Almost immediately after moving to Lexington four years ago, Rob and Heather Howell joined the Whitaker Family YMCA in Hamburg. They had been previous members of the Great Miami Valley YMCA for 11 years prior to their move to Kentucky.
“We initially joined the YMCA when we lived in Fairfield, Ohio to take advantage of the youth sports programs for our kids and use the fitness facilities,” Rob commented.
Rob coached basketball, t-ball, and soccer at the YMCA when their kids were first getting involved in organized sports. “Being actively involved in those programs, we met lots of other parents which resulted in many lifelong friendships. We really enjoy the sense of community that the YMCA fosters and we relish our daily visits,” Rob added.
As their kids have grown and left home, Rob and Heather continue to make visits to the YMCA as part of their daily routine. “Not only does it help to strengthen our bodies, but I believe it also strengthens our personal relationship because it is a hobby and activity that we share as a couple.”
“We definitely appreciate the modern, clean, and functioning equipment and facilities that the YMCA provides but the thing we both appreciate the most is the staff at the YMCA. They are always friendly, welcoming, and interested in catching up on current events. The staff are truly friends that we enjoy seeing and talking with on a daily basis,” Rob shared.
Rob and Heather are both alumni of University of Kentucky. They enjoy attending UK sporting events, cooking, cycling, and spending time with their two children when they are home. Madison is a graduate of Ball State University, a collegiate gymnast, and is now a fifth-grade teacher in Indianapolis. Brady is a junior at Northern Kentucky University where he is a member of the men's golf team.
“Having raised both of our children participating in the YMCA youth programs, we strongly believe in the friendships that are developed through these programs. It is also exciting for us to see the number of seniors involved in the various programs and activities at the YMCA and the opportunities for them to expand their social network.”
“The YMCA is so much more than a fitness facility or a pool or a gymnasium. The best description I could give for the Y is that it is a hub for like-minded people to strengthen their bodies, their minds, and their ties with the community. We were members at another fitness facility for a short time and quickly realized it was missing something. The sense of community and friendship that exists at the Y certainly did not exist within that facility. My compliments and thanks to the Y staff for everything they do and for being more than just employees.”