check out the progress of the upcoming facility.  

Every Camper Has a Story

Posted by: David Martorano on 07.21.16 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Some kids spend their summer days wondering what to do next, but kids who attend the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Summer Day Camps are never short on fun and constructive activities.

Every day during the Y’s 10-week Summer Day Camp period, hundreds of children come to Central Kentucky YMCAs and the Bar-Y All Day Outdoor camp.  Camp members pay for one week at a time and can attend any of the camp locations.

The camps, which serve ages 5 through 14, include physical and mental exercises such as:

  • Fort building

  • Swimming

  • Crawdad fishing

  • Field time – featuring games like kickball, capture the flag and Ga Ga (a type of handball game)

  • Volleyball

  • Arts and crafts

  • Playground activities

  • Reading time

  • Special activities like a magic shows

Bar-Y camp directors Sarah Yates and Keri Howitz said that about 177 camp members attend Bar-Y on a daily basis.

Yates and Howitz said the camp teaches kids the Y's core values including caring, honesty, respect and responsibility while promoting reading during lunch and downtimes.

“We try to keep all of those values in their minds throughout the day,” Howitz said.

Parents pay by the week to send kids to enjoy all the fun of the Y’s summer camps. Cost is $125 for YMCA members and $150 for non-members.

Camp members Sakura Montford and Emmalee Durbin said they enjoy all the fun activities the Y camp has to offer and would encourage other kids in the Lexington area, Y members and non-members alike, to come join the fun.

Montford, a third grader, said she particularly enjoyed swimming as well as sharpening her reading skills at camp.  She said she prefers reading fictional stories because anything can happen.

 “Sometimes in one of the books there will be horses talking or something really cool,” Montford said.

Durbin, a second grader, said she preferred non-fictional books because they “tell what happens in real life.”

“Whenever they’re learning to make new friends, they’re also learning new skillsets,” Yates said.  “They’re developing many skills that will benefit them in their lives.”

Helping Kids Reach Their Full Potential During the Summer

Posted by: David Martorano on 07.21.16 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Research shows that summer learning loss is a legitimate problem that disproportionately affects low income families, who often struggle to find activities for children during the summer break.

The YMCA of Central Kentucky gives children a chance to break this cycle and keep their mental skills sharp during the summer months with the Y Readers’ Program.

The six week program helps boost literacy skills for first and second graders and provides kids in low-income neighborhoods with the experiential learning they don’t always get. The program features a different theme each week, which help teach kids about different cultures of the world.

“We’re trying to expose the students to different world cultures and teach them about different ways of life,” said enrichment leader Andrea Church.

The students document their daily activities in a journal and reflect on the most significant lessons of the day, and take field trips every Thursday.

During the first half of the day the students focus solely on reading skills, and during the second half they work with the themes while incorporating various lessons, including nutrition and music education. 

Children work on literacy skills in the morning, and art, music, science and physical activity exercises in the afternoon. The program pushes students to achieve a third grade reading level by the time they reach the third grade.

The program is offered at three Fayette County Schools – Cardinal Valley Elementary, James Lane Allen Elementary, and the Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary. Last year during the program, students were tested at weeks one and six, and overall 88 percent showed improvements in their reading skills, demonstrating the effectiveness of this program and the positive impact it has on the children of our community.


Your Summer Camp Team - Essence Lee

Posted by: DES on 06.13.16 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

What is your role with the Summer Day Camp Program?

My role as a Camp Leader at the Summer Day Camp Program is to make sure that the campers have a fun and safe summer that they will remember and brag to their friends about. My role is to also make sure that they learn something new by the end of the summer and learn how to be leaders themselves among their peers.

How long have you worked at the Y?

This will be my second summer working at the Y as a Camp Leader.

What are your current certifications and trainings?

I have taken all of the Y's trainings and I have taken the Redwoods Programs trainings online.

What do you love about Y summer camp?

The one thing I love about the Y summer camp is that by the end of the summer the campers will have made a connection with both the staff of the Y and with other campers. This makes me happy because it ensures me that the campers made new memories and friends at camp.

If you were a superhero, who would you be and what super power would you possess?

If I was a superhero I would be Wonder Woman and my super powers of choice would be the ability to fly and to have super strength. 

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

My favorite outdoor activities are to go hiking or to do anything that deals with water.

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is Tiffany Blue:)

What food can you absolutely not live without?

The one food group that I absolutely can not live without is fruits. I love so many fruits that it's hard to choose which fruit I could live without.

What is your favorite quote?

"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to hang out with friends and family, catch up on my shows on Netflix and read in a quiet, comfortable place.



Your Summer Camp Team - Elijah Olige

Posted by: DES on 06.06.16 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

What is your role with the Summer Day Camp Program?

I am a Day camp counselor at the North Lexington Family Y

How long have you worked at the Y?

This is my first summer working with the Y

What are your current certifications and trainings?

Aquatics safety & preventing injuries.

What do you love about Y summer camp?

I love the cool field trips kids the campers get to take at the end of each week

If you were a superhero, who would you be and what super power would you possess?

I would have to be superman so I could have the power to fly and shoot laser beams out of my eyes.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?


What is your favorite color?


What food can you absolutely not live without?


What is your favorite quote?

I will not play at tug o' war. 
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
 where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
 where everyone giggles
 and rolls on the rug,
 where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
 and everyone cuddles,
 and everyone wins!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to go on an easy 5-6 mile run on a beautiful sunny day. Followed by drinking an extra large speedy freeze from Speedway!



Your Summer Camp Team - Dominique Beard

Posted by: DES on 06.02.16 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

What is your role with the Summer Day Camp program? I am the youth and family director and it is my job to set children up for success by preparing our team to be able to foster a sense of belonging, to help our campers achieve and build relationships.

How long have you worked at the Y? I have been with the Y for nine years!

What do you love about Y summer camp? I love spending time with all of the kids we serve and build long lasting relationships with them and their families.

Favorite TV show? I don’t watch TV.

Favorite quote? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Philippians 4:13

What do you do in your spare time? Play softball, go walking and read.

Best advice for future campers? Have fun!

Choose the summer camp program that is right for your child.

Sign up! --> http://bit.ly/1NCzNDW


Meet your summer camp team!

Posted by: DES on 05.26.16 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Chelsea Borgeson

As you get ready for summer camp season, each week we will highlight different summer camp team members so that you can get to know the many wonderful staff in our camps. 

The YMCA of Central Kentucky Summer Day Camp program takes great pride in providing qualified staff that will always put the needs of your child first. Our camp staff and employees are chosen for their experience, maturity and dedication. Staff teach your children the Y's core values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. When your child leaves camp, they will have gained a deeper understanding of these values, as well as the ability to demonstrate them in their everyday life. Our staff and employees want your child to leave camp being the best person they can be.

  • What is your role with the Summer Day Camp program? I'm the summer camp director 

  • How long have you worked at the Y? Since October! I worked as the social worker for an offsite after-school program at the YMCA in Flushing, New York last year. 

  • Current certifications and trainings I’ve taken? I'm first-aid and CPR certified, a licensed social worker and I am certified in youth mental health first-aid.

  • What do you love about Y summer camp? Creating lifelong memories with the campers!

  • If you were a superhero, who would you be and what super power would you possess? Time travel so I could be with my family in Florida! 

  • Favorite outdoor activity? Horseback riding and tennis. 

  • What is your favorite color? Purple. 

  • What food can you absolutely not live without? Pizza! 

  • Favorite quote? The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt 

  • What do you like to do in your spare time? Spending time with my husband and schnorkie, Tucker. Horseback riding and watching movies!

Choose the summer camp program that is right for your child.

Sign up! --> http://bit.ly/1NCzNDW


Belonging: For one area family, membership is about much more than working out

Posted by: David Martorano on 01.12.16 at 8:00:00 am Comments (2)

Crosby Nathaniel was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer when he was just 3 years old. He survived, but the rigors of cancer treatment put him behind.

Last year was a tough one for Crosby, now 11. Fourth-graders can be very cruel and Crosby was receiving more than his share of their attention. Things could have gone very badly, except that the Nathaniel family found a safe haven at the North Family Lexington YMCA.

“I am so thankful for the Y, for my entire family and most especially for what it’s done for our kids,” said mom, Meredith Nathaniel. “The North Side Y, and in particular the Tiger Sharks swim team, has been a real anchor for Crosby. He learned discipline, received encouragement, and saw results both in his physical development and in his confidence.”

The Nathaniel family found the swim team almost on a lark. “I played sports in college and I really wanted my kids to have the experience of belonging to a team,” she said. “It’s such a good thing.” Frustrated that none of the “traditional” sports were suited for Crosby, Meredith was receptive when someone at the Y suggested he try swimming.

It was a good suggestion. “The coaches were amazing,” she said. “Crosby loved going to practice, he loved everything about it. Swimming was really therapeutic for him.” The sport gave him an identity that was unique and different … something he was proud to do. When school bullies would call him out for not playing football or basketball, Crosby had a simple answer: “I am a swimmer.”

On the team, Crosby blossomed. He developed an extended family comprised of others who also loved to swim. He continues to improve at every practice and to thrive under the Tiger Shark coaches. Because swimming is a team sport grounded in individual accomplishment, it is not necessary for him to compete with his teammates. “We tell him you just have to try to beat yourself, not everyone else out there.”

Crosby is not the only family member to benefit from the Y. Older sister, Brendley, 14, has been working out at the Y while recovering from a running-related stress fracture. “It’s helped her stay fit while healing,” Meredith said. When spring track comes up, Brendley will be ready. Crosby’s younger sister, Emery, 8, has taken up swimming, too.

None of this would have been possible without the YMCA’s financial assistance program. “We are people of modest means,” Meredith said. She and husband Bret work with Athletes in Action, a campus ministry. Medical expenses related to Crosby’s cancer as well as Emery’s serious food allergies stress the family budget.

“Without the Y’s financial assistance, we just wouldn’t be able to afford membership or for the kids to be on the swim team,” Meredith said. With the Y’s help, all of it is possible. As a result, she said, “Our lives are absolutely better, and I am so thankful. We are blessed.”

Heritage Club matches your passion, Y's purposes...forever

Posted by: David Martorano on 01.12.16 at 8:00:00 am Comments (1)

Ten years ago, Charlie Milward and Ken Clevidence of Lexington made a decision they have never regretted: to leave a legacy for generations to come through a bequest to the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

“What we’re doing is not going to attract any great amount of attention,” Charlie said, “but it’s important to us because we believe in the mission and the work of the YMCA, and, in particular, we are passionate about the High Street Y.”

That bequest made them a part of the Y’s Heritage Club, an organization that allows them to leave a lasting legacy for the Y through their estates. That a gift has to be large to matter is a misconception, said Bobbi Silver, Vice President of Development for the YMCA of Central Kentucky. “We do benefit from large estate gifts, but we welcome Heritage Club gifts of any size,” she noted. Bequests can take the form of a trust, estate, life insurance proceeds or even the remains of a retirement plan.

Many people think they don’t have a large estate or that planned giving is only for the very wealthy. But every gift the Y receives supports its financial security as well as its ability to meet its mission of strengthening youth, families and communities, she said.

Ken and Charlie’s commitment to the Y began when they moved downtown 18 years ago and joined the High Street facility. Close to home, the local Y provides them with a place to exercise, discuss the news of the day, trade political jabs and make friends. About 10 years ago, they were invited to hear a presentation about the Y’s Heritage Club.

“They gave us a sheet of paper that listed all of the activities the Central Kentucky YMCA sponsors or participates in,” Ken said. “There were a dozen or more items on that list that I felt were deserving of my support.” It was then the pair chose to name the Y in their wills and to specify their gifts benefit the High Street Y.

Planned giving allows you to designate your gift to a facility, program, or to the YMCA of Central Kentucky, Silver said. Giving via one’s estate allows a donor to support the YMCA’s endowment fund or to designate funds specifically for facilities or programs. “We match donors’ passions with the Y’s priorities and mission,” Silver said. For many, that is reason enough to include the Y in their estate plans.

“What we will leave is not going to change the physical facility a whole lot,” Charlie said. “But our hope is to encourage others who use the High Street Y to support it so that it continues to exist and serve the people who live and work in the downtown area,” he said.

Children, families, those facing serious illness, those with special needs, and so on all benefit from Heritage Club gifts. The YMCA of Central Kentucky provides an array of programs to benefit these groups and no one is ever turned away because of financial constraints.

It is a model that works, said Charlie, a former board member of the High Street facility. “At every board meeting we would hear the testimonies from people who had received benefits from the Y and what it meant to their lives. We heard from families, from kids, from recent immigrants who could not even speak English when they arrived. The High Street Y welcomed them, helped them to get on their feet and make a difference,” Charlie said.

And finally, Silver noted, there may be financial benefits to making a legacy gift to the Y. While everyone’s tax situation is different, Silver noted there can be significant benefits to making a legacy gift to the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

Learn more about the Heritage Club

Although Ken and Charlie had used and supported the Y for many years, it was not until they were invited to the presentation that they learned how much more they could do. Now, they would like you to know about the Heritage Club and consider becoming a member.

“We’re in the High Street Y four or more times a week,” Ken said. “We know there are lots and lots of people there who could become a part of the Heritage Club and yet they don’t. And we think, well, maybe they just don’t know about it, how important it is.

“We hope that by sharing our story, more people will learn about the Heritage Club and choose to be a part of it,” he said.

It’s easy to get started...and there is no time like now. For more information, please call Bobbi Silver, Vice President of Development, at (859) 367-7333 or email her at bsilver@ymcacky.org. “We will sit down together and work with you, your financial advisor and attorney to structure a gift so that your passion for the Y leaves a lasting legacy for future generations,” she said.

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