Y Notes

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause - blog post image

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause

  •  

    Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

    Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

    First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

    But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

    For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

    The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

    Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

    On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

    Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

    “I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

    “Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

    Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

    ***

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

    And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

    So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

    And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

     


     Text

  • 01-Mar-2019

 

Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

“I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

“Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

***

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

 


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More than a class, Stacie's Otters is a life lesson

  • In 2010, the McCook YMCA started a new program, “Stacie’s Otters,” which promoted “Float Early, Float First, Float for Life.”

    The purpose of the class was simple: to promote safety around water from a young age, as young as 9 months old.

    Since then hundreds of infants and toddlers have taken the class, which gives them skills to use throughout their life and also includes parental education. While we can never know how many lives have been saved because of the program, it remains a valuable introduction to water safety.

    The program is named in memory of Stacie Shaddock, who along with her husband, Jeff, were both actively involved at the YMCA. Among their many roles at the Y, Stacie taught swim lessons for a time and Jeff led the fund-raising for the “Save the Wave” pool renovation.

    After she passed, it was a natural fit to create a program in her honor at the YMCA, with her family and friends underwriting the program through financial gifts to the Y.

    The one-on-one classes are designed to teach children how to breath in the water by rolling onto their back and floating. This life-saving technique can give a child those few extra seconds that could save their life.

    Stacie’s Otters does not replace regular swim lessons, but rather enhances a child’s ability to be safe around water...and we’ve got plenty of opportunities in Southwest Nebraska from the surrounding lakes to the public and private pools, even the Republican River, although that idea seems unfathomable most of the year.

    I contacted Gigi Slatter about her twins’ experience in Stacie’s Otters. Jackie and Kale were enrolled in the inaugural class in 2010 and completed both Otter I, designed for 9-18 month olds, and Otter II for 18-month to 3 year olds. And while she loves Stacie’s Otters and recommends it to everyone, the class did not start off too smoothly for the twins.

    “The kids did not like it at all,” Gigi said. “I remember them just crying a good part of the time in the beginning.”

    But after just a short while, they got used to the water and even started to enjoy their time in the pool.

    “I remember that at just two years old, Jackie was able to float and swim the entire length of the pool with no fear,” Gigi said. “I know it would not have been possible without those classes.”

    Even today, Gigi thinks the program is must for all kids.

    “To this day, the kids love the water and it gave them the courage at any pool or lake,” she said. “And the program gave us the security of knowing they can handle the water.”

    Because the program is designed for the attention span...and patience...of 9-month-olds through 3-year-olds, each class is just 15 minutes: 10 minutes in the water for the instructor and child and 5 minutes of parent education. Each session is one day a week for two months or two days a week for one month, depending on the session enrolled in.

    The cost is $20 per session, but financial assistance is available by calling the Y.

    For more information about Stacie’s Otters or any of the swim programs at the Y, visit the Y website, www.mccookymca.org or call 345-6228.

     

     Text

  • 31-Jan-2019

In 2010, the McCook YMCA started a new program, “Stacie’s Otters,” which promoted “Float Early, Float First, Float for Life.”

The purpose of the class was simple: to promote safety around water from a young age, as young as 9 months old.

Since then hundreds of infants and toddlers have taken the class, which gives them skills to use throughout their life and also includes parental education. While we can never know how many lives have been saved because of the program, it remains a valuable introduction to water safety.

The program is named in memory of Stacie Shaddock, who along with her husband, Jeff, were both actively involved at the YMCA. Among their many roles at the Y, Stacie taught swim lessons for a time and Jeff led the fund-raising for the “Save the Wave” pool renovation.

After she passed, it was a natural fit to create a program in her honor at the YMCA, with her family and friends underwriting the program through financial gifts to the Y.

The one-on-one classes are designed to teach children how to breath in the water by rolling onto their back and floating. This life-saving technique can give a child those few extra seconds that could save their life.

Stacie’s Otters does not replace regular swim lessons, but rather enhances a child’s ability to be safe around water...and we’ve got plenty of opportunities in Southwest Nebraska from the surrounding lakes to the public and private pools, even the Republican River, although that idea seems unfathomable most of the year.

I contacted Gigi Slatter about her twins’ experience in Stacie’s Otters. Jackie and Kale were enrolled in the inaugural class in 2010 and completed both Otter I, designed for 9-18 month olds, and Otter II for 18-month to 3 year olds. And while she loves Stacie’s Otters and recommends it to everyone, the class did not start off too smoothly for the twins.

“The kids did not like it at all,” Gigi said. “I remember them just crying a good part of the time in the beginning.”

But after just a short while, they got used to the water and even started to enjoy their time in the pool.

“I remember that at just two years old, Jackie was able to float and swim the entire length of the pool with no fear,” Gigi said. “I know it would not have been possible without those classes.”

Even today, Gigi thinks the program is must for all kids.

“To this day, the kids love the water and it gave them the courage at any pool or lake,” she said. “And the program gave us the security of knowing they can handle the water.”

Because the program is designed for the attention span...and patience...of 9-month-olds through 3-year-olds, each class is just 15 minutes: 10 minutes in the water for the instructor and child and 5 minutes of parent education. Each session is one day a week for two months or two days a week for one month, depending on the session enrolled in.

The cost is $20 per session, but financial assistance is available by calling the Y.

For more information about Stacie’s Otters or any of the swim programs at the Y, visit the Y website, www.mccookymca.org or call 345-6228.

 

 Text

New activities at the YMCA

  • Over the new few months, I will be highlighting the different activities and programs available at the YMCA.

    There are simply too many to properly showcase each fitness class or youth activity in one column.

    But to kick things off, I would like everyone to consider something trying something new. It’s that first step which is often poses the biggest hurdle.

    And people come up with a variety of excuses from lack of time to intimidation of walking into a new group of people to waiting for a day not ending in Y.

    But there is never a perfect time to try something different, to venture out of your comfort zone.

    So instead of waiting for the New Year or even the first of the month, visit the YMCA website for a complete list of fitness classes or the pool schedule.

    There are ample opportunities to dabble in something different, to take a new challenge.

    Consider the fitness class, Strong by Zumba, which returns in October, allowing you to test your dance skills as well as your cardio-fitness levels.

    And rest assured what happens in Zumba, stays in Zumba, especially since the blinds are pulled shut and there are no video cameras in the exercise room.

    Trying something new and different isn’t just limited to adults.

    Naturally, many of the activities at the Y will expose kids to something new.

    There is Child Watch, the child care program for kids while their parents are using the facility.

    For some kids, this may be their first time separated from their parents or their first time around other kids who aren’t their siblings.

    Swim lessons are another natural first for many kids.

    It’s impossible to know how many kids have dipped their foot into a pool for the first time at the Y.

    But thousands of kids over the years have received their first taste of a swimming pool at the Y, whether at swim lessons or venturing into the kiddie pool in the arms of their parents.

    And you don’t have to be in the Y to try something new.

    The Heritage Days Road Race, sponsored by the YMCA and Parker Hannifin, will be next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m.

    If you have never competed in a road race or covered 3.1 miles, the Heritage Days run/walk is the perfect opportunity to check that off your list.

    The weather is usually beautiful…not too hot, not too cold…although I’ve probably jinxed myself by promising that Mother Nature will cooperate.

    The course provides a challenge, offering downhills, uphills and everything in between.

    Many people think of McCook as flat, but there is a reason there is an “upper” and “lower” shelter house at Kelley Park, which the road race crosses through several times.

    And finally, the route follows the walking trails and McCook streets, so the chances of getting lost are lessened.

    Not eliminated, just lessened.

    And if all else fails, there will likely be a float or antique car passing by on the way to the parade, so you can catch a ride back to Norris Park.

    Heck, you may even end up making a new friend, getting asked to ride the float in the parade and end up with your picture on the front of the Gazette.

    Just consider all the possibilities if you simply try something new.


     Text

  • 21-Sep-2018

Over the new few months, I will be highlighting the different activities and programs available at the YMCA.

There are simply too many to properly showcase each fitness class or youth activity in one column.

But to kick things off, I would like everyone to consider something trying something new. It’s that first step which is often poses the biggest hurdle.

And people come up with a variety of excuses from lack of time to intimidation of walking into a new group of people to waiting for a day not ending in Y.

But there is never a perfect time to try something different, to venture out of your comfort zone.

So instead of waiting for the New Year or even the first of the month, visit the YMCA website for a complete list of fitness classes or the pool schedule.

There are ample opportunities to dabble in something different, to take a new challenge.

Consider the fitness class, Strong by Zumba, which returns in October, allowing you to test your dance skills as well as your cardio-fitness levels.

And rest assured what happens in Zumba, stays in Zumba, especially since the blinds are pulled shut and there are no video cameras in the exercise room.

Trying something new and different isn’t just limited to adults.

Naturally, many of the activities at the Y will expose kids to something new.

There is Child Watch, the child care program for kids while their parents are using the facility.

For some kids, this may be their first time separated from their parents or their first time around other kids who aren’t their siblings.

Swim lessons are another natural first for many kids.

It’s impossible to know how many kids have dipped their foot into a pool for the first time at the Y.

But thousands of kids over the years have received their first taste of a swimming pool at the Y, whether at swim lessons or venturing into the kiddie pool in the arms of their parents.

And you don’t have to be in the Y to try something new.

The Heritage Days Road Race, sponsored by the YMCA and Parker Hannifin, will be next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m.

If you have never competed in a road race or covered 3.1 miles, the Heritage Days run/walk is the perfect opportunity to check that off your list.

The weather is usually beautiful…not too hot, not too cold…although I’ve probably jinxed myself by promising that Mother Nature will cooperate.

The course provides a challenge, offering downhills, uphills and everything in between.

Many people think of McCook as flat, but there is a reason there is an “upper” and “lower” shelter house at Kelley Park, which the road race crosses through several times.

And finally, the route follows the walking trails and McCook streets, so the chances of getting lost are lessened.

Not eliminated, just lessened.

And if all else fails, there will likely be a float or antique car passing by on the way to the parade, so you can catch a ride back to Norris Park.

Heck, you may even end up making a new friend, getting asked to ride the float in the parade and end up with your picture on the front of the Gazette.

Just consider all the possibilities if you simply try something new.


 Text

Not 12 anymore? Say it isn't so

  • With every stroke into the water, a tinge of pain shot through my left shoulder. I had avoided the YMCA pool for more than a week but dove in Wednesday morning for a brief workout.

    At the end of the first lap, my shoulder pulsed with a dull pain but I wanted to see if the discomfort would ease up after I got warmed up.

    Twenty laps later, I pulled myself out of the pool, glad that I had completed the swim workout but grateful that the hot tub around the corner was ready and waiting for me.

    My shoulder doesn’t normally hurt when I’m swimming. But last week, I learned that I’m no longer 12-years-old.

    I learned - make that relearned - that I don’t heal as quickly after I injure myself.

    I quickly learned that I cannot hit the ground and just pop right back up like I did when I was young. I learned that I can be covered in mud, riding down the highway after wrecking a bicycle, and no one will bat an eye…but that is an issue for another column.

    In the midst of all the rain last week, a couple friends and I decided to ride the gravel roads south of McCook on our bicycles.

    We were training for a race in an area which had also seen a lot of rain, so we figured our muddy roads would perfectly replicate the conditions.

    After an hour on the gravel roads, we had just a four-mile stretch before the ride ended. But that four-mile stretch was muddier than everything we had ridden all day.

    On just the second hill, my bike went out from under me in the soft layer of mud.

    In the blink of an eye, I had flown over my handlebars, slamming my shoulder into the dirt road, which may have been soft on the top but was hard-packed just under the surface.

    Over the next week, I glanced at the pool every time I entered the YMCA, but knew the movement of lap swimming would test my pain tolerance.

    But I also knew the water would limit stress on my joints and help heal my muscles.

    Many people underestimate the value of the pool, both as a form of exercise and for recovery.

    But every day, the aquatic area sees a constant stream of people using the pool and hot tub for a variety of reasons.

    Every weekday morning, the exercise classes fill the shallow end of the pool, offering both fitness and socialization.

    People on the mend after surgery use the pool as a way to rebuild strength, stamina and movement. And lap swimmers criss-cross the pool for hours on end, finishing with miles and miles to their credit.

    Thankfully, my shoulder is on the mend after the bike accident and lap swimming is back on my training schedule.

    I’ll try to take it easy and remain grateful that there is equipment and a great pool at the YMCA to help me both stay in shape and recover after these somewhat frequent mishaps.

    But I can’t make any claims that I have learned my lesson; nor that I won’t do something to remind me that I’m not 12 anymore.

    After all, it’s not like this is the first time I have injured my shoulder.

    This isn’t even the first time I’ve injured my shoulder this year.

    An injury to the same shoulder from a treacherous sledding accident in February is still nagging me.

    Guess, I’ll never learn.

     Text

  • 14-Sep-2018

With every stroke into the water, a tinge of pain shot through my left shoulder. I had avoided the YMCA pool for more than a week but dove in Wednesday morning for a brief workout.

At the end of the first lap, my shoulder pulsed with a dull pain but I wanted to see if the discomfort would ease up after I got warmed up.

Twenty laps later, I pulled myself out of the pool, glad that I had completed the swim workout but grateful that the hot tub around the corner was ready and waiting for me.

My shoulder doesn’t normally hurt when I’m swimming. But last week, I learned that I’m no longer 12-years-old.

I learned - make that relearned - that I don’t heal as quickly after I injure myself.

I quickly learned that I cannot hit the ground and just pop right back up like I did when I was young. I learned that I can be covered in mud, riding down the highway after wrecking a bicycle, and no one will bat an eye…but that is an issue for another column.

In the midst of all the rain last week, a couple friends and I decided to ride the gravel roads south of McCook on our bicycles.

We were training for a race in an area which had also seen a lot of rain, so we figured our muddy roads would perfectly replicate the conditions.

After an hour on the gravel roads, we had just a four-mile stretch before the ride ended. But that four-mile stretch was muddier than everything we had ridden all day.

On just the second hill, my bike went out from under me in the soft layer of mud.

In the blink of an eye, I had flown over my handlebars, slamming my shoulder into the dirt road, which may have been soft on the top but was hard-packed just under the surface.

Over the next week, I glanced at the pool every time I entered the YMCA, but knew the movement of lap swimming would test my pain tolerance.

But I also knew the water would limit stress on my joints and help heal my muscles.

Many people underestimate the value of the pool, both as a form of exercise and for recovery.

But every day, the aquatic area sees a constant stream of people using the pool and hot tub for a variety of reasons.

Every weekday morning, the exercise classes fill the shallow end of the pool, offering both fitness and socialization.

People on the mend after surgery use the pool as a way to rebuild strength, stamina and movement. And lap swimmers criss-cross the pool for hours on end, finishing with miles and miles to their credit.

Thankfully, my shoulder is on the mend after the bike accident and lap swimming is back on my training schedule.

I’ll try to take it easy and remain grateful that there is equipment and a great pool at the YMCA to help me both stay in shape and recover after these somewhat frequent mishaps.

But I can’t make any claims that I have learned my lesson; nor that I won’t do something to remind me that I’m not 12 anymore.

After all, it’s not like this is the first time I have injured my shoulder.

This isn’t even the first time I’ve injured my shoulder this year.

An injury to the same shoulder from a treacherous sledding accident in February is still nagging me.

Guess, I’ll never learn.

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Don't forget these activities in the fall

  • While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

    For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

    Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

    There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

    The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

    But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

    While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

    Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

    But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

    After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

    Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

    But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

    After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

    The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

    The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

    The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

    Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

    Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

    Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

    And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

    Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

    But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

    The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

    In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

    Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

    If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

    For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

     Text

  • 24-Aug-2018

While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

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Going out on a limb - blog post image

Going out on a limb

  • Trying something new and different can be daunting, but the next two weeks will include two vastly different events that will test nerves, stamina and will-power…and that is just the participants.

    The first event is the movie, “Jaws,” which will be shown on Friday at the YMCA.

    The back-to-school event is open to students 11 to 19 years old, who will sit on floaties in the pool and watch the film on the west wall of the YMCA pool.

    There will be blood.

    There will be detached limbs. (Get the headline yet?)

    There will be scary moments as the movie-goers watch Jaws from the comfy confines of the pool.

    We have had more than one person offer to swim underneath those floating in the pool. Rest assured, we have turned them all down, although it was mighty tempting.

    The event is a collaboration between the YMCA and YCR (Youth Change Reaction, a youth organization with the McCook Community Foundation Fund).

    With a limit of 100 students, you can take a chance and sign-up the evening of the movie. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the movie to begin at 8:30 p.m. But parents are encouraged to stop by the YMCA before Friday night and sign the release for students.

    There is no charge for the movie, although a free-will donation will be accepted.

    The “Dive-In” movie is open to both YMCA members and non-members, but participants must also be able to swim.

    One of the most interesting parts of this whole project has been the realization that “Jaws” is rated “only” PG. \It was released in 1976, before the PG-13 rating was created.

    This movie is a known entity about a shark which terrorizes a town.

    Spoiler alert: townspeople die and the shark does meet her demise at the end, quite graphically.

    So, parents need to consider whether the movie is suitable for their child.

    Despite the chewy subject matter of the movie, response to the “Dive-In” movie has been tremendous. Actually, people are upset that it’s not open to all ages.

    But if this event goes well, we hope to host future water-themed movies at the YMCA, such as Finding Nemo or Little Mermaid. There is the potential of a flood wet fun.

    Randy’s Run

    Also, brand new is Randy’s Run on Saturday, Aug. 18, which includes a 5K, half-marathon and a four-person team category.

    The course covers 3.1 miles at Red Willow State Recreation Area north of McCook.

    There is no easy way to say it: the course is tough as it covers the trails around the lake, the hills on the lake road and the uneven ground across a field.

    But it is the turn-around we are most excited about: the new bison viewing area with the potential of running up to the herd of bison at Hugh Butler Lake.

    Randy’s Run is being held in memory of Randy Andrew who passed away last August.Randy was the coordinator for the Bison Alumni Newsletter, hence the race logo featuring a bison and created by Tara Peterman, art teacher at MHS.

    Those who participate in this latest addition to the Republican River Fitness Series will also be testing their nerves, stamina and will-power, just like those watching Jaws.

    But on the plus side, there will be fewer sharks involved.

     Text

  • 09-Aug-2018

Trying something new and different can be daunting, but the next two weeks will include two vastly different events that will test nerves, stamina and will-power…and that is just the participants.

The first event is the movie, “Jaws,” which will be shown on Friday at the YMCA.

The back-to-school event is open to students 11 to 19 years old, who will sit on floaties in the pool and watch the film on the west wall of the YMCA pool.

There will be blood.

There will be detached limbs. (Get the headline yet?)

There will be scary moments as the movie-goers watch Jaws from the comfy confines of the pool.

We have had more than one person offer to swim underneath those floating in the pool. Rest assured, we have turned them all down, although it was mighty tempting.

The event is a collaboration between the YMCA and YCR (Youth Change Reaction, a youth organization with the McCook Community Foundation Fund).

With a limit of 100 students, you can take a chance and sign-up the evening of the movie. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the movie to begin at 8:30 p.m. But parents are encouraged to stop by the YMCA before Friday night and sign the release for students.

There is no charge for the movie, although a free-will donation will be accepted.

The “Dive-In” movie is open to both YMCA members and non-members, but participants must also be able to swim.

One of the most interesting parts of this whole project has been the realization that “Jaws” is rated “only” PG. \It was released in 1976, before the PG-13 rating was created.

This movie is a known entity about a shark which terrorizes a town.

Spoiler alert: townspeople die and the shark does meet her demise at the end, quite graphically.

So, parents need to consider whether the movie is suitable for their child.

Despite the chewy subject matter of the movie, response to the “Dive-In” movie has been tremendous. Actually, people are upset that it’s not open to all ages.

But if this event goes well, we hope to host future water-themed movies at the YMCA, such as Finding Nemo or Little Mermaid. There is the potential of a flood wet fun.

Randy’s Run

Also, brand new is Randy’s Run on Saturday, Aug. 18, which includes a 5K, half-marathon and a four-person team category.

The course covers 3.1 miles at Red Willow State Recreation Area north of McCook.

There is no easy way to say it: the course is tough as it covers the trails around the lake, the hills on the lake road and the uneven ground across a field.

But it is the turn-around we are most excited about: the new bison viewing area with the potential of running up to the herd of bison at Hugh Butler Lake.

Randy’s Run is being held in memory of Randy Andrew who passed away last August.Randy was the coordinator for the Bison Alumni Newsletter, hence the race logo featuring a bison and created by Tara Peterman, art teacher at MHS.

Those who participate in this latest addition to the Republican River Fitness Series will also be testing their nerves, stamina and will-power, just like those watching Jaws.

But on the plus side, there will be fewer sharks involved.

 Text

Celebrating Spirit Week - July 4

  • As a teacher, my husband doesn’t like to talk about summer break or how many days until school resumes or how it will be impossible to complete his “honey-do” list by the first day of school.

    Summer really does seem to fly by fast on its own without talking about it. Instead, we just try to enjoy every minute of summer break, cramming it full of activities and trips, sometimes making our heads spin…but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    It’s no different next week, as the YMCA celebrates the Fourth of July holiday with Spirit Week. Plus, there is a 5K/10K road race smack dab in the middle just to keep people moving.

    Spirit Week at the YMCA is Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 6 and will include a host of activities throughout the building for kids of all ages.

    Water Olympics - Water Olympics will take over the pool every afternoon at 3 p.m. with a different activity each day, including: 

    • Monday, July 2: Cardboard boat races. Build your own boat of corrugated cardboard, bring it to the Y at 3 p.m. and see who can make it across the pool – and hopefully back – the fastest
    • Tuesday, July 3: Water games - Walk on Water, Sponge Toss and Noodle Races
    • Thursday, July 5: Inner Tube Races, Cannon Ball Challenge and Swim with a Brick
    • Friday, July 6: Water Mania (a variety of games in the pool) followed by root beer float (not in the pool)

    Arts and Crafts - In the lobby throughout the week, the kids will be able to take part in chalk drawing, painting, Fourth of July-themed crafts, coloring and games. Just stop by the front desk to pick up the activity.  

    Summer Adventure Camp, All-American Week - For those who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade, Live Yers day care will be celebrating with All-American Week with games, snacks, crafts, pool time and contests. Call the YMCA to sign-up your child. 

    Nerf Wars - Round up those Nerf guns as part of two weeks of Nerf Wars. Registration is due today, Friday, July 29 and participants will be separated into the following divisions and play on the following days: 

    • 4-year-olds through entering 1st graders: July 2 and 9, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
    • 2nd-4th graders: July 2 and 9, 4:30-5:45 p.m.
    • 5th and 6th graders: July 5 and 12, 4:15-5:30 p.m.
    • 7th and 8th graders: July 5 and 12, 5:45-7 p.m.

    Nerf bullets will be provided by the YMCA. Participants need to bring protective eyewear and their own Nerf gun, although extras will be available…even if just from my own household’s personal stash as my not-so-subtle way of cleaning out my house.

    ***

    The annual Freedom Run in Culbertson is Wednesday morning with plenty of lengths to choose from. The day begins with a 1/3-mile free fun-run before the 5K and 10K walkers and runners take off. Race-day registration begins at 6:45 a.m. in the Culbertson Park with the fun-run at 7:30 a.m. The 5K/10K participants all begin together at 8 a.m.

    And don’t worry…we will be done with the race, snacks and awards in time for the traditional Culbertson Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m. I must note that we have contemplated having the runners and walkers finish as part of the parade, but didn’t know if they could throw candy and run at the same time.

    ***

    Finally, the YMCA will be closed Wednesday for the Fourth of July. The entire YMCA staff wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday.

     Text

  • 28-Jun-2018

As a teacher, my husband doesn’t like to talk about summer break or how many days until school resumes or how it will be impossible to complete his “honey-do” list by the first day of school.

Summer really does seem to fly by fast on its own without talking about it. Instead, we just try to enjoy every minute of summer break, cramming it full of activities and trips, sometimes making our heads spin…but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s no different next week, as the YMCA celebrates the Fourth of July holiday with Spirit Week. Plus, there is a 5K/10K road race smack dab in the middle just to keep people moving.

Spirit Week at the YMCA is Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 6 and will include a host of activities throughout the building for kids of all ages.

Water Olympics - Water Olympics will take over the pool every afternoon at 3 p.m. with a different activity each day, including: 

  • Monday, July 2: Cardboard boat races. Build your own boat of corrugated cardboard, bring it to the Y at 3 p.m. and see who can make it across the pool – and hopefully back – the fastest
  • Tuesday, July 3: Water games - Walk on Water, Sponge Toss and Noodle Races
  • Thursday, July 5: Inner Tube Races, Cannon Ball Challenge and Swim with a Brick
  • Friday, July 6: Water Mania (a variety of games in the pool) followed by root beer float (not in the pool)

Arts and Crafts - In the lobby throughout the week, the kids will be able to take part in chalk drawing, painting, Fourth of July-themed crafts, coloring and games. Just stop by the front desk to pick up the activity.  

Summer Adventure Camp, All-American Week - For those who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade, Live Yers day care will be celebrating with All-American Week with games, snacks, crafts, pool time and contests. Call the YMCA to sign-up your child. 

Nerf Wars - Round up those Nerf guns as part of two weeks of Nerf Wars. Registration is due today, Friday, July 29 and participants will be separated into the following divisions and play on the following days: 

  • 4-year-olds through entering 1st graders: July 2 and 9, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
  • 2nd-4th graders: July 2 and 9, 4:30-5:45 p.m.
  • 5th and 6th graders: July 5 and 12, 4:15-5:30 p.m.
  • 7th and 8th graders: July 5 and 12, 5:45-7 p.m.

Nerf bullets will be provided by the YMCA. Participants need to bring protective eyewear and their own Nerf gun, although extras will be available…even if just from my own household’s personal stash as my not-so-subtle way of cleaning out my house.

***

The annual Freedom Run in Culbertson is Wednesday morning with plenty of lengths to choose from. The day begins with a 1/3-mile free fun-run before the 5K and 10K walkers and runners take off. Race-day registration begins at 6:45 a.m. in the Culbertson Park with the fun-run at 7:30 a.m. The 5K/10K participants all begin together at 8 a.m.

And don’t worry…we will be done with the race, snacks and awards in time for the traditional Culbertson Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m. I must note that we have contemplated having the runners and walkers finish as part of the parade, but didn’t know if they could throw candy and run at the same time.

***

Finally, the YMCA will be closed Wednesday for the Fourth of July. The entire YMCA staff wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday.

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Looking for something different

  • Sure, there is the swimming pool and swim lessons at the YMCA. There are the fitness classes, the weight room and the cardio equipment. And of course, there are the adult and youth sports every season.

    But several activities - which are just a little bit different - are kicking off the summer.

    ___

    For starters, the YMCA is hosting Nerf Wars in July. With separate age divisions, Nerf Wars is open to those as young as four years of age to those entering eighth grade.

    For the uninitiated, Nerf guns fire foam bullets, usually with multiple rounds available before needing to reload.

    In terms of toys laying around my house, Nerf guns are just slightly above Legos on my tolerance level. The bullets don’t hurt to step on, unlike the thousands of Lego pieces camouflaged on my carpet until my foot lands on them. But just like Legos, the Nerf bullets are everywhere around my house after a couple rounds: in the corner of the living room, on top of the fridge, in the dog food dish.

    I’ll tolerate them lying around the house for a day or two but then they “disappear” when I sweep the house. Hence, the need to constantly replenish our supply of Nerf bullets.

    For the YMCA’s Nerf Wars, participants only need bring a Nerf gun and safety eyewear. The bullets will be supplied, which is convenient. On the other hand, that could be incentive for my son to play: He can only participate if he picks up every Nerf bullet in our house.

    ___

    Also up this summer is the YMCA’s Lazy Man Triathlon. While the program officially kicked off Monday, there is still time to sign up and start racking up the miles swimming, biking and running.

    For a full-length triathlon, participants usually complete all three distances - 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run or walk - one right after the other on one day. Elite triathletes will take from 8-9 hours to complete a full-length triathlon, while the rest of us like to get our money’s worth and use up the full 17 hours allotted.

    But the Lazy Man Triathlon allows even more time. Participants will have until July 15 to log all their miles and those miles can be in or out of the YMCA. But the longer you wait to sign-up, the shorter amount of time you have to complete the triathlon and earn your sweatshirt. In theory, you could wait until July 15 and complete all the miles that Sunday, but I’m going to advise against that plan.

    ___

    But quickly approaching is a triathlon which you can complete in one day.

    The Michelle Walter’s Memorial Triathlon is Saturday, June 23 at the McCook City Pool.

    Michelle’s Tri is the fifth event in the Republican River Fitness Series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

    This is a sprint triathlon, which is a 500-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 5K run or walk. I should add that the swim portion can be covered either by swimming in the deep end or walking in the shallow end of the pool, so don’t let the swimming discourage you from participating.

    If completing all three portions seems overwhelming, you can also sign up as a relay team with each person taking one section of the triathlon.

    If even that seems like too much, consider volunteering to help at the triathlon. For many participants, this will be their first triathlon and they can never have too much encouragement and support on the course.

    Plus, it’s just fun to watch people try to pull themselves out of the city pool after their swim. Cheap entertainment plus helping out for a good cause - it’s a win-win.

     

     Text

  • 15-Jun-2018

Sure, there is the swimming pool and swim lessons at the YMCA. There are the fitness classes, the weight room and the cardio equipment. And of course, there are the adult and youth sports every season.

But several activities - which are just a little bit different - are kicking off the summer.

___

For starters, the YMCA is hosting Nerf Wars in July. With separate age divisions, Nerf Wars is open to those as young as four years of age to those entering eighth grade.

For the uninitiated, Nerf guns fire foam bullets, usually with multiple rounds available before needing to reload.

In terms of toys laying around my house, Nerf guns are just slightly above Legos on my tolerance level. The bullets don’t hurt to step on, unlike the thousands of Lego pieces camouflaged on my carpet until my foot lands on them. But just like Legos, the Nerf bullets are everywhere around my house after a couple rounds: in the corner of the living room, on top of the fridge, in the dog food dish.

I’ll tolerate them lying around the house for a day or two but then they “disappear” when I sweep the house. Hence, the need to constantly replenish our supply of Nerf bullets.

For the YMCA’s Nerf Wars, participants only need bring a Nerf gun and safety eyewear. The bullets will be supplied, which is convenient. On the other hand, that could be incentive for my son to play: He can only participate if he picks up every Nerf bullet in our house.

___

Also up this summer is the YMCA’s Lazy Man Triathlon. While the program officially kicked off Monday, there is still time to sign up and start racking up the miles swimming, biking and running.

For a full-length triathlon, participants usually complete all three distances - 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run or walk - one right after the other on one day. Elite triathletes will take from 8-9 hours to complete a full-length triathlon, while the rest of us like to get our money’s worth and use up the full 17 hours allotted.

But the Lazy Man Triathlon allows even more time. Participants will have until July 15 to log all their miles and those miles can be in or out of the YMCA. But the longer you wait to sign-up, the shorter amount of time you have to complete the triathlon and earn your sweatshirt. In theory, you could wait until July 15 and complete all the miles that Sunday, but I’m going to advise against that plan.

___

But quickly approaching is a triathlon which you can complete in one day.

The Michelle Walter’s Memorial Triathlon is Saturday, June 23 at the McCook City Pool.

Michelle’s Tri is the fifth event in the Republican River Fitness Series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

This is a sprint triathlon, which is a 500-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 5K run or walk. I should add that the swim portion can be covered either by swimming in the deep end or walking in the shallow end of the pool, so don’t let the swimming discourage you from participating.

If completing all three portions seems overwhelming, you can also sign up as a relay team with each person taking one section of the triathlon.

If even that seems like too much, consider volunteering to help at the triathlon. For many participants, this will be their first triathlon and they can never have too much encouragement and support on the course.

Plus, it’s just fun to watch people try to pull themselves out of the city pool after their swim. Cheap entertainment plus helping out for a good cause - it’s a win-win.

 

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Value of swim lessons

  • Last week, the city of McCook held a town meeting so the public could be part of the discussion about the city’s potential big-ticket items.

    To no one’s surprise, the city’s 80-year-old outdoor swimming pool was the main topic of discussion. With my family heavily involved in swimming and diving, I am interested in what aquatic facilities are available in McCook. And while I do have several thoughts on the issue, I’ll cover those in a later column.

    Instead, I am going expand on an idea put forward by Tom Buresh at the meeting. He reminded people that our community is surrounded by water, whether it is the city pool, the YMCA’s pool or the lakes at the nearby state parks. And don’t forget about private pools, sand pits, and those plastic blue baby pools which rarely last one summer before inevitably cracking or getting a hole.

    When it comes to a place to swim, cool off or test your belly flop, we are blessed with options.

    But that also means that we have to prepare ourselves to be around bodies of water and that means learning to swim and consequently, swim lessons.

    Fortunately, we have the indoor pool at the YMCA, so swim lessons are available nearly year-round. Led by aquatic director Anna Sis, hundreds of kids every year learn to swim or to become more proficient swimmers at the YMCA.

    Even those as young as nine-months-old can benefit from a visit to the pool as part of Staci’s Otters, which trains toddlers to become comfortable in the water and hopefully flip to their back.

    During the summer, lessons are offered at the city pool, led by Jodi Crocker, who along with her mom, and have taught more kids in this community than they can likely remember, including my husband, who they can’t forget.

    And is not just kids who can benefit from swim lessons. You are never too old to learn something, including how to swim. At a minimum, the ability to swim will put you at ease around the water; at the other end of the spectrum, the ability to swim could save a life.

     

    My mother is an example of someone who dreaded the water. When she was a girl growing up on a farm in Iowa, she fell into a grain bin as it was being filled. Obviously, she lived through it (or I wouldn’t be here), but she developed a fear of suffocation from the incident and dreaded going into the water.

    She even owned a lake house later in life, but never felt at ease around the water. She and my dad would take boat rides on their pontoon but she never stepped foot onto the boat until her life jackets was fully clipped shut. She never truly enjoyed the water just steps from her back door.

    I have heard similar stories from other adults. They simply never learned to swim as a child.

    I take it for granted that I can swim, but have come to appreciate that my parents made me take swim lessons as a I child. We grew up camping next to the Platte River, so not learning to swim was not an option….even if the water only came up to our ankles most of the time.

    Following suit, all of my kids have taken lessons and are proficient swimmers...maybe not the fastest, but all of them are comfortable and confident in the water. In fact, the oldest three have all become lifeguards with the fourth Graff child currently in training at the Y.

    So as you make your summer plans, whether it is a vacation to a far-flung beach or a week camping at a nearby lake, pencil in time for swim lessons for the kids and maybe yourself if you need them. It’s a decision which could affect - and benefit - them for the rest of their lives.

     

     Text

  • 19-Apr-2018

Last week, the city of McCook held a town meeting so the public could be part of the discussion about the city’s potential big-ticket items.

To no one’s surprise, the city’s 80-year-old outdoor swimming pool was the main topic of discussion. With my family heavily involved in swimming and diving, I am interested in what aquatic facilities are available in McCook. And while I do have several thoughts on the issue, I’ll cover those in a later column.

Instead, I am going expand on an idea put forward by Tom Buresh at the meeting. He reminded people that our community is surrounded by water, whether it is the city pool, the YMCA’s pool or the lakes at the nearby state parks. And don’t forget about private pools, sand pits, and those plastic blue baby pools which rarely last one summer before inevitably cracking or getting a hole.

When it comes to a place to swim, cool off or test your belly flop, we are blessed with options.

But that also means that we have to prepare ourselves to be around bodies of water and that means learning to swim and consequently, swim lessons.

Fortunately, we have the indoor pool at the YMCA, so swim lessons are available nearly year-round. Led by aquatic director Anna Sis, hundreds of kids every year learn to swim or to become more proficient swimmers at the YMCA.

Even those as young as nine-months-old can benefit from a visit to the pool as part of Staci’s Otters, which trains toddlers to become comfortable in the water and hopefully flip to their back.

During the summer, lessons are offered at the city pool, led by Jodi Crocker, who along with her mom, and have taught more kids in this community than they can likely remember, including my husband, who they can’t forget.

And is not just kids who can benefit from swim lessons. You are never too old to learn something, including how to swim. At a minimum, the ability to swim will put you at ease around the water; at the other end of the spectrum, the ability to swim could save a life.

 

My mother is an example of someone who dreaded the water. When she was a girl growing up on a farm in Iowa, she fell into a grain bin as it was being filled. Obviously, she lived through it (or I wouldn’t be here), but she developed a fear of suffocation from the incident and dreaded going into the water.

She even owned a lake house later in life, but never felt at ease around the water. She and my dad would take boat rides on their pontoon but she never stepped foot onto the boat until her life jackets was fully clipped shut. She never truly enjoyed the water just steps from her back door.

I have heard similar stories from other adults. They simply never learned to swim as a child.

I take it for granted that I can swim, but have come to appreciate that my parents made me take swim lessons as a I child. We grew up camping next to the Platte River, so not learning to swim was not an option….even if the water only came up to our ankles most of the time.

Following suit, all of my kids have taken lessons and are proficient swimmers...maybe not the fastest, but all of them are comfortable and confident in the water. In fact, the oldest three have all become lifeguards with the fourth Graff child currently in training at the Y.

So as you make your summer plans, whether it is a vacation to a far-flung beach or a week camping at a nearby lake, pencil in time for swim lessons for the kids and maybe yourself if you need them. It’s a decision which could affect - and benefit - them for the rest of their lives.

 

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2018 Partners with Youth/Indoor Sprint Triathlon

  • Once a year, the YMCA staff and a large group of volunteers reach out to the community to ask for donations for a specific cause - Partners with Youth.

    Partners with Youth is a financial aid program, which covers programs fees for youth sports as well as membership costs for families.

    Under the Partners with Youth program, a mom could have part or most of the cost covered for her daughter to play soccer. Or a dad registers their child for swim lessons at a reduced cost. Or a parent may apply to have part of their membership fee covered by Partners with Youth so the entire family can spend a hour or two shooting baskets in the gym.

    Ultimately, the purpose of Partners with Youth is to give everyone the opportunity to belong to the YMCA, regardless of their ability to pay. No child is turned away because of their ability - or more importantly their inability - to pay.

    This is made possible because of donations to Partners with Youth. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, dozens of volunteers will be making phone calls, asking for a contribution. This is you chance to show your support for those who need the Y and the programs it offers, but just can’t afford it right now.

    So when you receive a call in a few weeks, please be as generous as possible.

    And just like families can request financial assistance any time of year, you don’t have to wait until Feb. 21 to make a donation to Partners with Youth. At any point, the YMCA will take a contribution, either online or at the YMCA service desk.

    And this year, there is an added opportunity to support Partners with Youth, a unique opportunity which may not be for everyone.

    On the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 25, the YMCA will host an indoor sprint triathlon with proceeds going to Partners with Youth. For those unfamiliar with a triathlon, it is swimming, followed by biking and ending with a run or walk. I regularly get asked if the events have to be in that order. There is logic to swim, bike, run. If you get tired while running and need a break, just walk. If you get tired while biking and need a break, just coast. Buti if you get tired while swimming and need a break....your options are limited and may involve the lifeguard using her life-saving skills.

    But for the indoor triathlon, participants will have the option of swimming or walking in the pool; we will use the Y’s stationary cycles used for the rYde class; and then the triathletes will hop on one of the 11 treadmills in the cardio area of the Y. Thankfully, no need to worry about the weather.

    The PWY Indoor Triathlon is open to members and non-members; participants can get a McCook Triathlon t-shirt or pass on another shirt; and all the events are weighted evenly, so a strong swimmer will have just as good a chance to win as a fast runner. Although someone who is good at all three elements will likely take the top prize.

    And while this may seem like not much time to train, this is the perfect chance to try a “tri” for the first time or to get a jumpstart on all the triathlons this spring and summer.

    Registration is now open through Friday, Feb. 23 for the indoor triathlon, both online at www.mccookymca.org or by stopping by the YMCA.

    And thank you in advance for your generosity when our volunteers call on Feb. 21 for the Partners With Youth fund-drive.

     

     Text

  • 08-Feb-2018

Once a year, the YMCA staff and a large group of volunteers reach out to the community to ask for donations for a specific cause - Partners with Youth.

Partners with Youth is a financial aid program, which covers programs fees for youth sports as well as membership costs for families.

Under the Partners with Youth program, a mom could have part or most of the cost covered for her daughter to play soccer. Or a dad registers their child for swim lessons at a reduced cost. Or a parent may apply to have part of their membership fee covered by Partners with Youth so the entire family can spend a hour or two shooting baskets in the gym.

Ultimately, the purpose of Partners with Youth is to give everyone the opportunity to belong to the YMCA, regardless of their ability to pay. No child is turned away because of their ability - or more importantly their inability - to pay.

This is made possible because of donations to Partners with Youth. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, dozens of volunteers will be making phone calls, asking for a contribution. This is you chance to show your support for those who need the Y and the programs it offers, but just can’t afford it right now.

So when you receive a call in a few weeks, please be as generous as possible.

And just like families can request financial assistance any time of year, you don’t have to wait until Feb. 21 to make a donation to Partners with Youth. At any point, the YMCA will take a contribution, either online or at the YMCA service desk.

And this year, there is an added opportunity to support Partners with Youth, a unique opportunity which may not be for everyone.

On the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 25, the YMCA will host an indoor sprint triathlon with proceeds going to Partners with Youth. For those unfamiliar with a triathlon, it is swimming, followed by biking and ending with a run or walk. I regularly get asked if the events have to be in that order. There is logic to swim, bike, run. If you get tired while running and need a break, just walk. If you get tired while biking and need a break, just coast. Buti if you get tired while swimming and need a break....your options are limited and may involve the lifeguard using her life-saving skills.

But for the indoor triathlon, participants will have the option of swimming or walking in the pool; we will use the Y’s stationary cycles used for the rYde class; and then the triathletes will hop on one of the 11 treadmills in the cardio area of the Y. Thankfully, no need to worry about the weather.

The PWY Indoor Triathlon is open to members and non-members; participants can get a McCook Triathlon t-shirt or pass on another shirt; and all the events are weighted evenly, so a strong swimmer will have just as good a chance to win as a fast runner. Although someone who is good at all three elements will likely take the top prize.

And while this may seem like not much time to train, this is the perfect chance to try a “tri” for the first time or to get a jumpstart on all the triathlons this spring and summer.

Registration is now open through Friday, Feb. 23 for the indoor triathlon, both online at www.mccookymca.org or by stopping by the YMCA.

And thank you in advance for your generosity when our volunteers call on Feb. 21 for the Partners With Youth fund-drive.

 

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