Author Archives: Anne Keen

Chef Gary’s Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, knowing what you can make ahead and what needs to be made day-of can be a big challenge… and quite overwhelming! Chef Gary shares his game plan to reduce stress so you can focus on what matters most on Thanksgiving—cherishing family and friends.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, create your menu. Decide if you are going to:

  1. Make everything from scratch
  2. Buy some pre-made items for ease and convenience
  3. Ask your family and friends to help out with a few items. Asking for help relieves stress, saves room in your refrigerator and is easier on your wallet!

And be sure to check below for some great slow cooker ideas to make your holiday planning easier!

 

Wednesday

First, determine how much time your turkey will need to cook. You’ll do the actual cooking on Thursday, but take a few minutes to prepare using the table and information below. The general rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees. Times are approximate, as all ovens vary slightly in temperature. To ensure your bird is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

On Thursday, you’ll take two readings:

  1. One reading in the thickest part of the breast (goal: 165 degrees)
  2. One reading in the thickest part of the leg (goal: 180 degrees)

Your turkey is done when the thermometer reads 165 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the leg. Remember to let the turkey rest at least 20 minutes before carving to let all the juices redistribute.

 

 Weight of Bird Roasting Time (Unstuffed) Roasting Time (Stuffed)
10 – 18 lbs. 3 – 3.5 hours 3.75 – 4.5 hours
18 – 22 lbs. 3.5 – 4 hours 4.5 – 5 hours
22 – 24 lbs. 4 – 4.5 hours 5 – 5.5 hours
24 – 29 lbs. 4 – 5.5 hours 5.5 – 6.25 hours

 

On Wednesday, rinse and dry the turkey. If you plan to season it, now is the time. This will give the seasoning time to meld and will add a ton of flavor to the turkey.

Next, make the cornbread for the cornbread stuffing. Cover, and let sit at room temperature.

Chop up all your onions and celery for the stuffing, place in a zip-lock bag, and refrigerate.

Then, make your cranberry sauce. Place it in your serving dish, cover, and refrigerate. This one is all set to go.

Roast up the garlic for your garlic mashed potatoes.

Make your pumpkin pie—or the pie(s) of your choosing—cover, and refrigerate. Save yourself a few steps, and ask someone else to make the pie(s), or pick them up from your local bakery. Most pies can even be made a week ahead and frozen. Thaw at room temp starting on Wednesday.

Make your sweet potatoes, cover, and refrigerate.

Make your gravy. Gravy can be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated. Add the drippings after the turkey comes out of the oven. Your gravy will be just as delicious!

 

Thursday

Today is the day! You may need to get started early, but if you have done the prep work already mentioned, it will be a snap.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté the onions and celery that you cut up yesterday. Add in sausage (if you’re using it for the stuffing), and set aside.

Boil and drain your potatoes for the garlic mashed potatoes, and set aside.

While your potatoes are boiling, assemble the cornbread stuffing. Bake the stuffing for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and cover with foil to keep warm.

Now, get that turkey in the oven! Use the time table above. Remember to take two readings to determine when the turkey is done.

 

Slow Cooker Side Dish Ideas

During the holidays, your slow cooker can be your best friend. Use these simple ideas to create some great side dishes that won’t take up precious room in your oven or on your stove top.

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing

Try this delicious stuffing that requires little time and effort. Place cut-up stale French bread, chopped up carrots, celery and onion and a little sweet Italian sausage in your slow cooker. Top with a small amount of chicken or turkey stock (the vegetables and sausage will give off plenty of additional liquid and flavor), and let the slow cooker do the rest.

Slow Cooker Home-Style Mashed Potatoes

Simple mashed potatoes can take up room on your stovetop. Use your slow cooker to solve this problem. Toss cut russet potatoes, butter, salt and pepper into a slow cooker. Turn it on low and step away for a few hours. When you return, the potatoes will be perfectly tender and ready to be mashed. Make sure to mash them up with warm milk (warm the milk quickly in the microwave). For some added flavor, throw in some of the roasted garlic that you roasted the night before.

Slow Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Here’s an easy way to make the celebrated candied sweet potatoes that are a tradition on most holiday tables. Begin by cutting the potatoes into thick rounds so they will hold up during the cooking process. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, toss them with a dash of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of butter. There is no need to add marshmallows to these. The result will yield you a tender potato that’s just sweet enough with a touch of spice.

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Pre-sliced cremini mushrooms are thrown right into the slow cooker with string beans. Cooked together, the mushrooms will release some great flavor into the beans. Once cooked, toss the mixture with some butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper to serve. Simple and easy!

By: Gary Appelsies MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

Fats: How to Make Healthy Choices

Did you know that fat is an important part of our diet? Our bodies actually need fat to survive! In fact, at a minimum, we should be getting 10% of our daily calories from fat. According to the USDA, a healthy adult’s daily fat intake should be 25-30% of their daily calories.

But not all fats are equally healthy. So, what kind do we need? What kind should we limit or try to avoid?

Here are the basics:

Unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for heart disease, when eaten in moderation. Fats have nine calories per gram, compared to four calories per gram for proteins and carbohydrates. This means that a little bit goes a long way! There are two types of unsaturated fats: polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. These healthy fats are mostly found in vegetable oils and fatty fish such as salmon, trout, catfish, and mackerel, as well as flaxseed and walnuts. Other sources of healthy fats include:

  • Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
  • Almonds, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil

Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products. According to the American Heart Association, saturated fats can raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Sources of saturated fat include fatty cuts of red meat, poultry skin, pork, high-fat dairy products like butter, cheese, and milk made from whole or reduced fat (2% or 1%) milk. Saturated fat can also be found in certain vegetable fats that are solid at room temperature, such as coconut oil and lard. Remember that baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats.

How to Make Healthy Choices:

A great way to make healthier choices when it comes to fats is to read your nutrition labels. On the nutrition facts panel, you’ll find all the information you need to make healthful choices. Look for foods that are low in total fat, and especially low in saturated and trans fats. Keep in mind that a product with a label boasting it is “trans-fat free” can actually have up to 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Choose a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Once a week, try a vegetarian meal.
  • Select dairy products that are skim or fat free.
  • Experiment with making your own salad dressings using unsaturated oils, your favorite vinegar, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Try cooking with unsaturated liquid oils, such as canola or olive, instead of butter, lard, or margarine.
  • Limit your consumption of high-fat foods, processed foods, fried foods, sweets, and desserts.

Remember that reducing or eliminating saturated fats is just one piece of the puzzle. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fewer calories for better overall health. And don’t forget to visit the YMCA of Central Florida website for delicious and tasty healthy recipes.

By: Gary Appelsies MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center Honors Donors During Special Event

On October 8, the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center hosted a renovation dedication celebration to recognize five donors who have helped the Aquatic Center serve Central Florida.

The event included a grand opening of the newly renovated Lochinvar Teaching Pool and dedications of the Harris Rosen Championship Course, Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer Competition Course, SeaWorld Viewing Room, and New Endless Pool.

“The Y has been teaching swim lessons in Central Florida for more than 50 years,” says Rowdy Gaines, vice president of aquatics. “We’re so grateful to Harris Rosen and our other donors’ ongoing support that enables the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center to continue strengthening our communities for future generations.”

The Y unveiled the newly renovated Lochinvar Teaching Pool that was made possible by Rosen, SeaWorld, and Lochinvar, a water and pool heating company.

To recognize Harris Rosen’s extraordinary advocacy and unwavering support, the Aquatic Center renamed its Championship Course after him. Rosen has been a major donor to the Y, not only to the Aquatic Center, but also to the South Orlando and Tangelo Park locations.

The Aquatic Center named its other Competition Course after Dr. John “Lucky” Meisenheimer, who has been a major advocate and donor. The newly renovated SeaWorld Viewing Room was also unveiled. Additionally, the Y recognized Endless Pools and Weller Pools for their contributions toward installing an endless pool, which is a state-of-the-art, current-propelled pool for stroke technique and swim lessons.

4 Ways to Instill Lifelong Healthy Habits in Kids

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and an opportunity for our community to learn more about this serious health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five children in the United States has obesity. Children with obesity are at a higher risk for other chronic health conditions including asthma, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. Obese children are also at a higher risk of being bullied by their peers and are more likely to suffer from depression and low self-esteem. While childhood obesity can be caused by a number of social factors, physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, dietary behaviors, and more, there are many ways we can support healthy growth in children by exposing them to positive healthy experiences and instilling good exercise and nutrition habits.

The Y is committed to fighting childhood obesity by helping kids improve their spiritual, mental, and physical health and develop lifelong healthy habits through youth sports, aquatics, programs, and camps. Here are four ways the Y can help support healthy growth in your child:

  1. Learn New Skills & Make New Friends in Y Youth Sports: For many kids in our community, the Y is where they learn the importance of staying active and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. Y youth sports help reduce the risk of childhood obesity by keeping kids active and moving. Y youth sports are all-inclusive and designed to benefit kids of all levels. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out. Learn more.
  2. Impart a Lifelong Love of Swimming: Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise, and a challenging sport. Our Ys offer swim lessons for all ages, family swim, competitive swimming, and diving teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs, so all can safely enjoy the water and stay active. Learn more.
  3. Normalize Healthy Eating: At the Y, we believe that healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. Help curb childhood obesity by providing healthy snacks and foods. We have dozens of healthy recipes on our website that your entire family is sure to love. Have a nutrition question? Ask our Virtual Chef! We are always sharing free healthy tips and tricks on our blog, too. For example, check out these recent blog posts:
    1. 3 Time-Saving Tips to Help Your Family Eat Healthy
    2. Eat Right, Not Less: Six Nutrition Label Tips
    3. An Easy Guide to Carbs
    4. Power Up with Protein
  4. Provide Extra Support & Enrichment Activities Before & After School: The Y offers before & after school programming for both elementary and middle school students. Through a holistic lens, the Y helps students learn, grow, and thrive through a research-based curriculum that includes homework support, reading activities, health and wellness education, character development, science, technology, engineering & math (STEM), and more. Learn more.

3 Time-Saving Tips to Help Your Family Eat Healthy

The kids are back in school, and schedules are picking back up. Between work, school, homework, sporting events, music lessons, wellness routines, and spending valuable time together, you want to keep your family healthy, too! You know what you need to do: Eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Focus on whole grains and lean proteins. But actually making it happen? It’s sometimes a challenge, especially during the week! Here are three time-saving tips to help your family eat healthy:

  1. On-the-Go Snacks: For many parents, the biggest challenge when it comes to healthy eating is time. What comes to mind when you think of on-the-go snacks? Bags of chips and cookies? Cans of soda and candy bars? What about nuts, raisins, and whole-grain pretzels? These are easy to grab on the go or keep in the car during the week. You can even pack a small cooler filled with cold water, yogurt, string cheese, carrots, and fresh fruit before picking up the kids from school or practice. There are many nutritious, minimally processed snack food options to choose from. A little preparation can go a long way in helping to keep your kids full between activities and help you avoid the fast food drive-thru.
  2. Reimagine Weeknight Dinners: The crockpot is a busy parent’s dream! Crockpot recipes can yield dinner for an entire week. All you’ll need to do is pop it in the microwave for a quick, hot dinner. By the way, dinner can be cold, too! That’s right – “cold” is not a typo! On extra busy nights, a simple plate of healthy, nutritious snack foods can get you through. Focus on the nutritious value of the snack foods, and aim to select choices that include your three macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Here are some examples:
  • Whole-grain crackers with string cheese, hummus, sliced peppers, carrots, grape tomatoes, and some sliced turkey;
  • Apple slices and celery sticks with nut butter (Note: Try sun butter if your child is allergic to nuts. Please check with your physician and read the food label to be sure your child can eat it safely.);
  • Low-fat yogurt with berries and whole-grain granola;

I know this might not sound like a “meal” in the traditional sense, but a dinner like this can include protein, whole-grain complex carbohydrates, healthy sources of fats, fiber, calcium, and vitamins! Best of all, you probably already have many of these foods on hand, and it takes less than five minutes to prepare.

  1. Make Double Batches: I know this sounds like extra work, but just hear me out. On evenings or weekends when you have a bit of extra time, cook up a double batch of that night’s dinner. Put half in a container, label, and freeze. On future busy nights, simply thaw the food, reheat, and serve! This time-saving hack works well on casseroles, soups, meatballs, chili dishes, and more!

 

Author: Gary Appelsies
Director of Healthy Eating

 

Eat Right, Not Less: Six Nutrition Label Tips

When you first look at a nutrition facts label, it’s easy to want to zero in on the calorie count alone. But remember, eating healthy is about eating the right food, not less food! There are many healthy foods that have a higher calorie count, just like there are many unhealthy foods that are marketed as “low calorie,” “low fat,” and “low sugar.”

On every packaged food item, you will find a nutrition facts label [pictured]. Here are six helpful tips to help you make healthy choices for your family.*


1. Sodium
: Look for packaged products that have 140mg or less of sodium per serving. This will help to ensure that you stay within the recommended dietary guidelines of 2300 mg per day, which is equal to about one teaspoon of salt. Yes, you read that right! Enjoy up to 1 teaspoon of salt per serving. Sodium is an important and essential nutrient for the body, but is not needed in large amounts. Sodium helps the body to balance fluids and supports healthy nervous system functions.


2. Sugar
: Look for packaged products with 4g or less of sugar per serving. Four grams is equal to about 1 teaspoon. To calculate how much sugar is in a packaged product, simply divide the number of grams by 4 to get the number of teaspoons per serving. Example: If your nutrition label lists 24g of sugar, then in one serving, you will be consuming 6 teaspoons of sugar. Would you put that much sugar in your body at on one time? Probably not! Limiting sugars in your diet can help prevent cavities and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.


3. Ingredients list
: Read the ingredients list. Ideally, the list will be short, with maybe 5-10 ingredients. Look for words like “whole” (e.g. “whole grain), and ingredients you recognize and can pronounce.


4. Servings:
Look at both the serving size and servings per container. Here’s the tricky part: A nutrition label typically lists the information for a single serving (which may or may not be the whole container!). So, if a can of soup lists two servings per container and you plan to eat all of the contents of the can, you will double all the numbers on the nutrition facts label to account for both servings.


5. Other nutrients
: Aim for more nutrients like fiber, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. Look for foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol.


6. Compare
: We all have certain products that we love and are loyal to, but next time you’re at the grocery store, try a side-by-side comparison using the tips above. You might find something that’s a little bit healthier for you – and it might even taste better!

 

 

 *Note: If you have high blood pressure or other medical issues, please consult your physician for your particular dietary needs.  

 

By: Gary Appelsies MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

An Easy Guide to Carbs

An Easy Guide to Carbs

There’s a good chance you’ve wondered about carbs at one point or another. With many conflicting sources of information out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, confused, and ultimately afraid when it comes to carbs! But don’t worry – we’ve made a simple guide for you.

 

Carbohydrates have long been a staple in the human diet. In fact, carbs are one of three macronutrients – along with proteins and healthy fats – that make up the bulk of your diet and help give your body energy!

But today, many people believe that all carbs are bad. Oftentimes, this is because they appear in many processed or unhealthy foods that are void of nutrition and are sometimes linked to chronic illness and disease. However, not all carbs are created equally. Carbohydrates are made up of three categories: sugar, starch, and fiber. It’s important to understand the differences between these three types of carbohydrates to make the best choices for you and your family. Here is a short-and-simple explanation:

 

Simple Carbs (Sugar): These fast-acting carbs are either naturally occurring sugars (e.g. in milk and fruit) or added sugars (e.g. in cookies, ice cream, and soda). Naturally occurring sugars can provide a boost of quick energy and are a healthy sweet alternative to processed foods with added sugar, like cookies and cakes. Plus, fruits are packed with many other nutrients! We find added sugar in many of our processed and packaged foods. They lack nutritional value, which is why we often hear them referred to as “empty calories.” Added sugars go by many different names on the nutrition label: table sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, powdered sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, to name a few.

You don’t have to completely avoid added sugar, but do pay attention to your nutrition labels and be aware of the types and amounts of sugars in the foods you’re eating.

 

Complex Carbs (Starch): Complex carbs include starchy vegetables (e.g. peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes), lentils and peas (e.g. pinto beans, black eyed peas, etc.), and grains (e.g. oats, rice, etc.). The grains can be broken down into whole grains and refined grains. Aim to fill your plate with whole-grain options, which offer great nutritional value. Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, and brown rice. Along with fruits, starchy veggies, lentils, and peas, whole grains are high in fiber, and a single serving can have as many as seven grams! This is more than you will find in a single serving of fruits or vegetables. Refined grains (e.g. white breads, bagels, and pastas) contain only part of the grain, so you miss out on important nutrients. While many refined grains are enriched with additional nutrients, fiber is not added back in.

Like proteins and healthy fats, complex carbs are beneficial for your body in the right portions. You can top your complex carbs with a beautiful tomato sauce, fresh veggies, fish, chicken, or cheese for a satisfying and filling meal! You can find many healthy recipes on our website that include healthy complex carbs.

 

Fiber: Found exclusively in plant foods, fiber is the indigestible part of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. On a nutrition label, you can actually subtract the fiber content from the total carbohydrate number, since you don’t digest it. Fiber supports healthy digestion and helps you feel full. Most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets – another reason to add more whole grains, fruits, beans, legumes, and veggies to your plate!

 

Final Takeaways: Enjoy carbs in your diet with a healthy mix of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes. You don’t have to hide from pasta, rice, and bread your whole life. Just be smart in the way you consume them, and make healthful swaps – whole-grain pasta instead of white pasta, a bowl of fruit instead of a bowl of candy – when you can!

 

By: Gary Appelsies MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

YMCA of Central Florida Debuts Newly Renovated Family Center in Lake Mary


Community leaders to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center on June 19

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – (June 16, 2019) – The YMCA of Central Florida will showcase its newly renovated J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour on June 19 at 11:30 a.m. Wayne M. Densch Charities and the Leonard Williams Sr. Family donated $1 million to make significant improvements to the facility, including critical enhancements to the parking lot, front entrance and pool area, as well as renovations to the group exercise room and gymnasium. A front door canopy will also be completed in the fall.

“We’re proud to serve more than 15,000 Lake Mary neighbors through the impactful programs and services offered at our J. Douglas Williams YMCA,” says Dan Wilcox, President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Wayne Densch Charities’ and the Leonard Williams Sr. Family’s continuous support of the Y has been critical in helping us invest in important improvements to our Family Centers and continue to meet the evolving needs of our community.”

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Y relies on the help from community partners to further its cause of strengthening communities. With this latest gift, the Wayne Densch Charities and Leonard Williams Sr. Family has provided more than $3.5 million in funding to the Y during the past three decades.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 22 YMCA locations across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. This mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease; boost children’s after-school safety and learning; and strengthen fragile neighborhoods.

To learn more, visit the YMCA of Central Florida website at ymcacf.org or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

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Keeping Your Diet on Track

Keeping your “diet” on track!

Do you feel that you are on the “diet” yo-yo? You lose a few pounds, and then put them back on plus a few more. You “diet” and “diet” and think that you are being good but if you forget some of the small things that may just be the cause of keeping those extra pounds on. First, let’s forget about the word diet. Make it a commitment to your lifestyle for overall better health. Start by keeping a diary or log of all the foods you eat. Good, bad or indifferent. Start by keeping the diary for a week or two, this will help you to understand what you are really eating instead of what you think you are eating. Then continue to track your eating habits. As you improve your habits the easier it will become to recognize when you are eating right and when you stray off course.

A few key things to think about:

  1. Breakfast can often times throw off our whole day. Keep breakfast to approximately 300 calories. Avoid sugary drinks and breakfast cereals, doughnuts, cakes, etc. Stick with a healthy protein and a complex carb such as a piece of fruit or oatmeal. This will help to curb your mid-morning hunger pains.
  2. Look for healthy fats throughout the day. Unsaturated is the way to go. These include: olives, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds just to name a few.
  3. Look for packaged products to have 140mg or less of sodium per serving. Approximately 2300mg per day which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon.

Did you forget to count the liquid calories?

It’s easy to forget that the things we drink have calories. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food. On average, 20% of our daily calories come from what we drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, have that sports drink at the Y, or drink a glass of soda at dinner, think and journal about the calories you’re adding. Don’t forget to hydrate your body with plenty of water throughout the day, which has zero calories.

Did you skip a meal?

Thinking of skipping a meal to save a calorie or two? Think again, skipping meals can actually have an opposite effect by slowing down your metabolism, causing uneven blood sugar levels, and increasing cravings. Try eating at fairly regularly scheduled times so your body can burn those fats and calories. When your body knows it’s going to eat regularly, it keeps working and doesn’t store those calories for “an emergency” (better known as starvation mode).

Did you check your portion size?

3-6 ounces of protein should suffice as a general rule for average sized adults, but may need to adjust based on size. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal. Keep salad dressings to a minimum, 1 tablespoon should do the trick and give it a good toss. You will be surprised how well it coats your salad. Add in whole grains and now you are looking at a well-balanced plate. Since we eat with our eyes, if our plate looks empty we tend to pile on the food. So here’s a simple trick: plate your food up on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. You can always go back for seconds. Chances are pretty good you won’t need to! And by all means, take your time when eating. It’s not a race to see who can finish first and you will be able to feel when you’re full.

Did you eliminate your treats?

Remember it’s OK to treat yourself every once in a while. If you stick to with 90/10 rule you will be fine. Remember not to punish yourself or call the diet “off” because you had a bad day.  It’s not the end of the world. The last thing you want to do is eliminate all the foods you enjoy. Eliminating makes diets difficult and often times painful. Taking away sweets, chips and other snacks totally can cause cravings. Then, the first thing we do when we get the chance is eat those things when no one is looking, or the day we finish our “diet” we go on a binge. The fact is that we can and should live on a healthy lifestyle all the time, enjoy the foods we eat and never feel guilty if we indulge once in a while. Adding in foods that are naturally sweet and salty will also help your cravings.

The goal! Eat! Yes, eat and eat 3 healthy meals per day. Make sure they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  Include fruits and veggies at every meal.  A plate with different colored fruits and vegetables means you are getting all that good nutrition your body needs. If you feel hungry in between meals, snack on things like nuts, seeds, rice cakes, carrot, celery or even a piece of whole grain toast with some peanut butter.

Enjoy life and I urge you not to think of it as a “diet”, but rather as part of a healthful lifestyle!

Have questions? Visit the YMCA virtual chef page at www.ymcacf.org/virtualchef

Or for healthy eating recipes from the Y visit www.ymcacf.org/healthyrecipes 

Back To School

Try it—You’ll Like It

While sitting at dinner the other night with a group of friends, the conversation turned to talk about our children and the fun summer they have all had so far. We quickly realized, staring us straight in the face… it’s that time again. Yes, I am talking about back to school. We need to go shopping and buy all those supplies that are on the list, but the one thing that is never on the list is healthy lunch and snack ideas for our kids.

“I vow that this year it’s going to be different!” One of our friends stated. “How is that?” I asked. “The kids will have a healthy breakfast and lunch every day!” A conversation began to ensue. What was quickly realized is that as parents, we have the good intention of feeding our children a healthy nutritious meal. Reality however, is that after fighting with our children a week and a half in, there seems to be a shift in parental balance of power and we… well, we give up.

Yes, I understand the ease that comes with putting a box of sugar sweetened cereal or some pastries on the breakfast table. Throwing some Lunchables in a bag and calling it a day. But, what if I told you I can give you a few easy breakfast and lunch items that your kids will actually love and won’t break the bank. You’re probably saying… “Gary, you’re crazy!”

So, here it goes… try these and see what happens.  You will enjoy these too.

Breakfast:

Blueberry Oat Pancakes – Make these gems in advance in silver dollar size and freeze them. Pop them in the toaster for a quick, easy breakfast

Frittata with Spinach and Asparagus – Bake these ahead of time in a muffin tin. Freeze and pop in the microwave to reheat.

Banana Mango Smoothie with Spinach – Add in some fresh berries and it will mask the green color and you get your kids to drink some green juice.

Lunch:

Cauliflower Fried Rice – Make sure to add in some chicken or shrimp to get your little ones some extra added protein. (This works great with leftover chicken or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs – These are great for dinner and lunch box friendly during the week.

Butternut Squash Mac ’n Cheese – Need I say more? It’s mac ’n cheese.

Snack:

Everyday Snacking Granola – Also great on your morning oatmeal or mixed into a yogurt parfait with berries.

Creamy Hummus – Send this along with your little one’s favorite snackable veggies.

By: Gary Appelsies, MS, CHHC, AADP Director of Healthy Eating

 

2018 Christian Values Conference

What happens when you take 400 teens and adults from all over the US and put them together for a week in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains? The answer is as simple as this quote by one of our teens: “This was the best day of my life.”

 

Once again, the YMCA of Central Florida loaded up buses and made the journey to the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina, for the 2018 Christian Values Conference in July. Throughout the week our 50+ teens had the opportunity to disconnect from the distractions and hectic pace of life and enjoy authentic community. They spend time playing hard, praying hard and reaching deep to make the most of each moment on the mountain.

 

During the time together, our group attended devotion services each morning and evening, and spent time in small family groups exploring relationships with each other and God. As the week went on, each participant learned the importance of gratitude, forgiveness and that we never have to do this life alone.

 

We all need the chance to get away and unplug from the craziness of our everyday lives even if it for just a few minutes.  Find the time today that will recharge your spirit and reconnect to authentic community.

 

For more information about Christian Values Camp, please contact Madison Jamerson, Middle Schools & Teen Program Coordinator, at [email protected].

Not Plan “B” (Plan Be: Engaged)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Many of you have heard the famous poem Foot Prints in the Sand. It tells of a fictional story of man walking the beach with God and looks back to see only one set of footprints at times in his life when things were difficult. As he asked God why he wasn’t with him in those times, God responds, “with those were the times I carried you.” I recently heard a pastor point out that it’s not called “butt prints in the sand” but, footprints. It speaks of someone who was actively doing something. He was still moving forward, even when he was being carried. The man was engaged in life and was living. You and I were made to thrive, not just survive. So many of life’s stressors can weigh us down and make us want to sit on the sand and stop moving forward. Make a plan to Be: Engaged in life. Learn something new today, forgive someone, or maybe even yourself, laugh, smile at a stranger, volunteer, go for a walk on the beach. Plan to Be: Engaged.
by Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships

It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Diet

I was recently in a discussion with a group of parents. The conversation started out by talking about “diets” and making lifestyle changes. The conversation quickly turned and the focus became healthy eating ideas that the whole family can enjoy. I was truly inspired at some of the great ideas brought up in the discussion. This group has got it! It is not about their individual “diet” and health, but rather, they were truly focused on lifestyle changes that would affect the whole family.

The key is to get your kids involved and, as I have said before, model the behavior. If you eat healthy and encourage it with your children, they will eat healthy too. Start with some easy lessons and create some sort of “family code.”  This code applies to adults and kids alike. Is it ok to enjoy some junk food once in a while? Yes, of course it is. What we tend to forget is that it is not always about what we eat but also, when, how and why.

  1. Eat real food

What is real food? Real food is not processed or heated up in the microwave. It includes nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables and grains, avoiding empty calories that just fill you up and don’t help your body grow, heal and fight off disease.

  1. Choose water

Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. After oxygen, water is the body’s most important nutrient. Your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, so it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

  1. Take your time

If you eat at the table with your family and friends, you can stimulate your brain, converse and learn about the people you love. Try this even twice a week and your family dynamic will change.

  1. Create an eating curfew

No snacking after 7:00pm.

  1. Learn to listen to your body

Ask yourself a question or two before you take your next bite. Why am I eating? If your answer to this question is anything other than, “I am hungry!” Then, you might want to think again. If your body is telling you its full, then it probably is.

  1. Make it a family affair

You’ve heard the saying “birds of a feather…”.  If you shop for food together, cook together and eat together, you are likely to live long lives together. Being part of the process gives children a deeper appreciation for the foods they eat, and will help to build good habits that will last a lifetime.

 

By: Gary Appelsies MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

Hydrate to Beat the Heat

Hydrate to Beat the Heat

It’s summer in Florida, which means extreme heat, high humidity and hydration challenges. Getting enough to drink is important whether you’re working out, traveling or just sitting in the sun. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the vessels to the muscles and it helps the muscles work efficiently. It also keeps your body temperature better regulated, joints more lubricated, and protects sensitive tissues. Dehydration can be a very serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from fatigue, swollen feet and headaches to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

But how much water or fluid should you drink each day? According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s a simple question with no easy answer.” No single formula fits everyone. Here are a few ways to determine what your body needs:

  1. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake from both food and beverages is:
    – About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
    – About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
  1. If you get thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. Instead, most doctors recommend paying attention to your urine. Pale & clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.
  1. If you do any activity that makes you sweat – exercise, swimming, going to the beach – you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after these activities. If exercise is very intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat. But, limit these drinks at other times.

Knowing how much fluid you SHOULD have is much different than actually acquiring it.  Consider committing to drinking the recommended amount for at least 24 hours to start. Journal how you feel before you start and then how you feel after. You will be surprised at the difference in most cases.

According to the National Institute of Health, another great way to get your fluid each day is through fruit and vegetables that are high in water, such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, bell peppers and spinach. Up to 20% of your water intake could come from food. Check out this summer recipe for grilled peaches from our Director of Healthy Eating, Chef Gary Appelsies.

By: Kelly Prather, Executive Director of Health Strategies & Member Experience

Father’s Day is a Reminder of the Important Role Dads Play in Children’s Lives

Over 100 years ago, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Wash., her idea came to fruition with the first Father’s Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Many years passed before the day became a national holiday, but today we use the day to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives.

On Sunday, June 17, the YMCA of Central Florida joins the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the influence fathers and adult male role models have in children’s lives. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million—or one in three—children live without their biological fathers. Societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect a father’s ability to seek support in strengthening his parenting skills and becoming more engaged in the lives of his children. The Y, a leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, is dedicated to providing both resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.

“On Father’s Day, we celebrate dads and all male adult role models as we recognize how important it is for children to grow up with men who are committed, responsible and involved,” said Dan Saginario, Vice President of Brand & Cause Advocacy, YMCA of Central Florida. “Dads need support to be the best parents and caregivers they can be, and this holiday helps to remind us of that.”

The YMCA of Central Florida offers parent/child programs and volunteer opportunities at many of our locations. Check with your local Y for more information.

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Them

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Them

When I became a father 16 years ago, I could never imagine how I would relish in my daughter’s smile and how she would warm my heart every day.

She’s a true inspiration. She gives me purpose in my life and inspires me to be a better person. Whether you’re a dad or male role model, you understand how special and rewarding this role can be. Sure, it has its challenges and may not always be as easy as we make it look, but it’s the simple, every day moments you share with your children that leave the biggest impact on your life and theirs.

June is Men’s Health Month, so now is the time to take control of your health. I continually hear from friends how so many men at younger ages are falling ill with chronic illness and disease. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, just to name a few. Think about the value that your life adds to your family. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dad or not, you bring a special value to those who care about you.

Let’s face it, guys, we are not the kind to go to the doctor. “Oh, it’s probably nothing,” is not the answer. It could be more serious than you think. I urge you to make a commitment to your family that you will take care of yourself so that you can take care of them for many years to come.

Here are some tips to get you on the road to being healthy:

Diet: With so many diets and trends out there, how do you know if you are eating healthy? It’s simpler than you think! Add in more fruits and veggies to your diet. Replace heavy fatty proteins with leaner choices. Hydrate with plenty of water throughout the day, cut down your portion sizes, and by all means, eliminate some of those processed foods, sugars, and refined grains.

Move: Even a short 10–15 minute walk a day can help you build your endurance and reduce your risk of diabetes, having a heart attack or dying from heart disease. Put one foot in front of the other, and go a bit further each day.

Get checked: If you are age 50 or older, get screened for colorectal cancer. Of the various cancer screenings available to men, this one is of the best. It can prevent, not just diagnose.

Know your blood pressure: If you don’t know numbers, get to! And do whatever you have to do to keep it in a healthy range. High blood pressure can cause damage in the arteries, heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain. Exercising more will have an immediate effect on lowering your blood pressure.

Cut back on sodium: Cut back on eating fast foods, processed meats, canned and other prepared items. Add in high potassium foods, like: raisins, bananas, tomatoes, and spinach. Higher consumption of potassium could lower your risk of heart disease.

Don’t ignore the warning signs: If you experience unusual pain, aches, or other possible warning signs, don’t brush it off. If it seems abnormal, it probably is.
There are too many warning signs to list here, but the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association are great places to start.

This month, give yourself and your family the gift of good health. And keep it going throughout the year. I know I will.

 

By: Gary Appelsies, MS, CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

Not Plan “B” (Plan Be: Healthy)

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in the world, and all who live in it;  -Psalm 24:1

Do we truly believe these words? Are we living our lives as a people who believe that everything belongs to God? That would mean that our families and relationships are His. Our money and even how we earn that money is His. It would even mean that our bodies are His. Many of us “drive it like a rental” when it comes to bodies. We treat our bodies in the careless way we might treat a car that’s not our own and are planning to turn in at the end of the trip. The truth is, our bodies are not our own, but our attitude towards it should never be one of neglect. Even back in Genesis as God has called us stewards to care for his creation. We must recognize that our bodies are, too, part of that command. We only have one body this side of eternity: do one thing today to care for it well. Choose to go for a walk, substitute a healthier food option, or come take a Group Exercise class here at the Y. Make a “Plan Be: Healthy,” because there is no plan B for our bodies.
by Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships

The Y’s History of Building a Better Us

On June 6, the YMCA marks 174 years as more than a place, it is a nonprofit organization that offers programs and services designed to foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Here are five past notable events and achievements that demonstrate the Y’s commitment to the communities it serves:

  1. American Institutions: Celebrations such as Father’s Day, and organizations like the Peace Corps, all have their roots at the YMCA.
  2. Summer Camp: The oldest known summer camp, Camp Dudley, first opened in 1855 and countless numbers of boys and girls have since learned the skills and wonders of camping through the Y, developing critical skills and making memories along the way.
  3. Innovating & Inventing: From James Naismith’s invention of basketball to instructors creating racquetball and what would eventually become volleyball, the Y has a rich tradition in activities that are played by millions of people around the globe. One Y staffer, Robert J. Roberts, is credited with inventing the term “body building.”
  4. A Nobel Peace Prizewinner: YMCA leader John R. Mott was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for the Y’s groundbreaking role in raising global awareness and support and for the organization’s humanitarian efforts.
  5. Furthering Education: The Y is credited with spearheading the first public libraries, night school for adult education and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

How the Y is relevant in 2018

Today, the Y serves more than 22 million people annually and offers resources at over 2,700 locations across all 50 states. Here are three ways “community” continues as the Y’s number one cause:

  1. Nurturing the Potential of Our Kids: When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Nationwide, the Y helps over nine million youth to close gaps in hunger, health, learning, water safety and safe spaces while providing a place to stay healthy, build friendships, and achieve more—all while having fun! Each program demonstrates the Y’s unwavering commitment to ensuring children are on track for a successful education, especially those in under-served communities.
  2. Improving the Nation’s Health: More than a place to work out, the Y offers programs that help individuals and families improve their health and enact changes that strengthen their community and society. From working with people who are trying to find ways to improve health, but don’t know how, to preventing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and helping people recover from serious illnesses like cancer, the Y is one of the few organizations in the country with the size and influence that can effectively reach millions of people. Ys are also active in the community, creating communal gardens, increasing access to farmer’s markets and ensuring children have a safe route to school.
  3. Support for All Our Neighbors: As one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, the Y’s social services and volunteer programs help more than 10,000 communities nationwide. From helping newcomers and immigrants adjust to new communities to member-led community service projects through the Togetherhood program, every effort helps to make a difference.

Not Plan “B” (Plan Be: Still)

Not Plan “B” (Plan Be: Still)

I’ve heard people say that God does not have a plan “B” but I do believe that He has a plan “Be.” In the Gospel of Mark, we find Jesus and his followers are on a boat after a long, exhausting day. The writer tells us after this hard day, Jesus falls asleep on the boat. But even after a long day, Jesus is not through with the storms of life. His next storm happens to be a literal weather-related storm. His followers who were once tired are now tired and scared. Life is coming at them fast. Mark writes that they wake Jesus and ask him if he even cares if they drown. Waves are crashing on the followers from all sides. Jesus stands up and says, “Quiet! Be still!” and the winds die, and it was completely calm.

Now, I’m not sure if Jesus was talking to the storm or to his followers with his instructions. What if he was addressing those in the boat? You see, Jesus was in the boat. He was in the craziness, he was in the chaos. He’s in our boat of chaos with family, work, volunteering, health issues, and financial troubles. Jesus is with us and tells us how to handle the storm. Find the time and space to be quiet! Find the time and space to be still. It’s not easy and requires work, but in quietness and stillness, we can rest and hear from him. We have to make the plan to Be Still.

by Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships

The Y Encourages Older Adults “Engage at Every Age” This May

The Y Encourages Older Adults “Engage at Every Age” This May
You are never too old to eat healthy, get active and social

May is Older Americans Month and the YMCA of Central Florida is emphasizing the importance of being kind to yourself by getting active and involved, no matter where you are in life. We encourage you to “Engage at Every Age,” developing behaviors that are crucial to healthy aging, including healthy eating, increasing physical activity and social interaction—especially those adults over 50.

Adults 50 years and older currently make up more than 30% of the U.S. population, and will soon represent 45% of all Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that adults 50 and older have a 70% chance of developing at least one chronic disease. While these numbers seem daunting, the good news is that making small lifestyle changes that include increasing physical activity, eating healthier and staying active socially can help older adults live better.

You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you need help, support or a place to get started, just stop by the Membership Desk or see one of our Y Wellness Coaches.

The Y offers many ways for older adults to live healthier. The YMCA of Central Florida offers many older adult swim programs that help increase physical activity and improve health. These programs provide opportunities for individuals to begin or continue an exercise routine in an environment that provides resistance, as well as buoyancy, which helps reduces stress on joints when compared to other physical activities like running.

While the CDC recommends that older adults get a minimum 30 minutes of moderate exercise or strength training per day, less than one out of three of Americans 65 and older meet these guidelines. Swimming and aquatic programs may reduce the risk of muscle loss as one ages and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well as improve cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and mental well-being.

Additionally, the Y offers the following tips on how to jump-start your healthy-living routine:

  1. Have fun with your food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Have fun with your fruits and vegetables by trying them fresh or frozen. Find a new recipe that uses a different source of protein or find a way to incorporate fish or beans into an old favorite. Remember as you age, it’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and lean meats to help your body get the necessary nutrients.
  2. Fill up on fiber and potassium, hold the salt. As you age, your body needs more fiber rich foods to help it stay regular. Aim for a variety of colorful foods on your plate (i.e. fruits and veggies) to keep fiber rich foods a part of your diet. Additionally, increasing potassium along with reducing sodium or salt may lower your risk of high blood pressure. Fruits, vegetables and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt are good sources of potassium.
  3. Get Active. Physical activity is safe for almost everyone, and the health far outweigh the risks. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age (such as osteoporosis and arthritis) and reduce the risk for developing, or help manage, depression, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain kinds of cancers. For older adults who have chronic conditions that hinder their ability to be active on a regular basis, some physical activity is better than none, and older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
  4. Tweak your routine. To get the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity, change your routine to 10-minute sessions throughout the day. For example, stand on one foot while brushing your teeth to increase balance, and do squats while washing dishes to increase strength. Make sure you can grab hold of something to maintain balance—safety first! To increase your cardio, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther from the entrance to work. When sitting in front of the TV, march during commercials or do some light stretching to break up sitting for long periods.
  5. Get social. Socialization is an important part of aging. As we get older, it’s important to be active socially to stay healthy. Take a walk with a friend or a neighbor, join a book club or volunteer at your local pet shelter or local Y. Social interaction provides meaningful engagement, builds relationships, enhances a sense of belonging and provides opportunities for involvement—all resulting in greater bonds and a stronger sense of community. Being connected to the community keeps you healthy!

 

Love your Neighbors (including the ones who don’t live next door)

Jesus says the greatest commandment is: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

Would you like to participate in a meaningful mission trip without even leaving Orlando this summer? What if you had the opportunity to volunteer to join a team of others who want to share this love Jesus speaks of with our worldwide neighbors? The YMCA of Central Florida is hosting the Pan American Masters Swim Championships July 22–August 9 and the world is coming to our neighborhood. Over these 20 days we have the unique opportunity to help provide spiritual care for our athletes and their families. Will you consider joining the team for a few hours or even a few days? No experience needed, just an open heart and willingness to serve, pray, or talk with our guests. Choose one of the training days below and RSVP to [email protected] for your attendance. Details and scheduling will happen at our training events.

 

May 21 | 11-12pm | Association Office- 433 North Mills Ave, Orlando 32803

June 2 | 10-11am | Oviedo YMCA- 7900 Red Bug Lake Rd, Oviedo 32765

June 21 | 4-5pm | Association Office- 433 North Mills Ave, Orlando 32803

July 11 | 2-3pm | Aquatic Center- 8422 International Dr., Orlando 32819

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

The month of May is centered on women’s health. So, if you haven’t done anything to take care of yourself lately, now is the time. Right now? YES! Right now, while you are reading this I want you to take a moment, stop, breath, and just be.

Think about all that you are looking to accomplish. Better health, better food choices, relationships, spirituality, and anything else that comes to mind. You most likely lead a busy life and probably spend a lot of time taking care of others. This month spend some time being instead of doing.

Here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables: Make sure to get in those nutrients. Just five servings of fruits and veggies every day can help you think better, feel better and give you more energy. Even if you’re in a rush, start your day off on the right foot. This will help you to make better food choices throughout the day. Try having a smoothie (I like to throw a handful of frozen mangos, one banana and a handful of spinach in a blender along with some coconut water). If you are not partial to the smoothie idea, have a piece of fruit with breakfast, blueberries with lunch, salad and other vegetables with dinner. Remember to balance with a healthy protein and healthy grains to keep you from getting those 3pm cravings for something sweet and sugary. And oh yes, it’s ok to add in a daily serving of dark chocolate covered raisins every now and then. After all, raisins are a fruit!
  2. Do your daily exercise: Even 15 minutes can help you to get focused on yourself.
  3. Take time to smell the roses: Get out to a farmer’s market and get some deliciousness that you can turn into a simple but well balanced meal. Buy yourself some flowers to brighten your day.
  4. Get your sleep: This is one thing we should never deprive ourselves of. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your mind body and spirit.

Whatever you do this month, remember to take the time to do something to take care of yourself.

by: Gary Appelsies, MS. CHHC, AADP
Director of Healthy Eating

Spring Renewal

If you really want to make some changes to your lifestyle spring is the perfect time to start fresh and get back to basics.

How you ask? First let’s do some spring cleaning. Open up your fridge, freezer and pantry. Take a good hard look at what you have in there. Check for staples items. Click here for a list. Get rid of processed food stuffs that are high in sodium, saturated fats and sugars. Next, forget everything you have ever heard or learned about “dieting”. I will tell you something truly amazing. It’s so simple, but not easy. When you change your mindset and start eating REAL food you will be amazed at how your body responds. Fruits and vegetables truly are one of the best sources of vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals you can find. You should be getting at least five servings of vegetables daily, but I encourage you to eat even more than that since they’re so good for you. They not only will help you to lose weight but may help you to heal your body as well.

Tips to get more from your diet.

  • Start your day with a cup of warm water with lemon.
  • Chose whole fruit instead of fruit juice. (More fiber).
  • Read labels. Look for the word “whole” before any grains, lower sodium and lower sugar content.
  • Cut your processed food intake.
  • Start your day off right, a bowl or oatmeal, a piece of fruit, whole grains and a healthy protein.
  • Snack on raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
  • Add legumes, seeds and nuts into soups, salads and stews.
  • Replace refined white grains with whole-grains.
  • Have a salad for lunch or dinner two times per week. (Watch the dressing. often times the majority of those calories add here). Honestly, one teaspoon of dressing is all you need. Give your salad a good toss. You can always add more.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t give up on yourself if you had a bad day.

Starting off on the right foot is not always easy. You can’t just say “Hello, world I am here and I am going to lose weight and get healthy.” It takes time, thought, passion and most of all commitment. Often it takes someone to be your coach and your champion. That’s where I come in. I want to help you. I want to be your champion. I want to cheer for your accomplishments and guide your through the rough spots. I want you to get the health you want and deserve. Check out our virtual Chef page where I can help you meet your goals.

By: Gary Appelsies, MS, Director of Healthy Eating, YMCA of Central Florida

YMCA of Central Florida Launches New Program Membership Offering, HealthierLifeRX to Combat Chronic Disease

The program aims to fill the gap in health care delivery from clinic to community

ORLANDO, FLA. (June 6, 2017) – The YMCA of Central Florida is continuing its mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida.  Starting today, members who are at-risk for chronic disease or who are struggling with a health condition will be able to enroll in a special, eight-week program called HealthierLifeRX. The innovative program aims to fill to the gap in health care delivery from clinic to community and was developed by the YMCA of Central Florida following a successful, two-year pilot program, generously supported by the United Health Foundation. HealthierLifeRX uses a collaborative care model which connects primary care physicians and their patients with trained lifestyle coaches from the YMCA who all work together to help the patient achieve their individual health goals.

“We are excited to serve our community now in an entirely new way through this special program which will help our current and new Y members regain control of their health,” said John Cardone, Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development at the YMCA of Central Florida. “We know no two people are alike, so our lifestyle coaches use a one-on-one approach to create a personalized plan to meet each individual’s specific needs, goals and physical abilities. As those needs, goals and abilities change, our lifestyle coaches can continue to modify their plans and problem solve for any unexpected roadblocks or issues that may arise. Our customized, flexible, collaborative and supportive approach to wellness is what sets HealthierLifeRX apart from any other program that’s currently available.”

The goal of HealthierLifeRX is to empower individuals to take charge of their health, develop new habits and live stronger, healthier lives. Individuals who enroll in the program will meet weekly with their lifestyle coaches to review their progress, ask questions, receive nutritional guidance and learn about additional tools and resources to help them stay on track. At the end of the eight-week time period, members have the option to purchase additional sessions to continue meeting with their lifestyle coach on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

The pilot that was used to develop the program first launched back in the spring of 2015, thanks to the generous support and partnership of the United Health Foundation, and has a proven track record of success. Participants who completed the year-long pilot were able to improve their fitness, functionality, weight, quality of life and overall health and well-being. Key findings from the pilot included the following:

  • Among overweight/obese participants, the average participant lost more than 4-percent of their starting body weight just six months into the program
  • 90-percent of participants increased their physical activity level to include at least 150 minutes of exercise per week at the eight-month mark
  • 20-percent of participants were able to reduce the amount of medications they were taking
  • 38-percent of participants were able to lower their activity restrictions

The new, eight-week program encompasses the best practices and learnings from the pilot and incorporates them into a consolidated approach for optimal impact over a more focused time period. The YMCA of Central Florida will initially roll out the new model at its Downtown Orlando and Winter Park YMCA Family Centers.

The HealthierLifeRX initiative reflects the Y’s mission-driven commitment to reverse chronic disease and help people achieve their healthiest best in Spirit, Mind and Body. For more information about the program, visit www.healthierliferx.com.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA locations across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. This YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, it also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed nearly $315 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/SocialResponsibility or follow Facebook.com/UHGGives.

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YMCA of Central Florida Joins Technogym’s Global Fitness Challenge to Combat Obesity

The campaign, called ‘Let’s Move For A Better World’, will award resources to be donated to communities in need

ORLANDO, FLA. (Mar. 13, 2017) – The YMCA of Central Florida is rallying members of the community to exercise for a good cause. From March 13 to 31, the nonprofit will open up the doors of several YMCA Family Center locations to members and non-members alike for as many free workouts as they want. The catch? They’ll have to log all of their activity using Technogym’s state-of-the-art equipment. It’s all in an effort to help the YMCA take home the winning prize for the wellness company’s global fitness challenge, “Let’s Move For a Better World.”

Hundreds of thousands of people get involved each year in the campaign at participating wellness centers across the globe. The objective is to get the most MOVEs, which Technogym’s equipment collects as a perceived measure of exertion. The top facilities in each participating country that reach their MOVEs goal are then able to donate a prize to a local school or a local nonprofit body to fight obesity.

In 2016, the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Family Center collected nearly 4 million MOVEs during the challenge, achieving more MOVEs than any other facility in the nation, and received a full collection of Technogym’s Cloud-based equipment to share with its Blanchard Park Family Center. This year, the Y must collect 10 million MOVEs at its Downtown Orlando location to win the challenge. If the YMCA of Central Florida is able to reach that goal, the Technogym prize would go towards its South Orlando YMCA Family Center on Oak Ridge Road.

“The mission for ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ aligns perfectly with our mission at the Y,” said Dan Wilcox, President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Our members are not just gym-goers, they’re part of our commitment to making a difference in our community. This year, we’re inviting everyone from Central Florida to come on board with us and join the movement so we can donate more resources to a community in need.”

The YMCA of Central Florida needs all of Central Florida to come together and log their MOVEs. As a result, the nonprofit is inviting companies and individuals to visit its Downtown Orlando YMCA Family Center to record their exercise activities on its Technogym equipment, whether it’s hopping on the treadmill for half an hour or joining in on one of the Y’s public “Glow Cycle” classes. Local businesses can offer their employees a private, one-hour cycling class at the Orlando Y or even specially reserve a piece of cardio equipment for them to use throughout the day. Individuals can come in and enjoy their regular workout on Technogym’s equipment for free or join one of the special events listed below:

Special Public Events:

  • Friday, March 17, 24, and 31 (Final Day!)
    • Glow Cycle Concert Series – 8:30pm and 9:30pm
    • Cardio Party – 9-11pm
  • Saturday, March 18 and 25
    • Glow Cycle- 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm
    • Cardio Party- 8-10pm

Other participating locations available to individuals include the Dr. Phillips, Oviedo, Roper, and Frank Deluca Family Centers. For more information about how to get involved, please visit www.facebook.com/YMCACentralFlorida or call the Downtown Orlando YMCA Family Center at (407) 896-9220.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, it also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors.

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YMCA Teen Achievers Program Receives $75,000 Grant through Orlando Magic Youth Fund

Gift Supports College and Career Readiness Among At-Risk Teens

Orlando, Fla.  – (March 3, 2017) – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that it has received a $75,000 grant through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF), a McCormick Foundation Fund, in support of YMCA Teen Achievers.

The grant will be used to improve college and career readiness among teens living in Orlando’s Holden Heights area and attending Jones High School or Memorial Middle School.

Since 1999, YMCA Teen Achievers has provided extra mentoring, academic support, and college and career preparation to nearly 12,000 young people. Fully 90% of Teen Achievers go on to earn college degrees, gain career certifications or join the military.

As a cause-driven organization committed to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the Y of Central Florida offers a range of learning-based programs designed to help children and teens achieve their full potential at every stage of development.

“The YMCA of Central Florida is deeply grateful to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund and the McCormick Foundation Fund for this generous grant,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development and Education Initiatives. “Through this support, YMCA Teen Achievers will be able to impact the lives of even more young people, many of whom will become the first ones in their families to attend college and attain a successful career.”

Over the years, the Orlando Magic and Orlando Magic Youth Fund have invested more than $216,900 in support of the Y’s cause and mission. Through sports clinics, coaching support, volunteerism and special events, the Magic are also the preferred partner of the Y’s Youth Basketball program, which instills values, character and sportsmanship in 10,000 kids per year.

The $75,000 grant was announced during a Feb. 9 ceremony at the Amway Center themed around the NBA draft. In all, $1 million was awarded to 17 local nonprofits, bringing the Magic’s total contribution to local nonprofits to $22 million over the past 27 years.

During the presentation, Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said that OMYF grants and funding have improved the lives of more than 2 million children.

“There are so many great organizations that are doing such great work and over the course of 27 years we’ve contributed, through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, to more than 500 local organizations,” Martins said. “We need them to prepare our youth for a better future.”

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 22 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. For more information, visit ymcacentralflorida.org.

About the Orlando Magic Youth Fund
The Orlando Magic Youth Fund is committed to helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk, by supporting nonprofit organizations offering youth-based programs in the areas of education, housing, and health and wellness programs that promote healthy living practices for children and families in low-income communities. For more information, visit www.omyf.org.

 

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Newly Transformed Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Ushers in New Era of Health and Community Wellness

Through the generosity of Dr. Phillips Charities, the YMCA is expanding its mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida.

Orlando, FL, December 9, 2016  – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced the unveiling of the newly transformed Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, which is providing a new model for how other Ys, locally and nationally, will empower people to lead healthier, more balanced lives.

Funded through the generosity of Dr. Phillips Charities and community donors, the $11 million transformation supports the Y’s strategic plan to impact the lives of 600,000 Central Floridians through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

Through purposeful design, innovative technology and mission-based partnerships, the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA is focused on providing everything people need to get healthy – and stay healthy – all in one location. Examples of this transformation include the latest in connected fitness technology with TechnoGym and MyWellness cloud, a tech-infused Child Development Center to promote active learning and health, a new farm-to-table, mission-based healthy eating café, a Y Teaching Kitchen for cooking education, an Orlando Health Concierge Desk/rehabilitation center, and new exercise studios, including the largest group exercise room in Orlando.

In keeping with the Y’s Spirit, Mind and Body approach to good health, Y members will also have access to an onsite chaplain, community gathering areas to connect with neighbors, evidence-based programs to prevent and recover from chronic disease, and opportunities to give back and make a difference.

As the preferred health care partner for the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA and four other area Ys, Orlando Health has expanded its presence. Through the Orlando Health Concierge Desk, Y members can schedule physician appointments, clinical rehabilitation services, health screenings and education classes.

At more than 85,000 sq. ft., the newly transformed Y has significantly expanded its size and capacity to better serve the Dr. Phillips community. The two-year transformation was funded through a $9 million gift from Dr. Phillips Charities and more than $2 million raised through the community and volunteers.

Turning the Tide on Chronic Disease
According to Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO, the newly transformed Y will enable the organization to serve more people, in more ways than ever before. It will also challenge the community to think about preventative health and wellness – and the YMCA – in entirely new ways.

“With chronic disease so prevalent yet preventable, the Y is on a mission to help people adopt healthier, more balanced lifestyles,” Wilcox said. “At the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, you’ll see this commitment reflected in every program, resource and personalized interaction between Y staff and members.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Nationally, chronic disease accounts for 7-in-10 deaths, as well as 86% of total health care spending.

In response, the Y of Central Florida has been forging new health care partnerships, launching preventative health pilots, and transforming its facilities to inspire people to take charge of their health rather than dealing with costly and debilitating conditions in the future.

Axum Market Café
With food a major part of adopting healthier lifestyles, the Y has also partnered with Renaut van der Riet, founder of Axum Coffee and lead pastor of Mosaic Church, to open a new Axum Market Café in the Dr. P. Phillips Y.

The café is open to the public and features farm-to-table meals, fresh-pressed juices, healthy snacks, artisanal coffees and more.  For added convenience, Y members and others can order healthy selections via the Axum Market Café mobile app, drive by and pick them up, or enjoy on the Y’s new covered outdoor patio or within the lobby dining area.

With a shared commitment to serve, 100% of the café’s net profits are benefitting local and global initiatives around social justice, food, clean water and family health. “Axum Market Café is about more than enjoying delicious, healthful food,” van der Riet said. “It’s also a place where people can join around a cause, a purpose, a way to improve their lives and the lives of others.”

As the Y of Central Florida strives to educate people about the benefits of healthy eating, it is one of only a few Ys in the nation to have a fulltime chef and nutritionist on staff. In this capacity, Gary Appelsies, the YMCA’s Director of Healthy Eating, worked with Axum staff to develop the café’s menus.

“Food is a proven way to help the body heal, maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic disease,” Appelsies said. “And now at the Dr. P. Phillips Y, we are providing fresh, seasonal food that tastes great, is affordable and convenient.”

Through the Y Teaching Kitchen, Appelsies and other area chefs are also showing Y members how to prepare healthier meals at home. Classes are geared to everyone from families and “foodies,” to those with special dietary needs or organizations seeking to improve worksite wellness.

John Cardone, YMCA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development, said the Y of Central Florida is in a unique position to convene partners who share the Y’s commitment to Healthy Living. To date, the association is collaborating with Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, the West Orange Health Care District, Sodexo, United Health Foundation and others on a variety of preventative health pilots and initiatives.

“It’s all about impact and helping people lead healthier, stronger lives within and beyond the four walls of the YMCA,” said Cardone. “When you think about the legacy of Dr. Phillips Charities and our mission alignment at the Dr. P. Phillips Y with Orlando Health and Axum Market Café, we’re on the cusp of creating something great.”

Legacy of Dr. Phillips Charities
The relationship between the Y of Central Florida and Dr. Phillips Charities began in 1983 when The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation provided the donation of land and funding to create the Dr. P. Phillips Y, which opened in 1985. Over the years, Dr. Phillips Charities has generously funded capital improvements at numerous other YMCA family centers, including “Outreach” Ys that serve Pine Hills, South Orlando, Kissimmee and other striving communities. Since 1999, Dr. Phillips Charities has also funded Safe Start, the YMCA’s signature water survival program, which has helped more than 17,500 children avoid the tragedy of childhood drowning.

Over the past 30-plus years, Dr. Phillips Charities has donated more than $43.6 million to the YMCA of Central Florida. No other Y in the nation has received this type of sustaining support. It has enabled the Y to grow, innovate and serve the growing needs of hundreds of thousands of Central Floridians each year.

About YMCA of Central Florida
For over 130 years, the YMCA of Central Florida has focused on strengthening communities through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Operating 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties, the Y is on a mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida by connecting individuals, families and communities with opportunities based on Christian values that strengthen Spirit, Mind and Body.  As one of the area’s largest non-profits, the Y serves over 400,000 Central Floridians per year and employs 1,800 Y staff who join together with thousands of donors, volunteers and advocates to empower our community for good. To join the cause or learn more, visit ymcacentralflorida.com.   

About Dr. Phillips Charities
The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto “to help others help themselves.” The organization has been a leader in shaping the nonprofit sector by designing innovative programs to solve community problems, investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and granting funds to expand services to meet the needs of a growing central Florida population. Dr. Phillips Charities has an ongoing commitment to support organizations in the Dr. Phillips community located in southwest Orange County where the Phillips family had substantial investments during their life time. Income produced from a portfolio of rental properties and other investments funds Dr. Phillips Charities’ grantmaking.

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Axum Market Café and Y Teaching Kitchen Reflect Y’s Emphasis on Healthy Living at Dr. P. Phillips YMCA

In expanding its mission to serve, the newly transformed Y offers  everything people need to lead healthier, more balanced lives within and beyond the four walls of the Y.  

Orlando, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida has announced the opening of the Axum Market Café at the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, which has undergone a $9.5 million transformation, funded through Dr. Phillips Charities, to strengthen our community.

Operated by the Winter Garden based Axum Coffee, the café is offering farm-to-table meals, fresh-pressed juices and healthy snacks as part of the Y’s larger focus on improving healthy living.

“With the unveiling of the new Dr. P. Phillips Y, café and teaching kitchen, we’re challenging the community to think about integrative health and wellness – and the Y – in entirely new ways,” said Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO. The transformation is due, in part, he said to changing health care trends focused on keeping people healthy rather than dealing with acute and debilitating conditions down the road.

“For more than 130 years, the Y has been helping people lead healthier lives in Spirit, Mind and Body,” Wilcox said. “As one of the most innovative, forward-thinking Ys in the nation, the new Dr. P. Phillips Y takes this commitment to a new level and provides a model for how other Y associations will improve community health.”

Wilcox said the new café, teaching kitchen and other amenities reflect the Y’s purposeful design and strategic objective to empower our community for good. With a goal to make healthy living easier, people will find everything they need – from healthy food and personalized fitness to physician referrals and medically based programs – within and beyond the four walls of the Y.

Gary Appelsies, a professional chef, nutritionist and the YMCA’s Director of Healthy Eating said the new café will offer seasonally changing menus that feature fresh, sustainable food sourced through local growers and USDA certified organic farms.

“Just like the Y, food brings people together,” Appelsies said. “It’s also a way to help the body heal, maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic disease. The new café provides a great place to gather after a Zumba class or soccer game to enjoy delicious food that helps you regenerate, recharge and feel great.”

With a motto ‘Everything Your Body Needs, And Nothing It Doesn’t,’ the café also reflects a shared mission between the Y and Axum to improve lives and communities. According Renaut van der Riet, Axum founder and lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Oakland, FL, 100% of net proceeds will benefit local and global initiatives around social justice, food, clean water and family health.

“Axum Market Café is about more than enjoying delicious, healthful food,” van der Riet said. “It’s also a place where people can join around a cause, a purpose, a way to improve their lives and the lives of others.”

Adjacent to the café is the Y’s new Healthy Living Teaching Kitchen where local chefs and nutritionists will demonstrate how to enjoy healthier meals at home and on the go. Specialized, small-group classes will also be offered through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Livestrong at the Y for cancer survivors, Healthy Weight and Your Child and the Y’s other medically based programs.

“Every new personalized feature, program and resource at the Dr. P. Phillips Y is about impact and turning the tide on chronic disease,” said John Cardone, YMCA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development. “With nearly half of all Americans suffering from at least one chronic, yet preventable, disease, the Y’s medically based programs, partnerships and innovative facilities are designed to improve community health in big and small ways.”

Axum Market Café’s opening coincides with the official unveiling of the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA in early November. At 51,000 sq. ft., the newly expanded and renovated Y has nearly doubled its size, impact and capacity to serve growing needs within the Dr. Phillips community. Improvements include the latest in fitness technology, an expanded wellness floor, the largest group exercise room in Orlando, new locker rooms and family changing rooms, an interactive child development center, teen center and community gathering spaces.

Orlando Health, the exclusive provider of health and wellness programs at five area Ys, has expanded its presence through a concierge desk where Y members can schedule physician referrals, health screenings, clinical rehabilitation and more.

The two-year expansion of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA was funded through an $8 million gift from Dr. Phillips Charities and the generosity of other community donors. Over the past 30-plus years, the Y of Central Florida has received more than $43.6 million in funding from Dr. Phillips Charities, enabling the association to grow, innovate and become one of the most progressive Healthy Living Ys in the nation.

About YMCA of Central Florida
For over 130 years, the YMCA of Central Florida has focused on strengthening communities through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Operating 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties, the Y is on a mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida by connecting individuals, families and communities with opportunities based on Christian values that strengthen Spirit, Mind and Body.  As one of the area’s largest non-profits, the Y serves over 400,000 Central Floridians per year and employs 1,800 Y staff who join together with thousands of donors, volunteers and advocates to empower our community for good. To join the cause or learn more, visit ymcacentralflorida.com.

About Dr. Phillips Charities
The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto “to help others help themselves.” The organization has been a leader in shaping the nonprofit sector by designing innovative programs to solve community problems, investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and granting funds to expand services to meet the needs of a growing central Florida population. Dr. Phillips Charities has an ongoing commitment to support organizations in the Dr. Phillips community located in southwest Orange County where the Phillips family had substantial investments during their life time. Income produced from a portfolio of rental properties and other investments funds Dr. Phillips Charities’ grantmaking.

About Axum Market Cafe
Axum Market Cafe exists to inspire people and generate resources to restore hope in hard places. Axum Market Cafe was founded by Renaut van der Riet, who is the lead pastor of Mosaic Community Church in Oakland, Fla. The cafe is named after the small village in Ethiopia where Mosaic does missionary work and was started to raise money for that community. In Axum, residents don’t have access to fresh water or adequate medical care, and many orphans and beggars live on the streets. Axum Market Cafe opened its first location in downtown, Winter Garden in 2010 and has since expanded to include a roastery right down the street, as well as a community cafe at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA. Axum Market Cafe donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to local and global initiatives around social justice, food, clean water and family health. For more information, please visit axummarketcafe.com.

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The YMCA of Central Florida Emphasizes Prediabetes Risk during National Diabetes Awareness Month

As the prediabetes rate continues to rise, few Central Florida residents know they are at risk.

Central Florida – (November 1, 2016) – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a good time for people to gauge their risk for prediabetes and diabetes and to talk to their doctors. Of the 86 million people with prediabetes, only 10 percent know their condition. In addition to the high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the YMCA of Central Florida offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults lose weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity, which can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high- risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.

Central Florida resident Tom Purvis recently journeyed from “prediabetes denial” to regaining control over his life through participation in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Before starting the program, he didn’t care about pre-diabetes. All he knew was that he was feeling overweight, slow, and old, and shops he used to buy clothes from no longer carried his size. He had “no energy” or stamina.

He was giving up or cutting back on many things he used to love to do. Weekends were spent sleeping in to make up for the fatigue he carried all week, and by Sunday he might start on the things he wanted to do, but could not finish them. “I didn’t care about pre-diabetes,” says Tom, “But I did care about regaining control of my life. I did are about feeling good and having the energy to have a life. I cared about feeling confident and looking confident.” Since joining the program, Tom has learned more about the real dangers of diabetes: of injuries, nerve damage, and kidney damage that would have been his future.

After 14 weeks in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, he has lost substantial weight, learned valuable new information, and spent some quality time with other participants in the program. Says Tom, “I have learned about the factors that caused my weight gain, the triggers that encourage it, about the people and social situations that enable it, and most importantly, how to prevent it. I have learned about the importance of daily exercise and how diet and exercise work together to affect my health. I have learned the lifestyle changes that keep the weight from returning. But most importantly, I have learned how to regain control over my life.”

“As a leading charity committed to building a community of integrated health across the country, the Y wants residents of Central Florida to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps they can take to prevent developing type 2 diabetes,” said Kelly Prather, Executive Director of Health Strategies & Member Experience, YMCA of Central Florida. “Rising diabetes rates cost the nation $245 billion annually for a disease that is preventable with simple lifestyle changes like eating better and getting more physical activity.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a 12-month evidence-based program that features a lifestyle coach who helps participants learn tactics for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes during 25, one-hour classroom sessions. Long-term program goals include reducing participants’ body weight by 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

Nationally, more than 47,000 people participated in the program at more than 1,600 sites in 47 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the yearlong program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 160 minutes of physical activity per week.

For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact the YMCA of Central Florida’s Diabetes Prevention Program at [email protected] or visit ymca.net/diabetes-prevention.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000  Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, it also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors

YMCA Teen Achievers Earns $30,000 Grant from Bank of America

ORLANDO, FL – June 28, 2016 – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from Bank of America in support of YMCA Teen Achievers.

The grant will help improve college and career readiness among more than 500 at-risk teens who attend nine Central Florida high schools.

For 26 years, YMCA Teen Achievers has provided additional mentoring, academic support, college and career preparation, and opportunities for community service to more than 12,800 young people. Fully 90% of Teen Achievers graduate from high school and go on to earn college degrees, attain professional certifications or join the military.

“The YMCA of Central Florida is deeply grateful to Bank of America for this generous grant,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development & Education. “YMCA Teen Achievers is an important part of the Y’s continuum of Youth Development programs that help young people thrive from cradle to career. Many of Central Florida’s leading bankers, lawyers, teachers and business people are former Teen Achievers who continue to give back and mentor the next generation.”

Over the past 15-plus years, Bank of America has contributed more than $640,000 to the YMCA of Central Florida. This support has enabled the Y to further its mission to improve lives and strengthen communities through its focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

“In Central Florida, we are fortunate that the YMCA’s Teen Achievers program helps young people understand the importance of high school graduation and secondary education as well as giving them a chance to learn about potential career paths,” said Jodie Hardman, senior vice president and Central Florida market manager, Bank of America. “Working together, we can connect youngsters to opportunity and improve their ability to lead financially stable lives. That is why Bank of America is happy to present the YMCA Teen Achievers program with a $30,000 Workforce Development and Education Grant.”

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. This mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs that combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, the association also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors.

For more information about the Y, visit www.ymcacentralflorida.org or call (407) 896-9220.    

About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active users and more than 20 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news, and click here to register for news email alerts. www.bankofamerica.com

 

Mike Manuel Re-Elected Chair of Y Metro Board

ORLANDO, FL – (May 13, 2016) – At its annual meeting on May 13, the YMCA of Central Florida re-elected Mike Manuel as Chair of its 2016-2017 Metropolitan Board of Directors. As the Y’s top volunteer officer, Manuel will work with 61 other volunteer board members and staff to expand the Y’s impact in Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. 

Manuel, a former finance executive with EXP US Services and Wachovia Bank, has been an active YMCA volunteer leader for several years. In addition to serving on the Y Metro Board’s executive and audit committees, Manuel also led the organization’s 2014-2015 Annual Support Campaign, which raised $3.3 million and connected more than 50,000 people to Y programs and services.

A graduate of Florida State University, Manuel has also been an active volunteer with the Florida Hospital Foundation Executive Board, the American Cancer Society, Seminole Boosters Inc., Heart of Florida United Way, and the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation.

“I’m honored to serve a second term as YMCA Metro board chair,” Manuel said. “It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Y, which is experiencing one of the most dynamic periods of growth and impact in its 135-year history. Through the commitment of a strong board, the Y’s staff and executive leadership, and more than 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, our Y association is on track to improve more than 600,000 lives per year.

Dan Wilcox, YMCA President/CEO characterized Mike Manuel and all of the Y’s new board members as “highly accomplished individuals whose expertise represents nearly every profession and walk of life.”

“The strength of our Y is directly attributable to the sustaining support of Dr. Phillips Charities, as well as the commitment of volunteer leaders like Mike Manuel,” Wilcox said. “Through this, the Y is impacting our community in big and small ways – everything from improving community health and school achievement to strengthening at-risk families.”

In addition to Manuel’s election, 10 new board members were elected for two-year terms, 2016 – 2017. They include:

  • Aubrey Anthony, YMCA Teen Ambassador and emerging Y leader.
  • Pete Barr Jr., President & CEO, & Barr
  • Karen Brown, Partner – Assurance Services, Ernst & Young
  • Keith Durkin, Partner, Broad & Cassel, Attorneys At Law
  • Arnold Evans, President/CEO, SunTrust Bank, Central Florida
  • Andy Gardiner, Vice President, External Affairs & Community Relations, Orlando Health
  • Charlie Puckett, CPA, McDirmit, Davis & Company, LLC
  • Christopher Rolle, Jr., Orlando Market President, BB&T Bank
  • Keith Thomas, President, Thomas Design International
  • Tyra Witsell, Retired Division Manager, Orange County Citizens Commission for Children

 

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, it also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors.

 

 

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YMCA to Offer Complimentary Swim Instruction to Prevent the Tragedy of Childhood Drowning

McDonald’s of Central Florida Teams Up With Y to Sponsor Safety Around Water, April 25-28

ORLANDO, FL – With water all around us, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among Florida children ages 1-14. To help kids stay safe in and around the water this summer, the YMCA of Central Florida is offering complimentary swim instruction to children ages 4 to 11 during SAFETY AROUND WATER, April 25-28, 2016, 5 – 8 p.m.

Introductory lessons will be provided by certified Y swim instructors who will teach basic stroke development, personal safety lessons, and critical water survival skills. Lessons will be offered at no charge to the public at 20 neighborhood YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties.

“Each year, the number of Florida children who die from drowning is enough to fill three to four preschool classrooms,” said Rowdy Gaines, YMCA Vice President of Aquatics and a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer. “Among African-American and Hispanic children, the risk of drowning is even higher and for every child who drowns, many more suffer a permanent disability. Yet the tragedy of drowning is largely preventable when children learn basic water safety techniques.”

“As a mission-based organization, the Y has an incredible history of helping people of all ages and abilities learn how to safely enjoy the water,” Gaines said. “Through Safe Start, the Y’s innovative infant water survival program, even babies as young as six-months-old can learn how to safely survive a fall into the water.”

Rounding out Safety Around Water will be the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Saturday April 30. That’s when Y family centers will be offering free, family-friendly games, activities and resources to keep kids safe, active and learning when the school year ends.

“On behalf of McDonald’s of Central Florida, we are excited to participate in this amazing initiative that benefits our community’s children,” said Ania Nitzsche, Central Florida McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “With the summer season just around the corner, the timing for Safety Around Water week couldn’t be more ideal and we’re glad to partner with the YMCA on this important program.”

In addition to McDonald’s of Central Florida, other Safety Around Water sponsors include the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), Ron Jon Surf Shop and Melissa Mishoe.

The registration deadline for complimentary instruction is April 20. To register, visit local YMCA Family Centers.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $5.34 million in Y program and membership assistance to nearly 50,000 children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

ABOUT MCDONALD’S OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
McDonald’s of Central Florida serves thousands of customers every day from 192 restaurants located in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Flagler, Marion and Lake counties.  A majority of these locations are independently owned and operated by thirty-eight (38) local businessmen and women.  Follow us on Twitter @McD_CentralFL.

ABOUT MCDONALD’S USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds, and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.

 

 

YMCA Healthy Kids Day, April 30, Helps Keep Kids Safe, Active & Learning During Summer

Free, family-friendly event aims to improve the well-being of local kids and families.  

ORLANDO, FL– While summer brings a welcomed break from the busy school year, it also poses a challenge for many families who worry about their kids’ safety, health and well-being when the school year ends.

In offering quality solutions, the YMCA of Central Florida is joining with Ys across the nation to host Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 30. This free, family-friendly event, locally sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities, will offer games, arts and crafts, health screenings, family Zumba and yoga classes, pool safety tips, healthy cooking demos and more.

Hosted at more than 25 local YMCA Family Centers, Healthy Kids Day will also provide information and resources to help families keep their kids active, learning and well-supervised during the summer months.

“Research shows that when the school year ends, many children lose the academic gains they made during the school year,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development and Education. “Due to inactivity, kids also tend to gain weight two to three times faster.”

To combat summer weight gain and brain drain, Y summer camp programs combine reading, hand-on learning, active outdoor play and a chance to explore special talents and interests, including robotics, music, arts, drama and sports.

Matthews said Y summer camp programs also provide peace of mind for working families, especially those who are in greatest of need quality, affordable child care. “At the Y, we know that parents’ top concerns are the health and safety of their children,” Matthews said. “Through Healthy Kids Day, we let families know that the Y is here for them – during the summer and rest of the year – to help kids reach their fullest, healthiest potential.”

During Healthy Kids Day, parents will have a chance to sign up for Y summer camp programs, as well as save up to $150 when they join the Y by April 30.

For more information about Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s summer camp programs or to find a Y Neighborhood Family Center near you, visit www.ymcacentralflorida.org or call (407) 896-9220.    

Facts About Summer Weight Gain & Brain Drain 

INACTIVITY DRIVES OBESITY

  • One-third of Florida children are obese or overweight.
  • Children tend to gain weight two to three times faster over the summer due to greater inactivity.
  • Diabetes has doubled in children and tripled in teens over the past 30 years.

KIDS WHO DON’T KEEP UP WITH SUMMER LEARNING FALL FURTHER BEHIND EACH YEAR

  • With fewer opportunities for summer learning, low-income kids tend to be even further behind their peers when the school year begins.
  • By fifth grade, some wind up two to three grade levels behind and are never able to close the achievement gap.
  • In Florida, only 46% of low-income children read at grade level.

LACK OF QUALITY CHILD CARE CONTRIBUTES TO JUVENILE CRIME

  • Latchkey kids represent one-third of all child welfare complaints.
  • Afternoons are peak times for juvenile crime.
  • Eighth-graders who spend 11 hours per week alone are twice as likely to abuse drugs.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $5.3 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

 

YMCA of Central Florida Reaches Underserved Populations with Health Services through $700,000 Grant from The Kresge Foundation

The YMCA of Central Florida launches three-year pilot program to combat preventable chronic illnesses in lower-income workers with evidence-based programs and services.

ORLANDO – March 29, 2016 – The YMCA of Central Florida today shared details of a three-year pilot program surrounding employee wellness and chronic disease prevention that was designed in partnership with the 19th largest employer in the world, Sodexo.  A $700,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation will support the Communities for Health workforce wellness program reaching lower-income workers, such as front-line workers, an employee population that is typically hard to reach with traditional employee wellness programs.  The partnership marks the largest grant from Kresge to any YMCA organization and is the result of the organizations’ aligned missions to create access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the lives of those in need.

A national leader in prevention, the YMCA of Central Florida is taking a holistic approach to community wellness. Communities for Health enhances traditional and mostly underutilized employee wellness programs with evidence-based programs that focus on behavior changes, increasing likelihood of success. The initiative is designed to combat preventable chronic illnesses that rack up healthcare expenditures, which increase costs for individuals, companies, insurers and the government.

“We share Kresge’s commitment to improving the health of our communities and are thrilled and humbled to receive their support,” said John Cardone, senior vice president of the YMCA of Central Florida. “This partnership provides us the additional resources we need to expand our reach, target public health challenges and address common chronic diseases.”

The Kresge grant now enhances the Y’s ability to expand the Communities for Health pilot program within Central Florida and to make the program available to more organizations.  The program is boasting early success indicators in employee engagement and participation rates that outperform national averages, including a 71 percent enrollment rate in a personalized health-based solution.

“Communities for Health demonstrates a key need to create a healthier population by taking a community-centered approach to promoting healthy lives,” said Phyllis Meadows, senior fellow at The Kresge Foundation. “This program demonstrates a supportive approach to reaching underserved populations and Orlando’s workforce is prime for the program’s interventions.  As the program continues to develop, The Kresge Foundation looks forward to seeing it launched in additional American cities.”

“With chronic health conditions, and associated costs to treat these conditions on the rise, individuals and their employers cannot afford wellness programs that do not show results,” said Sodexo’s Senior Director of Health & Well-Being Nebeyou Abebe. “Through our partnership with the YMCA of Central Florida, we are creating a coordinated support system that delivers solutions tailored to individual needs to help families live healthier, happier and more productive lives.”

The partnership and grant will support the initiative, which was developed to provide a unique approach to workforce wellness that promotes long term, sustainable behavior changes.  Differentiators include:

  1. Strong peer-to-peer engagement.
  2. Personalized solutions for low risk, at-risk and high-risk participants.
  3. Personal, post-screening supportwith YMCA Lifestyle Coaches and Sodexo registered dietitians throughout the year.
  4. Convenient support, provided at YMCAs and other neighborhood venues, reaching participants where they live, work or play.
  5. Strategically utilized incentives to encourage and boost employee participation.

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The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over nearly 50 years of experience: from food services, reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business and financial model and its ability to continuously develop and to engage the commitment of its 420,000 employees throughout the world.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 371 grants totaling $125.1 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit kresge.org.

 

Assess your Prediabetes Risk on  American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

YMCA of Central Florida encourages the Central Florida community to learn the risks and factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Orlando, FL, March 17, 2016 ‒ March 22 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day and with millions of Americans at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the YMCA of Central Florida urges residents of the Central Florida community to learn their risk and take action to prevent the disease. Currently, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Understanding your risk is the first step in preventing diabetes. Several factors including family history, age, weight and physical activity level can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the diabetes risk test at ymca.net/diabetes.

Diabetes Alert Day is the perfect time to not only determine our own risk for prediabetes, but also encourage our family and friends to determine their chances of developing the disease. Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity.

For those at risk for diabetes, the next step is to make the necessary changes to help prevent the disease. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help. Facilitated by a trained Lifestyle Coach, the yearlong program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health. The goal of the program is to help adults at risk for diabetes reduce their body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Studies have shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58 percent and by as much as 71 percent in those over age 60.

1,072 have improved their health through the program at the YMCA of Central Florida. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is available at more than 1,400 sites in 44 states.

To learn more about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact the Diabetes Prevention Program Office at 407-644-3606 x255 AND/OR [email protected].

 

YMCA Teen Achievers Receives $45,000 Grant through Orlando Magic Youth Fund

Orlando, Fla.  –  (Feb. 10, 2016) – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that it has received a $45,000 grant through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF), a McCormick Foundation Fund, to support YMCA Teen Achievers.

The grant will be used to improve college and career readiness among teens living in Orlando’s Holden Heights community and attending Jones High School and Memorial Middle School.

Over the past 25 years, YMCA Teen Achievers has provided extra mentoring, academic support, college and career preparation, and opportunities to grow and build character to nearly 12,000 young people. Of that number, 90% of students have gone on to earn college degrees, gain career certifications or join the military. YMCA Teen Achievers is part of a portfolio YMCA Youth Development programs designed to help children thrive at every stage of life, from cradle to career.

“The YMCA of Central Florida is deeply grateful to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund and the McCormick Foundation for this generous grant,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development. “With a proven track record of helping youth attain their college and career dreams, YMCA Teen Achievers will be able to serve even more young people, many of whom may well become the first ones in their families to attend college.”

The grant was announced during a surprise ceremony held on Jan. 20, 2016, at the Amway Center. The OMYF All Star Team was announced in the spirit of the NBA draft as the Y of Central Florida and 17 other nonprofit organizations were recognized and presented with an OMFY jersey or specialty basketball.

Over the past 26 years, nearly $20 million has been distributed to local nonprofit organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund since 1994. The McCormick Foundation matches all donations to the fund at 50 cents on the dollar.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Marion counties with services in more than 100 neighborhoods. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day about 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees impacted over 235,000 residents and invested more than $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families.  For more information, visit www.ymcacentralflorida.org.

About the Orlando Magic Youth Fund
The Orlando Magic Youth Fund is committed to helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk, by supporting nonprofit organizations offering youth-based programs in the areas of education, housing, and health and wellness programs that promote healthy living practices for children and families in low-income communities. For more information, visit www.omyf.org.

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YMCA Helps Celebrates 16 Years of Excellence with After School Zone Program

Community Invited to Special Celebration, Feb. 10, at the Orlando Museum of Art

Since its founding in 1999, the After School Zone Program, funded by Orange County and operated by the YMCA of Central Florida and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, has kept more than 200,000 youth safe, active and learning during after-school hours.

In tracking outcomes, data shows that the vast majority of participating students have been able to increase their GPAs and school attendance while avoiding involvement with the juvenile justice system.

In celebrating this success, Orange County is hosting a “Sweet 16 Celebration on Feb. 10, 2016, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803. The program, which will highlight major achievements that have propelled youth on to high school, college and career success, is scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m.

The After School Zone was established 16 years ago in response to growing community need for quality, affordable after school programs as highlighted in a series of Orlando Sentinel articles, “The Critical Middle Years.” In meeting these needs, Orange County partnered with the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs to create a safe after-school haven where middle school youth could develop life skills and character, while benefiting from mentoring, educational support, enrichment, fitness, recreation and sports.

Initially, the After School Zone was established onsite in 17 school locations and has since expanded to 28 Orange County public middle schools. It is funded by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners through the Citizens’ Commission for Children.

The After School Zone is data-driven and its success has been shared with community leaders and stakeholders. Since its inception, the program has shown an increase in GPA by around 89% of participants, an increase in attendance by participating members, and a 99% success rate in decreasing recidivism. In addition, the program has been recognized by Promising Practices in the After School System (PPAS), a national organization that identifies and shares ideas from afterschool programs that have proven to be creative and of high quality.

“The Zone” has also received a $50,000 award from Walt Disney World, 8 NACo Awards, and 2 NACIO Awards. Its success has also served as a national model for other communities that have sought to create quality after-school programs for youth and working families.

 

Walter E. Larisey Named New Executive Director of the Oviedo YMCA Family Center

walter larisey webOrlando, FL ─ (Nov. 19, 2015): The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that Walter E. Larisey, former CEO of the YMCA of Tuscaloosa County (Alabama) has been named the new executive director of the Oviedo YMCA Family Center.

An Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Larisey first joined the Tuscaloosa YMCA in 2011, following a distinguished career with the U.S. Marine Corps. While serving as CEO of the Tuscaloosa YMCA, Larisey launched and led a successful $3 million capital campaign to build a new downtown Y. He also secured the donation a major building to house a YMCA child and adult resource center for at-risk youth.

In his new role with the YMCA of Central Florida, Larisey will lead the Oviedo YMCA family center’s day-to-day operations, as well as community development and financial development initiatives.

“We are excited and honored to welcome Walt Larisey to the Oviedo YMCA,” said Jody Alexander, YMCA District Vice President. “Walt’s background, leadership and financial development skills will be a tremendous asset to our Y as we seek to expand our mission and empower our community for good.”

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Larisey earned a B.S. degree in Business Management in 2004. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Marines as a second lieutenant and served two tours of duty as a platoon commander in Iraq. He later went on to serve as a Marine officer training instructor in Quantico, VA, and as a senior consultant for Booze Allen Hamilton, a government consulting firm.

In addition to earning a Purple Heart, Larisey holds the U.S. Navy’s Commendation Medal for combat valor. He continues to serve in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves. A married father of three, Larisey enjoys golf, running, coaching youth sports and spending time with his family.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to lasting personal and social change through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and provided $10.53 million in direct financial assistance to children and families.

Dr. Kinyata McGee-Swope Named Executive Director of YMCA Child Development Center at Walt Disney World Resort

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that Dr. Kinyata McGee-Swope, a Chicago-based child development and educational expert, has been named Executive Director of the YMCA’s Early Childhood Development Centers at Walt Disney World Resort, Sherberth location.

In this role, McGee-Swope will oversee the curriculum, learning programs and operations of the YMCA Sherberth Family Center. This facility, along with the YMCA Lake Buena Vista Family Center, provides quality early learning, wellness and family-strengthening programs to more 750 Disney cast member families per day.

“For more than 10 years, the YMCA of Central Florida has partnered with Walt Disney World Resort to provide one of the most innovative, holistic child and family development programs in the nation,” said McGee-Swope. “I’m proud to be a part of this tradition and excited to work with great partners like Disney and Heart of Florida United Way to take it to the next level.”

Open 365 days per year, with extended hours to serve the needs of Disney cast member families, the Y’s Early Learning Centers at Walt Disney World Resort focus on the social, cognitive and emotional needs of children from birth to 5, with additional programs for children through age 12. Through a research-based curriculum, children also develop literacy and reading skills to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Through a Family Health Initiative funded through Heart of Florida United Way, the YMCA Centers at Walt Disney World also provide an onsite nurse, pediatric wellness checks, nutritional education, parenting workshops, fitness activities and other ways for families to connect, get healthy and grow stronger.

“At the Y, we know that today’s families need all the help we can provide,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development and Education. “Dr. McGee-Swope is a welcome addition to our Y Educational Team. Her background, leadership and expertise give us even greater depth in helping children and families thrive.”

Prior to joining the YMCA of Central Florida, McGee-Swope served as Director of Youth Development at McGaw YMCA in Evanston, Ill., and as Associate Professor of Education at Kendall University. As an educational consultant, she also has 20-plus years’ experience in working with teachers, staff, parents and communities to develop leading-edge youth education programs.

McGee-Swope holds a Ph.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy from National-Louis University. She also earned certification as an Infant Specialist from Erickson Institute, one of the nation’s top child development graduate schools.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to lasting personal and social change through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and provided $10.53 million in direct financial assistance to children and families.

Y Teen Achievers Celebrates 25 Years of Empowering Youth for Success

ORLANDO, FL – On Thursday, Oct. 8, the YMCA of Central Florida Teen Achievers, a program focused on inspiring teens from low-income communities to pursue post-secondary degrees and certifications, will celebrate the 25 years of providing enrichment opportunities to more than 11,000 of Central Florida’s youth.

Since the program’s inception in 1990, the Teen Achievers program has helped more than 11,800 students to successfully graduate high school. Nearly 90 percent of those graduating students went on to pursue higher education opportunities at colleges and universities nation-wide. The program pairs minority high school youth with successful adult achievers who, through volunteer service, serve as mentors and role models providing educational, cultural and career guidance

Ybeth Bruzual, one of Central Florida’s most well-known TV Journalist, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies and was honored as a YMCA Adult Achiever in 2001.

During the ceremony, twenty-two corporate Adult Achievers will be honored for their professional excellence. These corporate leaders represent, the program’s partners and they include: Orlando Health, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, City of Orlando, OUC, Orange County Corrections Department, Lockheed Martin, McCoy Federal Credit Union, CenturyLink and Orlando Police Department.

The program’s Inaugural Achievers Education Advocate award will be presented to three distinguished honorees. The honorees include: Dr. Maria Vazquez, Dr. Bridget Williams and Dr. Felecia Williams

The celebration will take place at 6 p.m. the Orlando Museum of Art, located at 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803.

 

About the YMCA Teen Achievers Program
Launched in 1990, the YMCA Teen Achievers Program is a college preparatory and career awareness program, designed to increase college enrollment among disadvantaged youth. The program is currently available at eight locations in Orange, Osceola and Seminole County including, Evans High School, Cypress Creek High School, Evans High School, Holden Heights Community, Mildred Dixon Activity Center and three locations sponsored by HFUW, West Orange High School,  Gateway High School and Seminole High School.

 

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

David Rider Joins the YMCA of Central Florida as Executive Director at Winter Park YMCA Family Center

David RiderORLANDO, FL – (Sept. 21, 2015) – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced the appointment of David Rider as Executive Director of the Winter Park YMCA Family Center.

In this role, Rider will lead operations, community development and financial development initiatives at the Winter Park Y.

A lifelong resident of the Maitland/Winter Park area, Rider’s business experience and deep roots in the community make him a natural fit for the role, said Jody Alexander, YMCA Vice President of Operations.

“David is a rare blend of Fortune 100 Executive, entrepreneur and community leader who will help expand the YMCA’s mission around Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility,” Alexander said. “He’s also an all-around good guy who has a natural affinity for bringing people together to make a difference.”

A graduate of Florida State University, Rider most recently served as President of C-Level Consulting Group. He also has 20 years of executive-level experience within the telecommunications industry.

As a youth, Rider attended Winter Park High School and Lake Highland Prep and grew up at the Winter Park Y. “I’ve been coming to the Winter Park YMCA since my father carried me in his arms for basketball practices,” he said. “I’m now fortunate to have my children in the same programs. I believe deeply in the Y cause and look forward to connecting even more young people, families and volunteers to the life-changing difference the Y can make.”

A father of three, Rider enjoys golfing, traveling and spending time with his wife and family.

YMCA of Central Florida Combats Childhood Obesity with New Program

Healthy Weight and Your Child pilot program aims to get kids and families to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.

Orlando, FL, Sept. 9, 2015 – Announced today, the YMCA of Central Florida will begin offering Healthy Weight and Your Child, a pilot program designed to empower children between the ages of 7-13, with support from their families, to reach a healthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States – triple the rate from just one generation ago. Today, one-in-six children are obese and one-in-three are overweight, which poses greater risks for a number of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and mental health issues.

“The YMCA of Central Florida has a long history of advancing the health and well-being of local children, and helping them reach a healthy weight is important now more than ever,” said Kelly Prather, MHSE, YMCA Executive Director of Health Strategies. “Healthy Weight and Your Child will help children experience improved health outcomes and higher self-esteem, and families will feel empowered to make and support healthier choices.”

The yearlong program engages the whole family, so together they can understand how the home environment and other factors influence the choices that lead to a healthy weight. Additionally, the program combines three elements healthy eating, regular physical activity and behavior change.

Made up of groups of eight to 15 children and their parents/caregivers, the program creates a safe, fun, and active environment for children and their families to explore and adopt proven methods to living a healthier lifestyle. Most sessions are 2 hours in length, with the first hour delivered in a classroom setting and the second hour focusing on physical activity.

Children eligible for the program must be between the ages of 7 and 13, have a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, receive approval from their doctor or a health care provider, and accompanied by a parent or caregiver at every session.

Prior to enrollment, families are required to attend one information session, which are being held this month throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Brevard counties. For a complete list of dates and locations, click here

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of five Ys in the U.S. to run this pilot program.

For more information contact Kelly Prather, YMCA Executive Director of Health Strategies at (407) 895 8659 or email [email protected].

 

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change. Learn more at www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

 

 

 

 

Gilbert Garcia Joins YMCA of Central Florida as Executive Director at the Osceola County YMCA Family Center

ORLANDO, FL – (June 30, 2015) – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced the appointment of Gilbert Garcia as Executive Director at Osceola County YMCA Family Center in Kissimmee, FL.

GilbertIn this role, Garcia will lead the operations, community development and financial development initiatives at the Osceola Y.

“Gilbert Garcia has directed successful outcomes with proven YMCA leadership experience,” said Jake Steger, District Vice President, YMCA of Central Florida. “His passion to expand the Y mission and cause throughout Osceola County is going to be contagious.”

Garcia has worked within the YMCA movement in multiple capacities for the past 14 years. Garcia comes to YMCA of Central Florida from the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids in Michigan, where he held the role Senior Membership Director at the David D. Hunting YMCA. The David D. Hunting YMCA is a 160,000 square foot facility; serving 17,000 members. Under Garcia’s leadership the Y experienced significant improvements with membership growth, member retention, and the overall SEER customer satisfaction scores.

Garcia earned a Business Administration degree from Davenport University. Gilbert, his wife, and their 6 year old daughter, Aubrey, are all very excited about this new opportunity in Central Florida.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to lasting personal and social change through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and provided $10.53 million in direct financial assistance to children and families.

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NBA Hall of Famer and YMCA of Central Florida Host Free Health Education Forum

Dominique Wilkins storyDominique Wilkins partners with the YMCA for a health education event focused on diabetes prevention and disease management

The YMCA of Central Florida today welcomed more than 100 community members to the Dr. Phillips YMCA Family Center for a free diabetes-focused educational forum, in partnership with NBA Hall of Famer and former Atlanta Hawk Dominique Wilkins.

Established as a part of the Y’s Healthy Living initiatives, the organization’s Diabetes Academy event series is in partnership with Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Outreach and Education program.  The events, hosted periodically throughout the Y’s Family Centers in Central Florida, are designed to primarily increase awareness of risk, educate, and to share information on prevention and disease management.

With 26 million Americans suffering from diabetes and nearly one in three American adults afflicted with pre-diabetes, the program aims to empower the community to take control of their health by offering support and lifestyle coaching to prevent and/or manage the disease.

“We understand that addressing chronic diseases and exploring new approaches to prevention is critical to the well-being of the community,” said John Cardone, Senior Vice President, Health Strategies, YMCA of Central Florida. “Evidence-based programs such as the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program have shown that they can reduce the number of cases of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.  Imagine the positive change that can happen right here in our community when we hit that mark.”

Following the event program, Wilkins shared his personal story and how diabetes has affected he and his family, who have roots to the Dr. Phillips area, including the local YMCA Family Center.

In addition to the partnership with Novo Nordisk, the YMCA of Central Florida has launched healthy lifestyle-focused initiatives with partners including Sodexo and the United Health Foundation.  The Diabetes Academy is a product of the YMCA’s Healthy Living initiatives, which aim to provide community members with the tools, resources and support to meet and exceed their health care goals and improve the overall health of the community.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change. Learn more at www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

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Y+U: Annual Meeting Honors Top 2014 Donors, Volunteers & Advocates

More than 300 guests and community leaders attended the YMCA of Central Florida’s Annual Meeting, which recognized the leading partners, volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause in 2014. The event was held at the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center on June 16.

During the program, three Y volunteers received a special recognition.

  • Leonard Williams Sr., CEO of Wayne Densch Inc. and Wayne Densch Charities, received the annual John W. Sterchi Award. The award is the YMCA of Central Florida’s highest honor and celebrates outstanding lifetime support. Recognizing the need for a strong Y in the heart of the Pine Hills community, Leonard Williams helped establish the Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center in the 1990s. Years later, Leonard and his wife Marjorie also donated a major gift to establish the J. Douglas Williams YMCA in Longwood as a lasting tribute to their late son.
  • Paul McGarigal, a successful realtor and major supporter of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, received the YMCA’s 2014 Ronnie Walker Unsung Hero Award honoring those who have selflessly given their time and talent to the Y cause. In addition to coaching youth sports, chairing the Dr. P. Phillips Y board, furnishing its teen center and underwriting the cost of new soccer fields, McGarigal recently donated a $500,000 gift to the Y endowment fund as an investment in his Y’s future.
  • Helena Ryan received the 2014 Barbara Roper Advocacy Award recognizing volunteer leaders who have devoted their lives to the Y cause. Over the years, Helena has been an impassioned Y advocate, fundraiser and volunteer leader. In addition to serving on the Metro Board for more than a decade, she also led the 2012-2013 Annual Support Campaign and served as 2014 Metro Board Chair. In 2014, she also chaired the 2014-2018 Long Range Strategic Planning Committees.

In honoring the Y’s Lifetime Donors, Dr. Phillips Charities received special recognition. In 2014, Dr. Phillips Charities donated a $4.2 million gift to the Y – our single largest donation ever — bringing its total lifetime support of the Y to $35,000,000. On hand to receive a special gift of thanks, an original sculpture entitled “The Tower of Children,” were Dr. Phillips Charities board members.

The Y also thanked and honored its top major donors: The Roper Family, Winter Park Health Foundation, Darden, Wayne Densch Charities, Florida Hospital, Orange County Government, City of Orlando, Harris Rosen, WESH-TV, Tavistock, Walt Disney World, Osceola County, Lockheed Martin, The Bert Martin Foundation, Bank of America, Pepsi, Microsoft, Munroe Regional Medical Center and Frank DeLuca.

Each Y family center honored their respective Volunteers of the Year:

TEEN ACHIEVERS: Alex Rivera

TEEN AMBASSADORS: Iffat Anwar

AQUATIC CENTER: Ron Shirlaw

AVALON PARK: Eric Gray

BLANCHARD PARK: Gwen Rolape

CAMP WEWA: Katie Morgan

COCOA: Dan Vanlandingham

CROSBY: Debbie Apple

DOWNTOWN ORLANDO: Nate Koehler

DR. P. PHILLIPS: Michael Hanley

FRANK DELUCA: Kim Zielinski

GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Jim Gillies, Derek Striker

J. Douglas Williams: Donna Walsh

LAKE NONA: Mark Benson, David Chong, Dawn Ballantyne

OSCEOLA COUNTY: Maria Acosta

OVIEDO: Parris Van Smith

ROPER: Greg Ohe

SAFE START: Skip Kendall

SOUTH ORLANDO: Yolanda Webb

SUNTREE: Pat Rainier

TANGELO PARK: Tamara Leonard

TITUSVILLE: Sally Rohenkohl

WAYNE DENSCH: Shirley Bias

WINTER PARK: Ryan Luttrell, Ian Reeves

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT
LBV
– Dana Smith Romero
SHERBERTH – Kara Rogers

The YMCA Elementary Program received the Pinnacle Award for outstanding achievements in revenue growth, volunteer support and financial stewardship. Carter Jones, YMCA District Vice President, and Nancy Bryant, Executive Director of the YMCA Elementary School Program received the 2014 Jim Ferber Award for outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the Y cause and mission.

At the conclusion of the meeting outgoing Metro Board Chair Charlie Egerton passed the gavel to Mike Manuel, the Y’s newly installed 2015-2016 Metro Board Chair. Ten new Metro board members were also elected, including: John Martinez, PNC Capital Markets; Jay Fratello, The FMC Wealth Management Group; Greg Nelson, United Southern Bank; Scott Sorenson, Sorenson Mayflower Moving & Storage; Dr. Maria Vazquez, Orange County Public Schools; Charlie Freeman, Orlando Magic; Charlie Roper, Roper Growers; and Marcia Hope-Goodwin, City of Orlando. The following YMCA Teen Ambassadors were also elected to serve on the board as emerging Y leaders: Kalese Justice, Florida Virtual School; and Robbie Knight, Olympia High School.

YMCA of Central Florida Elects Mike Manuel 2015-2016 Metropolitan Board Chair and 10 New Board Members

Mike Manuel, 2015 Annual Scholarship Campaign Chair

Mike Manuel, 2015 – 2016 Metropolitan Board of Directors Chair

ORLANDO, FL – (June 22, 2015) – At its annual meeting June 16, the YMCA of Central Florida elected Mike Manuel as 2015 – 2016 Chair of its Metropolitan Board of Directors.  As the Y’s top volunteer officer, Manuel will work with 61 other volunteer board members plus staff to guide the organization serving 235,000 residents in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties.

Manuel, a former finance executive with EXP US Services and Wachovia Bank, has been an active YMCA volunteer leader for several years and currently serves as Metro Board Treasurer and as a member of the Metro Audit Committee. In addition to formerly chairing the Metro Finance Committee, Manuel is currently leading the YMCA’s 2014-2015 Annual Support Campaign, which has set a goal by year’s end to raise $3,580,000 to provide YMCA program and membership assistance to children and families in need.

A graduate of Florida State University, Manuel has also been an active volunteer with the Florida Hospital Foundation Executive Board, the American Cancer Society, Seminole Boosters Inc., United Way, and the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation.

“The Y serves a very unique role in the community as a cause which serves the entire family with programs and services to help both kids and adults reach their highest potential in spirit, mind and body,” said Manuel. “Every day, nearly 35,000 people walk through the doors of our Y facilities or participate in a Y program. Each one is looking for something different, but everyone finds something good – a way to be stronger, whole and healthy. It is a privilege to serve the organization and our community in this role.”

In addition to Manuel’s election, 10 new board members were elected for two-year terms 2015 – 2016.

New board members include:

  • John Martinez, PNC Capital Markets
  • Jay Fratello, The FMC Wealth Management Group, Marion County
  • Greg Nelson, United Southern Bank, President/CEO, Lake County
  • Scott Sorenson, Sorenson Mayflower Moving & Storage, President/CEO
  • Maria Vazquez, Orange County Public Schools, Area Superintendent
  • Charlie Freeman, Orlando Magic, Executive Vice President/Chief Revenue Officer
  • Charlie Roper, Roper Growers, President/General Manager
  • Marcia Hope-Goodwin, Chief Service Officer, City of Orlando

In bringing young, emerging Y leaders up through the organization, the following YMCA Teen Ambassadors were also elected to serve on the board:

  • Kalese Justice, Florida Virtual School, Class of 2016
  • Robbie Knight, Olympia High School, Class of 2016

“Mike Manuel, as well as all of the Y’s new Metro Board members, are highly accomplished individuals who represent nearly every profession and walk of life within our community,” said Dan Wilcox, President/CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “The Y of Central Florida is deeply honored to benefit from their leadership and vision as our organization moves ahead with new strategic goals to increase the Y’s impact in Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Together, and with the support 20,000 Y advocates, donors and volunteers, the Y is truly Empowering Our Community for Good.”

Sodexo and YMCA of Central Florida Partner to Create a New Evidenced-Based Approach to Employee Wellness

Communities for Health, a Healthier Workforce Initiative for Working Families Begins as Pilot in Orlando and aims to combat preventable chronic illnesses

ORLANDO – June 4, 2015 – Today, Sodexo, Inc. and the YMCA of Central Florida announced a healthier workforce initiative designed in partnership by the two organizations to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. Communities for Health, a 3-year pilot program with the YMCA of Central Florida, was introduced today in Orlando to more than 250 regional business and healthcare leaders with keynote speakers Ann Albright, PhD, RD, the Director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. John Armstrong, Florida State Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

The initiative’s goal is to combat preventable chronic illnesses that rack up healthcare expenditures, which nationally account for 18 percent of the GDP and are projected to rise sharply in years to come. The initiative is designed to enhance traditional and mostly underutilized employee wellness programs through a personal, system-based approach that engages employees at work and at home with behavior change support, increasing the likelihood of success.

“With nearly 50 percent of adults having one or more chronic health conditions and healthcare costs projected to reach 34 percent of GDP by 2040, we simply cannot afford wellness programs that do not show results,” said Sodexo’s Senior Director of Health & Well-Being Nebeyou Abebe. “Through our partnership with the YMCA of Central Florida, we are creating a coordinated support system that delivers solutions tailored to individual needs to help families live healthier, happier and more productive lives.”

Participation in Communities for Health begins at work with trained wellness champions encouraging their peers to enroll into the program via a consumer-friendly program website. An employee opts-in to receive customized text messages, starting with an invitation to schedule a diagnostic screening test to better understand their personal health status. Based on the results, participants are immediately connected to a lifestyle manager who recommends an appropriate program and serves as their health coach throughout the duration of the program.  Once their personal health plans are in place, a series of personal and text communications will be provided to support individual health goals and long term behavior change. As part of the program support, employees will be directed to the most convenient neighborhood YMCA to access evidence-based chronic disease prevention programs, fitness and healthy eating wellness classes and activities. As an incentive, employees are given a debit-based gift card that can be used at local and national merchants for continuing their participation.

The program, which goes ‘live’ August 2015, has four specific objectives:

  • To engage workforces, through their employers, in general health and wellness activities by building an environment of support both at work and in their family/community;
  • To support employees according to their health risk levels and readiness to improve health habits, with an immediate connection of participants to their appropriate solution for disease prevention or intervention;
  • To increase engagement and reach into the community by building in an opportunity to have each participant bring a personal supporter, member of their family or household or someone they have identified who needs access to these services; and
  • To improve the health of workforce participants and decrease their both associated employee and employer healthcare costs.

“We share Sodexo’s commitment to improving the health of our communities and are thrilled to make healthy living support more accessible for more people through this employer-based program,” said YMCA of Central Florida’s Dan Wilcox, CEO, YMCA of Central Florida. “This region faces a number of public health challenges and exploring new approaches to prevention, as well as addressing common chronic diseases, is critical to the well-being of the community.”

Not only does the prevalence of chronic disease continue to grow in staggering numbers across the U.S., but so does the burden on employers and especially employees in the form of higher out of pocket costs. Employee well-being can also have a significant impact on the overall performance of the organization, and companies with successful wellness programs are improving job satisfaction and raising retention rates.

“Floridians spend about a third of their total waking hours at their place of work, so healthy environments and worksite wellness programs are essential to helping employees achieve healthy weight,” said Florida State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.  “We are grateful for partnerships with organizations like Sodexo and the YMCA of Central Florida that have strong commitments to worksite wellness and that continue to engage employees to help move health forward in Florida.”

As one of the largest employers in the world, including 130,000 employees across 9,000 sites in North America, Sodexo has a nearly unparalleled capacity to demonstrate the effectiveness of wellness programs in a broad range of communities and circumstances; and made possible in partnership with the YMCA, with its 2,700 Y’s across the country.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About Sodexo in North America

Sodexo, Inc., the leading Quality-of-Life services provider in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc. is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md. and funds all administrative costs for the independent and charitable Sodexo Foundation – granting more than $25 million since 1999 to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.

YMCA of Central Florida Receives $1.7 Million Grant from United Health Foundation to Support Groundbreaking HealthierLifeRx Initiative

Disease Prevention and Decreasing Health Care Costs at Core of New Model

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 28, 2015) – The YMCA of Central Florida today unveiled its HealthierLifeRx initiative funded through a $1.7 million grant from United Health Foundation. HealthierLifeRx includes a groundbreaking new health care delivery model – the first of its kind in Florida – focused on disease prevention, improving wellness and decreasing health care costs.

Local, state and federal elected officials, including Florida State Rep. Jason T. Brodeur (R-Sanford), who chairs the state’s Health & Human Services Committee, will attend today’s launch event.

HealthierLifeRx is a unique approach to care and wellness coordination among physicians, patients and lifestyle coaches in a lower-cost community-based setting like a YMCA facility. Through self- or physician referral, patients enrolled in HealthierLifeRx will have access to evidence-based programs that include chronic disease management, disease prevention, weight management and exercise. The program uses cloud-based technologies to enhance engagement between patients and lifestyle coaches and encourage physical activity to help Central Floridians reach their health goals.

“I applaud the Central Florida YMCA for its proactive, innovative approach to reshaping how the community thinks about health care, and United Health Foundation for promoting and enabling our local partners to bring these innovations to our communities,” said Rep. Brodeur.

The $1.7 million grant to support HealthierLifeRx is part of United Health Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that is providing critical resources to nonprofit, community-based organizations across the country to improve people’s health.

“The health care sector and communities alike are seeking new ways to support healthier residents,” said John Cardone, Senior Vice President, Health Strategies, YMCA of Central Florida. “In response to the Affordable Care Act’s focus on ‘health’ care vs. a system set up to support ‘sick’ care, the Y has created a promising model to support positive change.”

“We are thrilled that United Health Foundation sees the promise we do and funded this unique and outcome-based model of preventive care,” said Dan Wilcox, CEO, YMCA of Central Florida. “Together, we will significantly improve the health of our community and, ultimately, help make progress in lowering health care costs for employers and consumers.”

The United Health Foundation grant will be administered by the YMCA of Central Florida over a three-year period. The HealthierLifeRx program will be implemented in coordination with local primary care providers, and success measurements will include significant improvement in health outcomes such as chronic disease prevention, and reductions in prevalence of obesity as well as health care costs.

“United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support the YMCA of Central Florida’s efforts in pioneering new, innovative approaches in care,” said David Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Florida. “Through this model, the YMCA will be able to continue making a positive impact on the health of the community, and on people’s well-being and quality of life.”

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change. Learn more at www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.

 

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YMCA of Central Florida Receives $25K Grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation to Expand a Local Youth Workforce and Higher Education Development Program

Expansion of the Y youth program will expose more at-risk youth to future career opportunities through mentorship, site visits and other collaborations with national corporations and local businesses

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida Teen Achievers, a program focused on inspiring teens from low-income communities to pursue post-secondary degrees and certifications, has received a $25,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to help prepare youth for higher education and future employment opportunities.

“We truly appreciate the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for their donation to the YMCA Teen Achievers program,” said Mina Ford, Y Teen Achievers Executive Director. “With their support, we will not only be able to reach more Central Florida students, many of whom will be first-generation college students, but we will also be able to expose them to career opportunities in the banking industry and highlight the importance of financial literacy.”

The award, which is part of Bank of America’s Workforce Development and Education initiative, is one of 11 grants issued this year to Central Florida nonprofits to help connect the unemployed, underemployed, homeless, youth and individuals with disabilities to training and employment opportunities.

Launched in 1999, the YMCA Teen Achievers Program is a college preparatory and career awareness program, designed to increase college enrollment among disadvantaged youth. It pairs minority high school youth with successful adult achievers who, through volunteer service, serve as mentors and role models providing educational, cultural and career guidance. The program also offers mentoring and tutoring sessions on weekday afternoons with adult volunteer leaders—including Bank of America employees—to explore and learn about various career fields and opportunities.

Since its inception, the Teen Achievers program has helped more than 11,650 students to successfully graduate high school. Nearly 90 percent of those graduating students went on to pursue higher education opportunities at colleges and universities nation-wide.

The program is currently available at eight high schools, including Central Florida Leadership Academy, Jones High School, Cypress Creek High School, Evans High School, West Orange High School, Workforce Academy, Gateway High School and Seminole High School.

Bank of America’s Central Florida Market President, Steven Alch, will present the award at the annual Teen Achievers Excellence Luncheon scheduled Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Noon at the Tangelo Park YMCA.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

 

Bank of America

To learn more about Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility efforts, visit www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow @BofA_Community.

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YMCA Pilots Technology-Based Partnership At Three Family Centers

Y goal is to provide residents with tools to set, track, aspire and celebrate good health habits

Orlando, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced a partnership with Technogym ™ , a world leading company supplying products, services and solutions in wellness and fitness. The new Technogym ™ equipment and the mywellness cloud, the first and only open platform that allows fitness enthusiasts and operators to see all of their workout information collected from their third party fitness and device partners and Technogym equipment in one place, will debut Feb. 3, 2015 at three Central Florida Y locations: Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, Roper YMCA and the Frank Deluca YMCA in Marion County.

This partnership came together to get ahead of changes due to the United States Department of Health & Human Services’ Affordable Care Act, which puts emphasis on population management, and encourages the promotion of good health and wellness habits. As the first partnership of its kind in the US, the Y’s goal is to implement these interactive tracking tools to make it easier for health seekers to plan and maintain their comprehensive wellness routine anytime from anywhere, including exercise and nutrition. In some cases, these participants will also earn healthcare cost savings by reporting their activity to their employer and/or health insurer.

“At the Y, we are joining together with healthcare partners to pilot how the community can provide wellness care versus sick care,” said Dan Wilcox, President & CEO at the YMCA of Central Florida. “We believe these new tools, coupled with existing support programs, will transform how insurers and physicians provide care to their employees and customers. We also think those insured will begin to see long term financial savings attributed to a healthier lifestyle.”

To create more personalized fitness experiences and curb chronic disease for residents, the YMCA of Central Florida has created new partnerships and is investing millions of dollars to help Central Florida residents live healthier, more vibrant lives.

“Technogym’s mywellness cloud is an invaluable platform for wellness enthusiasts to truly track their fitness regimens and get the most out of their workouts,” said Marco Buchbinder, CEO, Technogym North America. “Technogym wants to empower local communities to combat health problems and obesity all across the world, and this is a key example of how the company is partnering with a trusted partner like the Central Florida YMCA to revolutionize wellness.”

Through a $500,000 grant from the West Orange Healthcare District, Orlando Health and the Roper Y are collaborating to extend their current patient rehabilitation services and promote preventative related health programs and seminars.

“Improving community health isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, said Lainie Fox Ackerman, JD, Orlando Health’s Community Benefit Director.” “The Y, which serves people of all ages and incomes, understands this. It’s about helping all people develop a more holistic, preventative approach to health. And we can achieve more together.”

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About Technogym

Founded in 1983, Technogym is the world’s leading international supplier of products, services, and solutions in the Wellness and Fitness fields. With over 2,200 employees and 14 branches globally, Technogym exports 90% of its product to 100 countries. More than 65,000 Wellness centers and 100,000 private homes are equipped with Technogym. Technogym was the official supplier for the last five editions of the Olympic Games: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and will continue this partnership at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Technogym also is a leading sponsor at the next Universal Exposition, Expo 2015 in Milan.  For more information, please visit www.technogym.com.

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National Healthy Kids Day® Planned for Central Florida Families on April 25

Local YMCA Kicks off a National Awareness Campaign to reduce summer learning and health gaps that could hold kids back with a community event at 27 Y locations.

Healthy Kids Day® is the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being. The event, which is open to the public, features games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and more activities to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.

It will also be an opportunity for families to learn more about local Y quality summer camps, all of which – in addition to a lot of fun – emphasize reading, physical activity, healthy eating and values. Parents can also ask about Y summer camp scholarships, awarded on the basis of need, which enable even more Central Florida kids to get up, get active and take on Summer.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,600 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of school time for kids’ health.

Locally, this community-wide event is sponsored by Orlando Health and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Date:        Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time:       10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location:  27 Y Family Centers in Orange, Osceola, Marion, Seminole, Lake and Brevard counties, including 11 Outreach Ys serving Pine Hills, Tangelo Park, Kissimmee and other fragile communities, will be hosting the event. http://ymcacentralflorida.com/y-locations/

YMCA of Central Florida to Host the 20th Annual Celebration of Prayer with Keynote Speaker Major Dan Rooney

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dori Madison
April 14, 2014 (407) 474-7885 [email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida to Host the 20th Annual Celebration of Prayer with Keynote Speaker Major Dan Rooney, People Magazine’s Hero of the Year

ORLANDO, FL – (April 14, 2014) the YMCA of Central Florida will welcome nearly 1,000 people to its 20th Y Annual Celebration of Prayer breakfast, the largest event of its kind during Holy Week, on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the First Baptist Church in Orlando.

The keynote speaker for this year’s breakfast is patriot, philanthropist and professional golfer Major Dan Rooney, USAF (Ret.). Recognized as People’s magazine Hero of the Year and ABC World News’ Person of the Year in 2008, Rooney will share his inspiring story of faith and how after he returned from his second tour as an F-16 fighter pilot in Iraq, his life forever changed. It put him on a mission to ensure that the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes would never go unappreciated or unrewarded. Rooney is the author of the moving life story A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith.

“His story will both captivate and empower the audience to be a positive force of change,” said Jim Ferber, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO.

A Major in the Air National Guard and decorated military aviator, Rooney served three combat tours in Iraq. He is a two-time recipient of the coveted “Top Gun” award and was honored with the “Spirit of Attack” award as a top graduate of F-16 training. He has received many decorations including the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Anti-terrorism Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, and Air Expeditionary Medal.

“For twenty years, the YMCA of Central Florida has welcomed people of all faiths to join together, give thanks and unite in hope and prayer for our kids, families and communities at the Y Celebration of Prayer breakfast,” said Rick Shreve, YMCA of Central Florida Director of Christian Initiatives. “This year is no different because the Y remains deeply committed to strengthening our community by connecting residents, inspiring leaders and providing relevant solutions through spiritual enrichment.”

Proceeds from the breakfast will go to benefit the Y. The YMCA of Central Florida welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. Tables of eight are available for $400, half tables are $200 and individual tickets are $50. To reserve tickets, please contact Debbie Korba at (407) 895-8669 or [email protected]

20th Annual Y Celebration of Prayer Breakfast
Location: First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 South John Young Parkway
Time: 7 am – 8:15 am

About The YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is committed to strengthening the foundation of the local communities it serves in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties. This Y is a diverse organization of 6300 volunteers and 1800+ staff joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000+ Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y through 53 afterschool programs, chronic disease prevention programs and bringing communities together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association impacted over 235,000 residents and raised $11,115,000 to deliver its cause to area children, individuals and families.

YMCA of Central Florida to Host the 21st Annual Celebration of Prayer with Keynote Speaker Lucas Boyce

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida will welcome nearly 1,000 people to its 21st Annual Celebration of Prayer breakfast, the largest event of its kind during Holy Week, on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Orlando.

“For more than twenty years, the Y has united people of all faiths together at the annual Celebration of Prayer Breakfast, to give thanks and pray for all of the individuals in our community, specifically for youth, families and people in need,” said Rick Shreve, YMCA of Central Florida’s Director of Christian Initiatives.

The keynote speaker for this year’s prayer breakfast is Lucas Boyce, the acclaimed author of Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and NBA, an autobiography where he chronicles his journey as a premature baby born to a drug-addicted mother, the academic struggles he faced as a child, and the love of an adopted mother who instilled his determination to succeed.

“His story will both captivate and inspire the audience to live by faith in all aspects of their lives,” said Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO.

As a former foster child and “Y Kid,” Boyce overcame incredible obstacles to graduate from college, serve in the White House Office of Public Affairs, and become one of the most promising young executives in the NBA, where he currently serves as Director of Business Development and Legislative Affairs for the Orlando Magic. Boyce oversees strategic planning, with a focus on developing downtown Orlando’s new sports and entertainment district.

As a dedicated public servant, Boyce is committed to empowering the community with his message of faith and perseverance. He currently chairs Gov. Rick Scott’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Group, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for Florida A&M University.

The breakfast will take place at 7 a.m. the First Baptist Church of Orlando, which is located at 3000 South John Young Parkway. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit the local communities that the Y serves across six Central Florida counties, which include Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. Tables of 8 are available for $300 and individual seats are $50 each. Please call (407) 896-9220 or [email protected] to reserve your ticket.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

YMCA to Provide 10,000 Free Swim Lessons to Central Florida Children

ORLANDO, FL – Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in Florida among children ages 1-14.

To help ensure Central Florida children are safe this summer in and around the water, the YMCA is offering free introductory swim lessons to children ages 4-12 during SPLASH WEEK, which will be held Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

With water everywhere in Florida, the Y knows that swimming is a life skill every child must learn to stay safe, secure and enjoy the water. SPLASH WEEK is a free 5-day swim program for youth ages 4-12 years-old. Daily lessons will be provided by certified Y swim instructors, who will teach basic stroke development, personal safety lessons, and crucial water safety survival skills.

“Drowning is no joke here in Central Florida,” says Rowdy Gaines, new YMCA of Central Florida Vice President of Aquatics. “Even when adults are around “watching,” a child can drown in the blink of an eye, and it’s important that parents understand this so they can take all necessary precautions.”

In addition to SPLASH WEEK, the YMCA of Central Florida makes swim safety programs accessible and affordable for any family who wishes to make their children safe around water.

“In our diverse region, there are also many cultural barriers to learning how to swim which hinders people from taking advantage of the benefits of swimming,” says Gaines, a 3-time Olympic gold medalist. “Our goal is to provide affordable access to swim lessons for all and most importantly to save lives.”

SPLASH WEEK is open to the public and will be offered at 20 locations throughout Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties. Registration is open at individual Y locations. For more information, please visit www.ymcacentralflorida.com or call 407.896-9220.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

 

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YMCA Partners with Florida Blue to Provide Diabetes Prevention Care for Florida Blue Members

Florida health insurer offers free preventative care to its policy holders

Orlando, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced a collaboration with Florida Blue, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, to provide free preventative diabetes care to policy holders who have pre-diabetes or are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The coverage will be provided through enrollment in the 12-month YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

“To have a partner like Florida Blue makes such a bold statement and is an unbelievable story of their commitment to making Central Florida a healthier community,” said John Cardone, Vice President of Health Strategies, YMCA of Central Florida.

This collaboration supports the Accountable Care organization model set by the Affordable Care Act, where a set of health care providers—including primary care physicians, specialists, and hospitals, work together collaboratively to accept collective accountability for the cost and quality of care delivered to a population of patients.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program resulted from a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which showed how healthier eating, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight could lead to better health in participants and an overall reduction of new Type 2 diabetes cases. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program have been shown to prevent or delay new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent and as much as 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.

“We know that preventing diabetes is critical for the health of the community and for the health of each individual member.” said Tony Jenkins, Central Region President, Florida Blue. “By taking away the barrier of cost for this evidence-based, Center of Disease Control approved program, we believe we can curb the rate at which Type 2 diabetes is impacting this community.”

Regular classes are led by trained Lifestyle Coaches at YMCA Family Centers and in workplaces in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Marion and Brevard counties. The program includes 16 weekly sessions that help people make simple lifestyle changes ─ things like eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing modest amounts of weight. Weekly sessions are followed by eight months of personalized, one-on-one support with providers to help participants reach their long-term health and wellness goals.

For more information on the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact the YMCA of Central Florida at 407-644-3606 x255, or email [email protected]. For more information on Florida Blue, visit www.floridablue.com

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About Florida Blue

Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Florida Blue is a not-for- profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.floridablue.com

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The 24th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast Kicks of the 50th Year Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, the 1st African-American elected to the position, will be delivering the keynote speech commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The YMCA of Central Florida and the Southwest Orlando Jaycees will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the 24th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at the First Baptist Church of Orlando at 7:45 a.m.

More than 1,000 civic leaders, pastors, and elected officials, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jacobs, are expected to attend this event, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African-American elected official.

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired two-star Navy admiral, will be the guest speaker at this year’s event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Right Act of 1965, a civil rights law fueled by peaceful protests for voting rights, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. outside of Selma, Alabama in March 1965.

“Like Dr. King, Chaplain Black is committed to uniting communities, strengthening families and improving education for our youth. These are all principles at the core of our Y mission,” said Dan Wilcox, President & CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida.

Chaplain Black was elected the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate in 2003. In addition to opening the Senate each day in prayer, Black provides spiritual support to more than six thousand people, which includes members of the Senate, their families and their staff. Prior to the Senate, Black served for 27 years in the U.S. Navy, where he also served as Chief of Navy Chaplains.

“The need for a strong sense of community is at an all-time high in the Central Florida area and all over the world,” said Wilcox. “For more than 20 years, this prayer breakfast has united thousands of local residents for one cause –uplifting our community.”

During the event, the Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the YMCA of Central Florida will present the 2015 Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award to Rev. Randolph Bracy Jr. Bracy founded the New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando in 1992. A tireless champion for human and civil rights, Bracy is involved in local faith and community efforts, and he is also a past president of the Orange County chapter of the NAACP.

Past recipients of the Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award include Mable Butler, former Orange County Commissioner, Corrine Brown, U.S. Representative, Harris Rosen, a philanthropist and founder of Rosen Hotels and Judge Belvin Perry.

Musical entertainment during the breakfast will be provided by NBC’s “The Voice” finalist and local resident Sisaundra Lewis.

Proceeds from the event support the Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Scholarship Fund for Promising Teens, which has awarded more than $50,000 in educational funds to 45 young people since 1999.

The event is nearly sold out. For tickets, please email [email protected] or call 407.896.9220.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 full time employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. It also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.
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YMCA Of Central Florida Receives$4.2 Millions Gift From Dr. Phillips Charities

Orlando, Fla., Aug. 25, 2014 – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that it has received a $4.2 million gift from Dr. Phillips Charities to help expand its mission and create lasting community change.

The gift is Dr. Phillips Charities’ latest investment in the YMCA of Central Florida association, which has received a total of $38,447,923 from the foundation.

“Dr. Phillips Charities’ impact over the past 30 years has been dramatic,” said Jim Ferber, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO. “With the foundation’s steadfast commitment to the Y’s cause, we are able to provide life-changing programs for people of all ages, abilities and incomes.” In 1993, the Y was serving just 18,000 residents, and because of their philanthropic legacy, today the Y impacts the lives of 235,400 kids, families and seniors in more than 100 neighborhoods.

This relationship has also enabled the Y to go into ─ and remain ─ in fragile communities such as Pine Hills, South Orlando and Tangelo Park. Eleven of the 27 YMCA of Central Florida Family Centers provide subsidized services in communities including youth-mentoring, family-strengthening and prevention-based health and wellness programs to those in need.

Inspired by Dr. Phillips Charities’ belief in helping people help themselves, the Y is also tackling many pressing issues of the day – things like closing the academic achievement gap, combatting chronic disease, reducing family stress and instilling values in youth.

“In the YMCA of Central Florida, Dr. Phillips Charities found a partner who shares our commitment to making the Central Florida community a better place to live,” said Ken Robinson, President, Dr. Phillips Charities. Through our support of the YMCA, we have been able to leverage our grant dollars positively impacting children and families through a variety of projects and programs.”

Dr. Phillips Charities’ recent gift also coincides with the launch of the Y’s 2014-2018 Strategic Vision Plan, which calls for expanding the Y’s impact to reach 20% of the population – or 600,000 people ─ within five years. In doing so, the organization hopes to achieve a “tipping point” for real and measurable change in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The relationship between the Y and Dr. Phillips Charities dates back to 1983 when The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation sought to create a community gathering space in the heart of its founder’s namesake community. Thanks to the foundation’s donation of land and construction funding, the new Dr. P. Phillips Y opened its doors in 1985. Additional capital funding has followed, including an $8.8 million donation Dr. Phillips Charities recently provided to transform the facility into one of the most progressive, Healthy Living Ys in the nation.

Dr. Phillips Charities has also funded other capital projects at the Osceola, South Orlando, Roper (West Orange), Wayne Densch (Pine Hills), Downtown Orlando and YMCA Aquatic Center Family Centers. Additionally, in 1999, funding from Dr. Phillips Charities led to the creation of Safe Start, the Y’s groundbreaking infant water survival program that has helped more than 13,400 children and families avoid the tragedy of drowning.

“We know that Y programs change lives. We see it every day when a child learns to read, a family grows stronger, an adult overcomes diabetes or a senior stays healthy, mobile and independent,” Ferber said. “We also know we can’t do it alone. That’s why we are deeply grateful for the incredible generosity, vision and leadership of Dr. Phillips Charities. Together, we are empowering Central Florida for the good.”

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Marion counties with services in more than 100 neighborhoods. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day about 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families.

About Dr. Phillips Charities
The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto “to help others help themselves.” The organization has been a leader in shaping the nonprofit sector by designing innovative programs to solve community problems, investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and granting funds to expand services to meet the needs of a growing central Florida population. Dr. Phillips Charities has an ongoing commitment to support organizations in the Dr. Phillips community located in southwest Orange County where the Phillips family had substantial investments during their life time. Income produced from a portfolio of rental properties and other investments funds Dr. Phillips Charities’ grantmaking.

YMCA Joins Forces With Obesity Action Coalition

Your Weight Matters Healthy Living EXPO scheduled for Sept. 27

Orlando, Fla. – Aug. 17, 2014. The YMCA of Central Florida and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) are proud to announce an important new partnership aimed at educating people about obesity, health and wellness, and much more.

As two leading nonprofits dedicated to advocacy and prevention, the partnership allows the YMCA and OAC to leverage shared resources in helping Americans understand how weight impacts their overall health and what steps they can take to improve it.

More than 93 million Americans, including 25 percent of Floridians, are impacted by obesity. The disease carries with it more than 40 obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, some cancers, arthritis and more. In addition, those affected by obesity are targeted daily with weight bias and stigma.

Through the YMCA’s focus on Healthy Living, it is joining with leading partners, such as the OAC, to develop personalized, prevention-based solutions for combatting the crisis of obesity and chronic disease. The Y’s Healthy Living programs include the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, LIVESTRONG, COACH APPROACH® and more.

As the leading obesity-focused patient advocacy group, the OAC’s mission is to elevate and empower individuals affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. It’s Your Weight Matters Brand, includes the Your Weight Matters Campaign, the Your Weight Matters Annual National Convention and Your Weight Matters Magazine.

The partnership’s first joint effort will be the Your Weight MattersSM Healthy Living EXPO, scheduled for Saturday, September 27, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. The event will be held in conjunction with the OAC’s 3rd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention.

Free and open to the public the EXPO will offer health screenings, interactive educational programs, opportunities to hear from leading healthcare experts, and more than 35 vendors featuring the latest in health and wellness products and services.

“Fully half of all Americans, including people we know and love, suffer from at least one chronic disease, many of which are related to obesity,” said John Cardone, YMCA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development. “Oftentimes, people want to improve their health, but
they don’t know where to begin. The Y’s new partnership with the OAC will help change that. Together, through prevention-based programs, personalized support and great events like the Your Weight Matters Healthy Living EXPO, we can begin to turn in the tide on obesity in Central Florida and beyond.”

“The OAC is proud to partner with the YMCA of Central Florida,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO. “As the leading patient-advocacy organization for individuals affected by obesity, the OAC is constantly looking for new ways to educate the public about obesity and offer it unbiased evidence-based information on weight and health. Hosting the Your Weight Matters Healthy Living EXPO in partnership with the Y is a great way to launch our new partnership and maximize community impact.”

To learn more about the YMCA of Central Florida, visit ymcacentralflorda.com.

To learn more about the YWM Healthy Living EXPO, presented by the Obesity Action Coalition and the YMCA of Central Florida, or register for your FREE EXPO pass, please visit http://www.ywmconvention.com/ywm-healthy-living-expo/. For more information on the OAC’s 3rd Annual Your Weight MattersSM National Convention, please visit www.YWMConvention.com.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About the OAC
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong national non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. To learn more about the OAC, please visit www.ObesityAction.org.

Titusville YMCA Receives $10,000 Grant from Jess Parrish Medical Foundation to Assist Brevard County Residents in Need

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Titusville YMCA Family Center has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation (JPMF) to support the YMCA’s Annual Scholarship Campaign.

“With support from community partners like JPMF, the Y can help youth reach their full potential, keep families engaged in positive programs and provide North Brevard residents with a safe place to stay active and connected with neighbors,” explained Titusville YMCA Executive Director, Billy Specht.

The grant will help provide financial assistance to individuals, children, seniors and families seeking YMCA membership and for those who would like to participate in YMCA programs, which include: youth sports, swim lessons, aquatics programs, before and after school care, day camps and summer camp.

“At the YMCA, our goal is to never turn anyone away due to their inability, and the grant from Jess Parrish Medical Foundation will help us meet our goal,” said Specht.

In 2013, the Titusville YMCA was able to provide financial assistance to 1,136 children, seniors and families in Brevard County. In total, the Y distributed approximately $188,000. These funds, raised through the YMCA Annual Support Campaign, helped individuals from all walks of life to be healthier and more confident, connected and secure.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About Jess Parrish Medical Foundation
Jess Parrish Medical Foundation is dedicated to supporting and enhancing healthcare outreach, patient care, rehabilitation, and wellness services that contribute to a better quality of life for citizens in North Brevard. As such, JPMF awards grants to community organizations that align with the mission of Parish Medical Center. For more information about Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, visit www.parrishmedfoundation.com or call
321-269-4066.

 

YMCA Executive Named One of Legacy Central Florida Magazine’s 50 Most Power-Impactful Black Professionals in Business and Industry

wayne-hOrlando, FL – In its inaugural issue, Legacy Central Florida Magazine named Wayne Humphrey, Vice President of Government and Community Relations at the YMCA of Central Florida, one of the 50 Most Power-Impactful Black Professionals in Business and Industry for 2014.

As the Y’s Vice-President of Government and Community Relations, Humphrey is responsible for building strategic relationships, while advocating for the YMCA’s cause and mission. For the past 14 years, Humphrey has been instrumental in developing major YMCA initiates, including the Lockheed Martin Technology Center at the South Orlando YMCA.

“I would like to congratulate Wayne on this tremendous honor,” said Jim Ferber, President & CEO, Central Florida YMCA. “He has been an asset to our organization as we partner across Central Florida to build bridges, improve lives and strengthen communities.”

Humphrey received his Bachelor’s Degree from Loma Linda University, and pursued graduate studies in Management/Public Policy from the University of Redlands in California.

Prior to joining the YMCA, Humphrey served as the Regional Director for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), where he was MSAA’s government liaison on Capitol Hill.

Humphrey has also worked as a consultant to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics; Dr. Edward van Kloberg, founder of the Washington World Group; the Honorable Joseph Verner Reed, Dean of the UN’s Under Secretary-Generals; and Dr. J. Richard Munro, former Chair/CEO Time Warner.

He was also appointed by Dr. Ralph Reece, President of the American Telephone Fundraisers Association, to help the Federal Trade Commission delineate the difference between for-profit vs. non-profit telemarketing.

Other honorees included: Dr. Margaret Miller, Board of Directors, The Dr. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips, Inc.; Dr. Monica Reed, CEO, Florida Hospital Celebration Health; Dr. Alric Simmonds, Medical Director of Outpatient Surgery, Florida Hospital; Reginald Riley, Ph.D., Community Relations Manager, Orlando Health; Alvin J. Cowans, President & CEO, McCoy Federal Credit Union; Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools, Terry Prather, President, Sea World Parks & Resorts Orlando; and Monica May, Star 94.5 News & Community Affairs Director, Cox Media.

Legacy Central Florida magazine is a quarterly news and business publication, providing insightful articles and information on business, careers, politics, lifestyle, culture and social commentary, relevant to Central Florida’s Black “Affluencers” and Influencers.

For a full list of the Legacy Magazine’s 50 Most Power-Impactful Black Professionals of 2014, please see the June 2014 issue, which is distributed via a partnership with the Orlando Sentinel.

YMCA of Central Florida Announces Charlie Egerton Elected 2014 Annual Campaign Chair

ORLANDO, FL – (December 11, 2013) — The YMCA of Central Florida announces Charlie Egerton, a founding shareholder at the law firm of Dean Mead Egerton Bloodworth Capuano & Bozarth PA, as the organization’s 2014 Annual Campaign Chair of the YMCA of Central Florida. He will serve as the lead volunteer among 3800+ volunteers, who in 2013, raised $3.1 for youth and family scholarships.

Egerton has been involved with the YMCA of Central Florida for more than 30 years. He has been a YMCA member since 1981, and has served as both Board Chair and Scholarship Chair of the Downtown YMCA, and also served in the Scholarship Campaign of the Crosby YMCA.

“No other organization impacts entire families in this community like the YMCA does,” said Egerton. “I am proud to be in the position to raise scholarships for area families who need the Y for early childhood development care, afterschool educational and health support, and for prevention-based wellness programs for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.”

He has been named an Outstanding Tax Attorney in The Best Lawyers in America® for over 25 years, and is the past chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, the nation’s largest organization of tax lawyers.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF CENTRAL FLORIDA AND ITS COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

The YMCA of Central Florida’s mission is to strengthen the foundation of communities through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Y is accessible to everybody, regardless of age, background or ability to pay. The charitable organization provides financial assistance to 90,872 kids, families and seniors to participate in after school programs and summer camps, swim lessons, youth sports, wellness and child development programs – and that number continues to rise. In addition to scholarships, the YMCA of Central Florida provides over $6 million in financial assistance for 11 full-service Ys in financially fragile communities such as Tangelo Park, Titusville, South Orlando and Pine Hills.

This YMCA association is a non-profit organization which employs over 1800 and serves over 225,000 residents through 27 operations in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-895-4293
[email protected]

First Responders Across Six Counties and the YMCA of Central Florida Team Up to Improve Employee & Their Families’ Well-Being

ORLANDO, Fla. – August 29, 2013 – On Labor Day, through 9/11, on the anniversary of the day when the term “First Responders” was etched in the minds of all Americans, first responder departments in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties will be joining forces with the YMCA of Central Florida to improve their employees’ mental, physical and family health through Helping Heroes initiative. Recognizing the impact of workplace stress and seeing its effect on first responders and their families, a press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3, 10:30 – 11:00a.m. at the South Orlando YMCA Family Center. During the event, these officials and the YMCA will share how they plan to support the well-being of the regions 16,000+ first responder employees.

“First responders are driven to protect the public at all costs. And often, it’s at the expense of their own well-being and that of their families,” said Jim Ferber, President/CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “That is why the YMCA and Dr. Phillips Charities are committed to “help our helpers” by ensuring these men and women are in top mental and physical health. Even more importantly, we must ensure that their families have access to youth and family programs, healthy living resources, and places where they can relieve stress and connect with one another in off-duty time.”

Recent statistics show:

  • The average life span of a law enforcement officer after retirement is only two to five years.
  • Spouses of officers share higher stress levels and feel more isolated in having to maintain balance in their families’ lives.
  • About 75% of First Responders have prehypertension or hypertension.
  • Although burns and smoke inhalation are more associated with firefighters’ fatalities, heart disease including heart attack and stroke account for the largest number of lineof-duty fatalities each year.
  • In 2012 heart attacks and other job related illnesses for law enforcement rose by 60% compared to the same period last year.

 

“The mental and physical health of our employees should not be sacrificed while they respond daily to our community’s needs,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. By joining together and launching the Helping Heroes initiative, we can beat the statistics and improve our employees’ quality of life so they can continue keeping our communities safe.”

Among the health risks for employees there are also job-related issues that affect their families as well. High rates of divorce, alcoholism, suicide, emotional problems can be devastating to the families of law enforcement and first responders.

“As a community partner, the Y can help us with our goals to prevent potential consequences of our employees’ irregular schedules and stressful jobs,” said Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney. We are committed to doing all we can do to support our employees and their families.”

“The easier we can make it for our employees and their families to address any physical and mental health issues before it affects their lives the better it is for everyone,” said Chief James White, City of Winter Park Fire Chief and president of the Central Florida Fire Chiefs Association. When we all come together again next year, I am confident we’ll be seeing happier and healthier employees.”

Join First Responders and Law Enforcement officials from the Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake, and Marion counties along with the YMCA of Central Florida as they share details of the Helping Heroes initiative.

WHEN:

Tuesday, September 3, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

WHAT:

Launch of Helping Heroes Health Initiative

WHERE:

South Orlando YMCA Family Center
814 W Oak Ridge Rd, Orlando


Facts on Law Enforcement and First Responder Personal & Family Well-Being

The unusual job-related stresses impact First Responders’ home life and personal health:

  • The National Institute of Justice interviewed officers who themselves report high rates of divorce, alcoholism, suicide, emotional and health problems.
  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police in July announced a Symposium on Officer Suicide because studies are showing that current work as a police officer was linked with an eight times increased risk of suicide.
  • In 2013 heart attacks and other job related illnesses for law enforcement rose by 60% compared to the same period last year.
  • Heart Attacks account for 45% of all work-related deaths for firefighters.
  • The risk of having a heart attack doubles with each decade of law enforcement service.
  • About 75% of First Responders have prehypertension or hypertension.
  • Over 75% of First Responders are overweight or obese as a result of the interruption of normal dietary patterns and sleep that is associated with shift work.
  • Heart disease accounts for 20-50% of all early retirements – and back problems account for another 15 – 35% with lack of physical activity as the major contributor to both conditions.
  • The third leading cause of law enforcement deaths in 2013 was due to job related illnesses.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

About Dr. Phillips Charities

Once the largest citrus producer in the world, Dr. Philip Phillips left a legacy that has spanned several generations culminating in the establishment of Dr. Phillips Charities, comprised of The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc.. These two distinct funding organizations are well known in Central Florida for their grant support to worthy capital projects and innovative programs of charities that address critical community needs, demonstrate the potential for ongoing community support, and have a significant, lasting impact on the community.

The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto “to help others help themselves.” Dr. Phillips Charities’ distributions average $8 million annually. To date, over $150 million in grants have been awarded by Dr. Phillips Charities. Today, 9 community buildings are named to honor the Phillips Family in Central Florida.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407.474.7885
[email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida and BELL Partner to Provide Summer Learning Program for Kids Grades K-5

ORLANDO, JULY 21, 2013 – In an effort to curb learning loss when the school year ends, the YMCA of Central Florida is partnering with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) to pilot BELL Summer Learning with the YMCA. The program is helping 100 kids in grades K-5 in at Orlando’s McCoy Elementary School increase their academic achievement during the summer months so they return to school in the fall ready to succeed.

Studies show that without access to summer learning activities, such as camp, travel, and visits to libraries and museums, children from low-income environments can experience more significant learning loss than their more economically stable peers. Over time, these children continue to lose ground and by the fifth grade, many are two to three school years behind their middle- and high-income peers.

“A combination of extended learning and enrichment activities is essential to increasing children’s success in school, and we are dedicated to helping more kids achieve their potential,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Education. “This program ensures that children at McCoy Elementary School have the opportunity to participate in out-of-school learning opportunities to strengthen their skills and keep them on track during summer.”

BELL Summer Learning with the YMCA is based on the BELL Summer program model, which is a full-day learning experience that combines small group, rigorous academic instruction with fun, hands-on enrichment activities, field trips and service projects. The model is designed to help students enhance skills in subjects such as reading, writing, math and science, while also engaging families in the education process. The program is proven to result in three- to six month learning gains in literacy and math.

As a leading nonprofit focused on youth development, the Y nurtures the potential of every child and teen. Together with BELL, the Y will explore opportunities to further the quality of summer learning services for its partner schools.

“At a time when we are all challenged to do more with less, schools and communities have to work together if we’re ever going to eliminate the opportunity and achievement gaps that persist among disadvantaged students,” explains Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D., BELL’s Chief Executive Officer. “Smart collaboration enables us to provide more time for learning for more of the students who need it most. We are excited by the potential of this pilot partnership and proud to work with the Y and Orange County Public Schools to serve scholars and families this summer.”

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of three Ys across the country offering BELL Summer Learning with the YMCA, which complements the Y’s other educational programs, including YMCA Summer Camp, and after school programs that serve more than XX elementary and middle school students per year.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

About BELL

BELL is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit providers of quality expanded learning programs for children in grades K-8. Its mission is to transform the academic achievements, selfconfidence, and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced, urban communities. BELL serves more than 15,000 students – whom BELL recognizes as “scholars” – in public schools throughout Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte; Detroit; Newark; New York City; San Jose, CA; San Rafael, CA; Spartanburg, SC; Springfield, MA; and Winston-Salem, NC. BELL partners with more than 100 public schools and employs more than 2,000 teachers and tutors across the nation. Visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-895-4293
[email protected]

Central Florida Community Leader Glen Davis Elected Chair of YMCA of Central Florida Metro Board

ORLANDO, FL – Glen Davis, an Orlando area business leader and retired President and CEO of Schuff Steel-Atlantic, has been elected chair of the 2013 YMCA of Central Florida Metropolitan Board of Directors. Davis replaces outgoing chair Helena Ryan.

In addition to serving on the Y Metro Board and Executive Committee, Davis also chaired the Y’s 2013 Annual Support Campaign, which raised $2.5 million for local children, families and seniors in need. Long active in the community, he is a current member of the Seaside National Bank and Trust Board and has previously served with the SunTrust Advisory Committee, the Children’s Home Society Board the Country Club of Orlando, where he held the role of board president.

Following his election during the Y’s May 16 annual meeting, Davis said, “I’d like to thank the many partners, donors, volunteers and staff who have made the Y’s programs and accomplishments possible. As we look to the year ahead, I hope you’ll remain committed as the Y’s momentum and life-changing work continues to build.”

Rounding out the Y’s 2013 slate of officers are Secretary, Ralph Martinez; Treasurer, Mike Manuel; and Past Chair, Helena Ryan.

Also elected to the Metro board were five new community leaders, including Jim Alessandro, Senior Vice President, Distribution Marketing & Sales Planning and Development, Walt Disney World Resort; Rich Panner, Regional Vice President Southeast, Pepsi Beverages Company; Wayne Rich, Attorney, Broad and Cassel; Lynette Swinski, Vice President, Merchandise, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; and Jim Henningsen, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala.

In recognition of 20-plus years of exemplary service to the board, the following trustees were also unanimously approved: Chas Bailes, Mary Rumberger, Clarence Otis, Jr., Barbara Roper, and Tom Warlick.

Additional board members include:

  • Mary Jane Arrington
  • Rob Baker
  • Lou Carrion
  • Steve Davis
  • Robin Fisher
  • Sandy Hostetter
  • Orman Kimbrough
  • Charlie Pierce
  • Kran Riley
  • John Varley
  • Chip Webb
  • Steve Wingo

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children serving more than 100 neighborhoods and joined by a shared commitment to improve the lives of all in Central Florida. Each day about 27,000 Central Florida residents are impacted in three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In 2012, this YMCA association of over 1,800 employees invested, during a down economy, $11.1 million in its local communities through neighborhood services. Also in 2012, the organization provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-895-4293
[email protected]

Y of Central Florida Receives LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Grant to Help People Affected by Cancer

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that it has received a new grant from LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, a research-based program that provides a safe, supportive environment for people affected by cancer to participate in physical and social activities that strengthen the whole person.

With the local pilot due to launch in August, the program will link cancer survivors with specially trained YMCA fitness instructors who help develop personalized fitness routines adapted to participants’ unique needs.

Offered in small-group sessions, the 12-week program aims to help participants regain muscle mass and functional ability, as well as healthy levels of weight, energy and self-esteem.

LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA will support the growing number of cancer survivors who are in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to resume their normal lives,” said John Cardone, YMCA of Central Florida Vice President. “The fact that it’s offered at the Y, where we are dedicated to a personalized approach to wellness, emphasizes that the program is about health, not disease.”

Following roll out at the Peggy & Phillip B. Crosby YMCA Wellness Center, the Downtown Y, Lake Nona Y and Frank DeLuca YMCA, the association plans to partner with local hospitals and medical providers to expand the program to all of its 20 YMCA Family Centers.

“We are thankful for this grant and extremely proud to offer LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA,” Cardone said. “We also hope other partners will step forward to support this vital program, which will provide health, wellness and hope for thousands of Central Floridians affected by cancer.”

Currently, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is offered at 115 Y associations around the country. The YMCA of Central Florida will be one of at least 39 additional Ys that will begin providing the program in 2013. To date, approximately 13,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.

For more information, please contact John Cardone at (407) 644 3606 or email [email protected].

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation

The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America’s top cancer non-profit organizations, the Foundation enjoys a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and has been recognized by the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.

YMCA of Central Florida Honors Top 2012 Volunteers and Donors at Annual Meeting

ORLANDO – (May 21, 2013) – At its recent annual meeting, the YMCA of Central Florida honored the organization’s leading 2012 volunteers, donors and staff and voted in five new board members for the coming two-year term. More than 400 guests attended the event, held at the Lake Nona YMCA/Northlake Park Community School, where they helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of the community.

The annual John W. Sterchi Award, named for the community leader who led the 1962 capital campaign to build the Downtown Orlando YMC, was awarded to Bill Browder. A strong advocate of the Y with more than 20 years of service as a volunteer and board member, Browder is also a major donor to Marion County-based Frank DeLuca YMCA, where he is leading a capital campaign that has so far raised $4.1 million.

The 2012 Ronnie Walker Unsung Hero Award was awarded to two volunteers who reflect the spirit of a servant Y leader and have provided leadership at their local Ys for more than 10 years: Rhoda Fisher, representing the Titusville Y, has led groups of volunteers for fundraising events for more than 15 years in Brevard County. Tim Haberkamp was also honored as one of the founding board members of the Wayne Densch Y in Pine Hills, which was established in the 1990s. As a Pine Hills business owner, Haberkamp offers his talent and resources to help local families in need through the Y. He also serves on the association’s Finance Committee.

Five community leaders were elected to serve two-year terms on YMCA of Central Florida Metropolitan Board of Directors: Jim Alessandro, Senior Vice President, Distribution Marketing & Sales Planning and Development, Walt Disney World Resort; Rich Panner, Regional Vice President Southeast, Pepsi Beverages Company; Wayne Rich, Attorney, Broad and Cassel; Lynette Swinski, Vice President Merchandise, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; and, Jim Henningsen, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala.

2012 YMCA Metropolitan Board Chair Helena Ryan highlighted the Y’s past-year achievements in the three focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “For youth development we integrated reading into all of the Y’s youth development, afterschool, summer and early childhood programs,” she said.

In the area of healthy living, she outlined the Y’s progress in advancing its focus on health, wellness and the prevention of chronic disease by “providing more personalized services, focusing on diet and nutrition, and enhancing clinical and rehabilitation services through stronger partnerships with local hospitals.” She also highlighted the organization’s continued commitment to social responsibility through its investments in fragile communities. Among its top 2012 achievements: Expansion of the Osceola Y in Kissimmee and the addition of a new Y Links2Learning urban golf and educational program at the South Orlando Y. Citing continued focus on outreach facilities in 11 neighborhoods, including Union Park, Pine Hills and Kissimmee, she said “51% of our outreach Y members receive financial assistance that enabled them to take advantage of all Y offerings.”

The evening also included a special video presentation honoring the Y’s 30-year and nearly $30 million partnership with Dr. Phillips Charities, as well as a 10-year anniversary as the foundation’s primary support agency. Dr. Phillips Charities board members Jim Hinson, Ken Robinson, Dr. Ann Manley, Eva Tukdarian and Dr. Margaret Miller were present for the event.

The Y also thanked and honored its top major donors: The Roper Family, Winter Park Health Foundation, Darden, Wayne Densch Charities, Florida Hospital, Orange County Government, Lake Nona/Tavistock, Walt Disney World, Osceola County, Lockheed Martin, The Bert Martin Foundation, Bank of America, Pepsi, Microsoft, Munroe Regional Medical Center and Frank DeLuca.

Each Y family center honored their respective volunteers of the year:

  • Teen Achievers, Jibri Robinson
  • Aquatic Center, Randy Walters
  • Avalon Park, Craig Murray
  • Blanchard Park, Stefanie Block
  • Camp Wewa, Katie Hery Morgan
  • Cocoa, Dave McGaffic
  • Crosby, Howie & Debbie Apple
  • Downtown, Kathy Panter
  • Dr. Phillips, Paul McGarigal
  • Golden Triangle, Jerry Ransom
  • J. Douglas Williams, Jose Velazquez
  • Lake Nona, Marshia Hale
  • Frank DeLuca YMCA, Steve Wingo
  • Osceola, Eric & Janelle Jenkins
  • Oviedo, Alice Maalouf
  • Roper, Ashley Arthur
  • South Orlando, Virginia Howell
  • Suntree, Sam Pinson
  • Tangelo Park, Autumn Bailey
  • Titusville, Gene Loyd
  • WDW Resort: Lake Buena Vista, Virginia Rousseau
  • WDW Resort: Sherberth, Noel Myerson
  • Wayne Densch, Charlie McCall
  • Winter Park, Marilyn Nelson

 

The Frank DeLuca YMCA also received the Pinnacle Award for the fifth year in a row for exceptional YMCA Family Center achievements in revenue growth, volunteer support and financial stewardship.

Lastly, the organization honored two senior staff members with a new award, the Jim Ferber Award, for outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the Y cause and mission. The recipients were Jody Alexander, YMCA District Vice President of Operations, who manages the Downtown and South Orlando Ys, and Colleen Manahan, Chief Administrative Officer who oversees the organization’s human resources, finances and technology departments.

At the end of the meeting Ryan passed the Chairman’s gavel to 2013 Chair Glen Davis, who closed by saying, “Without each of you here tonight, the Y would simply be unable to keep pace with growing community needs. We need you to remain committed as the Y’s momentum and life-changing work keeps on building.”

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-895-4293
[email protected]

Newest Y Links 2 Learning Center Opens at South Orlando YMCA

Providing safety, learning support and food assistance to local children and families in need

ORLANDO, APRIL 1, 2013 – As part of the YMCA of Central Florida’s commitment to Social Responsibility and Youth Development, the organization this week announced the opening of its second Y Golf Links 2 Learning Center at the South Orlando YMCA.

With the launch of the $500,000 facility, hundreds of children living in the Oak Ridge Road/OBT Corridor will be able to learn a new sport − golf − as well as the values, civility and self-respect that go with it. And through a tie-in to the Y’s Lockheed Martin Technology Center, children will also receive homework help, as well as a greater understanding of golf’s connection to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.

With the opening, the Y is also partnering with the Community Food and Outreach Center to provide food and case management support for participating children and families, many of whom are at imminent risk of hunger and homelessness. Currently, nearly half of all children served by the South Orlando Y come from single-parent households and 79% qualify for free or reduced school lunches.

“We know that through no fault of their own, children are often the hardest hit by poverty, hunger, family stress and neighborhood crime,” said Jim Ferber, President and CEO of the Central Florida YMCA. “Yet even modest investments in children’s safety, learning and wellbeing pay huge, lifelong dividends for them and our entire community.”

The 6,000 square foot facility, which includes putting greens and hitting bays, was established through a $500,000 gift from The Warden Family Foundation, as well as a major partnership with Lockheed Martin. Other leading partners include the LPGA and other professional golfing groups, which are providing on-site golf instruction, mentoring, event sponsorship and grant support.

“What makes Y Links 2 Learning unique is that it is offered free to all deserving kids, many of whom can walk directly to the Y after school,” said Glen Davis, committee chair of the Links 2 Learning program. “The South Orlando Y is one of 11 Outreach Ys, which are located in the heart of financially fragile communities. These Y’s provide safety and security for kids, as well as peace of mind for struggling families, many of whom are working several jobs to survive.”

The Y operates another Links 2 Learning Center at the Tangelo Park Y and is seeking additional sponsors and partners to further expand the program.

In addition to previously mentioned partners, other program sponsors include Chris Barley, the Edward T. Bedford Foundation, Dona and Fred Tannler, Brad Brewer Golf Academy, Dr. Dorsey and OMYGA, Microsoft, Orange Appeal Magazine, Orange County Government, Orange County Parks & Recreation, Orange County Public Schools, Orange County National, Professional Golfers Career College, Rollins College Women’s Golf Team, Shape and Sport, Andrea Doddato and Swingbyte.

For more information about Y Links 2 Learning, please contact YMCA Development Director Julie von Weller at (407) 895-8677 or email [email protected].

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-895-4293
[email protected]

YMCA’s 19th Annual Celebration of Prayer Features U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black

Strengthening the Spirit of Our Community during Holy Week

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today hosted U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black who shared an inspirational message of redemption, faith and unity during the Y’s 19th Annual Celebration of Prayer Breakfast.

Speaking during the event, attended by nearly 1,000 community leaders, Chaplain Black said that Holy Week is a fitting time to reflect upon “crosses we do not choose to bear.” In weaving stories about his difficult childhood with humor, inspiration and powerful oration, Black said as a young man he was often bitter that his father had abandoned the family. But it was through his anger, as well as his mother’s strong example of faith and acceptance, that eventually realized the spiritual lessons of adversity.

“Too often, we fail to recognize the role of providence in our lives – those times when the steps of good people are ordered by the Lord and we are given crosses that we did not choose to bear,” Black said. “When that happens, embrace your cross. Do not face it with indifference because indifference hurts the heart of God more than nails. When you embrace a cross you did not choose, I promise that you will be transformed.”

In his role as U.S. Senate Chaplain, Black leads the assembly’s opening prayers and provides spiritual guidance to national leaders as they debate the challenging ethical issues of our day. He is also a former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who served for 27 years before retiring as the Navy’s Chief of Chaplains. In addition to holding numerous academic degrees, including Ph.Ds. in philosophy and ministry, Black is also author the acclaimed memoir, From the Hood to the Hill.

The YMCA’s Celebration of Prayer, the largest local event of its kind held during Holy Week, celebrates the arrival of Easter, as well as the Y’s Christian heritage, according to Jim Ferber, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO.

“Celebration of Prayer brings people of all faiths and backgrounds together to pray for the youth, families and health of our community,” Ferber said. “It’s also a meaningful way to recognize the Y’s Christian mission, which has guided our organization for over 150 years. We’re extremely grateful to Chaplain Barry C. Black and all who attended today’s event for joining us and supporting the Y’s efforts to strengthen the foundation and spirit of our community. ”

For more information about Celebration of Prayer or to learn more about the YMCA of Central Florida, visit www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Secily Wilson
407.895-8669
[email protected]

Y of Central Florida Announces Record-Breaking Gift and Partnership

$1 Million Gift from Businessman Frank DeLuca and $1 Million Partnership with Munroe Regional Medical Center Ushers in New Era of Health and Prevention

ORLANDO – (March 26, 2013) – The YMCA of Central Florida announces a record-breaking gift and partnership that will help transform the way the Y delivers prevention-based health, wellness and family-service programs to the residents of Marion County.

In support of a $4.5 million capital campaign to expand and improve the Marion County YMCA in Ocala, Central Florida businessman Frank DeLuca recently donated a $1 million gift. In honor of this generosity, the Marion County Y has been renamed the Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center.

The gift, the largest ever for the Marion County Y, will help fund facility improvements that are underway to help meet Marion County’s growing health, youth development and family service needs. Upon completion in 2014, the expansion will enable the Y to serve more than 35,000 adults and children per year.

In addition, the Ocala-based Munroe Regional Medical Center this week announced a $1 million, first-of-its kind partnership with the Y, which will help Marion County residents reduce their risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. As the partnership evolves, it will provide onsite health screening, risk assessments, education classes, nutritional counseling and other health, wellness and prevention-based services to help people make informed, proactive choices about their health.

Characterizing the DeLuca gift and Munroe partnership as “as a pinnacle in creating a healthier community,” Jim Ferber, President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida, said: “The timing is significant since healthcare reform is motivating people to take personal responsibility for their health. The Y has been in the prevention business for more than 100 years. Together, through Frank DeLuca’s incredible philanthropy and Munroe Regional’s innovative commitment, we are truly pioneering a new type of healthcare support.”

“Giving back not only feels good, it is the right thing to do,” said DeLuca, owner of DeLuca Toyota in Ocala. “I am honored and extremely blessed to be able to support the Y and our great community. I cannot think of a more worthy organization to support than the Y as it continues its efforts to build character in our children and respond to changing health, wellness and family needs across Marion County.”

Steve Purves, President and CEO of Munroe Regional Medical Center, said the new partnership aligns likeminded leaders who are dedicated to improving the community’s health.

“Munroe Regional Medical Center is so very pleased to enter into this unique partnership with the Frank DeLuca YMCA,” Purves said. “Through it, we extend our hospital mission of tackling the burden of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Not only are these diseases the most costly to care for, they are in most cases preventable.”

According to a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, Marion County ranked in the bottom third of all Florida counties in terms of health. Among the study’s top findings: 20% of local residents were in poor or fair health; and 32% were overweight or obese, thus at greater risk for developing chronic diseases.

The Frank DeLuca YMCA is one of several of the Central Florida Y’s 22 Family Centers, which are running capital campaigns to improve member and community services. With philanthropic support from Wayne Densch Charities, Dr. Phillips Charities, Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Bert Martin Foundation to name just a few, the YMCA of Central Florida has been able to introduce innovative resources into many of the region’s most fragile urban communities. The most recent include construction of Links2Learning golf facilities at the Tangelo Park and South Orlando YMCAs (Oakridge and Orange Blossom Trail area); as well as expansion of the Osceola YMCA in Kissimmee.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children serving more than 100 neighborhoods and joined by a shared commitment to improve the lives of all in Central Florida. Each day about 27,000 Central Florida residents are impacted in three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In 2012, this YMCA association of over 1,800 employees invested, during a down economy, $11.1 million in its local communities through neighborhood services. Also in 2012, the organization provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Dori Madison
407-839-4006
[email protected]

The Y Welcomes Dr. Fitz Hill for MLK Day Celebration

Thousands will unite to remember the man who asked: “What are you doing for others?”

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dr. Fitz Hill, President of Arkansas Baptist College and Co-Author of “Crackback!” How College Football Blindsides the Hopes of Black Coaches, headlines the YMCA of Central Florida’s 22nd Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, January 21, 2013 -7:45 A.M. at First Baptist Church of Orlando–Faith Hall.

Dr. Hill worked as a NCAA Division I head football coach before he became a top-level university administrator. He has spent half of his life researching challenges associated with race that are faced by African-American college coaches. His groundbreaking work, including a doctoral dissertation on the topic, has made Dr. Hill a nationally consulted expert who was asked to testify before a U.S. congressional committee. He has also appeared on numerous network television programs including “ESPN Outside The Lines,” “Cold Pizza,” “ABC Nightline” and “HBO Real Sports”. Dr. Hill, who received a bronze star while serving in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm, is also a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Diversity of Ethics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

“Being the first black coach for San Jose State University, would not have been possible had it not been for Dr. King fighting for equality. We now have a responsibility to carry out that dream to be a blessing to others,” says Dr. Hill.

The YMCA of Central Florida is committed to improving the lives of all in Central Florida through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. “Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and economic opportunity for all, and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be,” said Jim Ferber, President & CEO of YMCA of Central Florida.

The Jaycees of Southwest Orlando Junior Chapter is joining the Y of Central Florida in the celebration honoring Dr. King. For tickets, contact one of 20 local Y Family Centers near you. For exact locations, visit ymcacentralflorida.com.

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2011, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Secily Wilson
407.895-8669
[email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida to Honor Donors at Annual Festival of Trees Celebration

ORLANDO, Fla. – The YMCA of Central Florida will thank over 1,000 donors on Sunday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. at its annual celebration event during the Orlando Museum of Arts’ Festival of Trees holiday display.

Over the past year, more than 6,600 donors gave more than $4.2 million to provide 31,500 kids, families and adults access to Y facilities, programs and resources in a safe, secure environment. Of these funds, over $2 million were raised through the YMCA Annual Support Campaign, established to ensure accessibility to all and support neighbors in need right in our own Central Florida communities.

The Y is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to strengthening communities. Its donors
play a vital role in helping the Y ensure a wide variety of experiences, perspectives, incomes, ages, backgrounds and cultures are welcome every day at Y family centers. The generosity of the Y’s donors enables the organization to provide a place where everyone can get healthy and stay confident, connected and secure.

“I can’t overstate the critical role our donors play every day in enabling us to fulfill our mission as a Christian organization and move forward our cause to make Central Florida communities stronger,” stated YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO, Jim Ferber. “We are delighted to be able to honor our donors and express our gratitude each year at this signature event.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

Titusville YMCA Receives $10,000 Grant from Jess Parrish Medical Foundation for Youth Scholarships

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Titusville YMCA Family Center has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation (JPMF) to support the Y Youth Scholarship Program.

In 2011, approximately 1,120 children, seniors and families in our Titusville community received scholarships totaling more than $200,000 to participate in programs that nurture life lessons in kids and foster health and well-being. These funds, raised through the YMCA Annual Support Campaign, help individuals from all walks of life to be healthier and more confident, connected and secure.

“We are proud to work with organizations like the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation. They help us ensure that the Y turns no one away for their inability to pay a membership to lead a healthy lifestyle,” stated Titusville YMCA Executive Director, Billy Specht. “With community partners like them, the Y is determined to keep kids off the street, families engaged in positive programs and communities with a safe place to keep active and connected with neighbors.”

Jess Parrish Medical Foundation is dedicated to supporting and enhancing healthcare outreach, patient care, rehabilitation, and wellness services that contribute to a better quality of life for citizens in North Brevard. As such, JPMF awards grants to community organizations that align with the mission of Parish Center. For more information about Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, call 321-269-4066.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

YMCA Aquatics Center hosts International MATE ROV Competition

ORLANDO, Fla. – The YMCA of Central Florida will host the 11th Annual MATE International ROV Competition at the YMCA Aquatics Center on June 21-23, 2012. The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center coordinates an international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition and a network of 21 regional ROV contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, and Japan.

No other YMCA has hosted an educational event of this magnitude before where more than 50 teams from middle schools, high schools, after-school clubs, community colleges and universities around the world participate.

The competition consists of three different “classes” that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements. In addition to technical skills, the events help students develop the ability to problem solve, think critically and work as part of a team.

“At the Y, developing the minds of our youth is just as important as coaching them in basketball or teaching them how to swim,” stated Jim Ferber, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Given that we have a mutual goal to motivate students to study science technology, engineering and math (STEM) and pursue careers in STEM fields, it was only a matter of time before the Y and the MATE Center worked together to achieve this goal.”

The YMCA of Central Florida is creating technical programs and opportunities in our local community to teach kids how important math and science skills are to the community and the world. Through collaboration with educators, business leaders and local governments, the Y is able to develop unique learning environments that support academic achievement and high performance in schools.

One such example is its partnership with Lockheed Martin Corporation to establish the Technology Center at the South Orlando Y, which provides students at neighboring community schools with an opportunity to explore careers in math and science that play a significant role in Central Florida’s economic development. Additionally, in February, the Y hosted the Red Tail Pilots Tribute Event where it brought the community together to show youth that math and science careers are great options to building a better future.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

Safe Start Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Central Florida

Thousands of Children Prepare for Florida’s Pool Season with Water Safety Program that Teaches Life-Saving Techniques at YMCA of Central Florida Family Centers

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than 10,000 children – some as young as six months old – have learned life-saving techniques over the past 10 years as part of Safe Start, the innovative water safety program launched by the YMCA of Central Florida with support from the Dr. Phillips Charities in 2002. The Y will recognize the success of this vital program during a special event to kick off Central Florida’s pool season at the Aquatic Center YMCA (8422 International Drive) on April 19.

Florida loses children under age five to drowning more than any other state. The Y of Central Florida, the only associations across the nation to offer Safe Start instruction at its Family Centers since 2002, spearheaded and rolled out the program after forging a partnership with Infant Swimming Resource and Dr. Phillips Charities. By taking on this leading cause of preventable childhood death and injury, the Y is committed to providing this needed resource to families and keeping swimmers of all ages safe in the water in a quest to reduce overall drowning statistics in our communities.

Safe Start teaches survival swimming techniques by way of lessons to children from six months to six years old with private daily instruction from certified instructors over a period of six weeks. Children first become proficient in the rollback technique to rotate from a facedown position to float facing up in the water. Next, children learn how to swim-float-swim to safety and exit the water. Parents are required to attend each lesson, and receive the Safe Start Parent Resource Book and valuable water safety education to ensure Safe Start lessons are reinforced at home. Refresher courses and comprehensive aquatics programs at Y Family Centers provide ongoing support to keep children safer around the water for the rest of their lives.

“Floridians are fortunate to have year-round access to water, and whether your family enjoys spending time in the backyard pool and area beaches or participating in aquatic activities and programs at our Family Centers, it is vital that we first teach our kids how to be safe in the water,” said Jim Ferber, President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Safe Start is a proven program that has undoubtedly reduced childhood drowning in our community. We offer this early intervention as part of our robust aquatics program, commitment to water safety and goal to address pressing issues, like child drowning, all to help advance our cause of making our Central Florida communities stronger.”

“My son ventured onto a dock and fell into the water near a boat hoist,” said Carrie Ferenac, local parent, “Before my husband and I could get into the water, he had flipped over, and was floating – tennis shoes and all. It all happened in a matter of seconds and I was so relieved that the lessons he learned from Safe Start helped him survive. All children deserve a safe start with water.”

For many children, Safe Start is an introduction to lifelong enjoyment of aquatic activities for fun, fitness, and health. Thousands of children, teens and adults—many of whom would not have access to a pool without the Y—take swim lessons at local Family Centers each year. This year alone, the Y expects to offer over 50,000 swim lesson for swimmers of all ages and skill level. Certified instructors continue to teach important water safety skills and help individuals improve their stroke techniques or fitness levels, while sharing fun new ways for everyone to participate in a variety of pool activities that keep them active. Swimmers with a competitive streak can join swim teams, dive teams or play water sports with coaching from several former Olympians who also call the Y’s pools home. Central Floridians who simply enjoy relaxing poolside take comfort in knowing that every Family Center pool is supervised by certified lifeguards, making it easier to take advantage of fun features such as water slides, fountains and special pool events at many Y locations.

For more information about Safe Start instruction and YMCA of Central Florida aquatic programs, please visit ymcacentralflorida.com or safestartusa.org.

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Natali Garcia-Diaz
407.895.8660
[email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida Kicks-Off Pool Season with Safe Start

Water Safety Program that Teaches Kids Life-Savings Techniques Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Central Florida

WHAT:

Thousands of children, teens and adults – many of whom would not have access to a pool without the YMCA of Central Florida – enjoy summer aquatics activities at local Family Centers. The Y will celebrate the official opening of pool season by paying special recognition to Safe Start its innovative prevention program that aims to reduce child drowning, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Central Florida this year.

Safe Start teaches survival swimming techniques to children from six months to six years old, and provides children with a foundation to safely enjoy Florida’s abundant access to water, which includes swimming pools, retention ponds, freshwater lakes, rivers and springs, and the ocean. Certified instructors provide one-on-one lessons to children over the course of six weeks to prepare them for the unexpected in any aquatic situation. Parents are also are taught important water safety precautions to help reduce their family’s risk for accidental drowning.

The Y will recount the successes of its Safe Start program, which is offered in partnership with Infant Swimming Resource and Dr. Phillips Charities, as well as provide an overview of exciting aquatics events and programs for the Central Florida pool season.

WHEN:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3:00 p.m. Safe Start lesson demonstration and interview opportunities for media.

3:30 p.m. Press conference to announce beginning of pool season in Central Florida with YMCA of Central Florida and Dr. Phillips Charities.

WHERE:

YMCA Aquatics Center
8422 International Drive
Orlando, Fla. 32819

WHO:

Media will have the opportunity to interview Safe Start instructors and parents of Safe Start alumnae. YMCA of Central Florida and Dr. Phillips Charities will also be available for interviews.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Natali Garcia-Diaz
407.895.8660
[email protected]

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is helping people in Central Florida stave off developing type 2 diabetes

ORLANDO, Fla. – The YMCA of Central Florida wants residents to learn their risk for type 2 diabetes and take action to prevent it.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and a staggering 79 million people have prediabetes, a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 8.5-10.1 percent of adults in Central Florida are diagnosed with diabetes.

“This is a call to action for people in our community to learn about their own risk for prediabetes and diabetes,” said Jim Ferber, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Adults who are at high risk can turn around their health and reduce their chances of developing the disease if they take action to change their lifestyle. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is proven to help them do just that.”

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of 48 Ys nationwide offering the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is based on research led by the National Institutes of Health that showed that programs that help people lose a moderate amount of weight and increase physical activity reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% among people with prediabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle change program designed for high-risk adults. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating, and increasing their physical activity in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. Individuals who participate in the program take part in 16 one-hour weekly classroom sessions with a trained Lifestyle Coach. Following these sessions, participants meet monthly for up to a year for added support in reaching their ultimate goals of reducing body weight by 7 percent and participating in 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is supported nationally by UnitedHealth Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is available at 48 Ys in 26 states. Visit http://ymca.net/diabetes-prevention to take a diabetes risk assessment and to learn more about the program.

To learn more about the YMCA of Central Florida’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact Kelly Prather at (407) 896-6901 or [email protected].

 

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

Estilo de Vida / Life Style

YMCA of Central Florida celebrates good health in Kissimmee

Kissimmee, FL – True to its purpose of celebrating health and improving the quality of life for all residents in Central Florida, the YMCA of Osceola invites the public to participate in the events during the month of March. These events will take place at the newly renovated facility of the Y, located at #2117 Mabbette St. in Kissimmee.

On Saturday March 24, there will be a “Super Saturday Workout” A Mini Triathlon will take place to promote physical fitness and will start at 6:30 am.

“We want them to visit us, learn about the Y, and enjoy the benefits of being part of our family,” says Mariana González, Doctor and Director of Health and Welfare for the YMCA. With the new Y in Osceola, people can count on spaces where people of all ages can entertain themselves and exercise at the same time with a new, fully equipped gymnasium, swimming pool with water heater, playground for children, a “Wellness” Center with cardiovascular equipment and free weights, rooms for aerobics and “Spinning”, a center for development and care for children, and sports programs for youth and adults among others to promote the development of the spirit, mind and body with the aim of improving the quality of life for Hispanics.

The YMCA celebrates good health year-round with an itinerary of activities aimed at improving the quality of life among those involved. Shortly, they will be announcing the activities related to the opening of the new facility. “When you join the YMCA family, you are part of our family, and that has its privileges” said, Mariana González.

As part of the celebration for the new Y in Osceola, you can obtain a free pass for two days to enjoy the new facilities in the family center which are open Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturdays until 4:00 pm. To acquire the pass all they have to do is visit us on Facebook looking for the La YMCA de Osceola. “Like” the page and you will find a coupon that can be downloaded and printed.

For more information about the YMCA in Osceola, calendar of events and activities as well as programs to improve the quality of life, you can find them on Facebook through http://www.facebook.com/laYdeosceola or visit the website link: www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

YMCA’s 18th Annual Celebration of Prayer to feature Virginia “Gigi” Graham

YMCA Prayer Breakfast Brings Together Residents and Leaders to Strengthen the Spirit of the Community during Holy Week

ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida brings Virginia “Gigi” Graham to Orlando on Thursday, April 5, to share her inspirational message of faith and unite nearly a thousand community residents and leaders at one of the largest prayer breakfasts held in Central Florida during Holy Week. The YMCA’s 18th Annual Celebration of Prayer takes place from 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Orlando located at 3000 South John Young Parkway.

Award-winning author and influential guest speaker Gigi Graham is the eldest daughter of world-renowned evangelists Billy and Ruth Graham. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of 19. Drawing from her life experiences, she speaks at various churches and conferences across the United States, Canada and Europe. She currently serves as Ambassador of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Gigi’s most notable books include Currents of the Heart, For Women Only: Keeping Your Balance in a Changing World, A Quiet Knowing and A Search for Serenity.

“Celebrating the ‘C’ in YMCA, the Celebration of Prayer, held each year to mark the arrival of Easter, is a unique opportunity to celebrate the YMCA Christian heritage and mission that has guided our organization for over 150 years,” says YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO Jim Ferber. “We are committed to our cause to strengthen the community by connecting residents, inspiring leaders and providing solutions through spiritual enrichment.”

The breakfast is open to the entire community and welcomes people of all faiths, ages, incomes and backgrounds. Tables are available for $250 and individual seats for $35. Please contact (407) 895-4296 or [email protected] to reserve your ticket or visit www.ymcacentralflorida.com.

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida Hosts Largest Cardio Class in Central Florida

Free Community Event Promotes Cardiovascular Fitness During American Heart Month

WHAT:

The YMCA of Central Florida is bringing the community together to celebrate American Heart Month by hosting the Largest Cardio Class in Central Florida. All Y Family Centers will simultaneously host a free group fitness class featuring a mash-up of popular cardiovascular exercise programs including Zumba, step aerobics and boot camp.

Participants will experience a variety of cardiovascular exercises that prevent heart disease and promote wellness. The community group fitness class will also offer an opportunity for participants to meet neighbors who share similar fitness goals. Together, and with the support of the YMCA of Central Florida, participants can encourage each other to improve the overall health and wellness of our communities.

WHEN:

Saturday, February 25, 2012
10:00 a.m.

WHERE:

All Y Family Centers will host the Largest Cardio Class Media are encouraged to visit the Downtown (433 N. Mills Ave.), Dr. Phillips (7000 Dr. Phillips Blvd.) and Osceola County (2117 W. Mabbette St.) Y Family Centers for the best visuals.

WHO:

Expert wellness coaches will be available to discuss tips for maintaining a regular fitness routine and community participants will be available for interviews.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

YMCA of Central Florida to Host Legendary Red Tail Pilots at South Orlando YMCA

New “Vision of Flight” Aviation Technology Program for Students to be Announced with Appearance from Tuskegee Airmen

ORLANDO, FL … The YMCA of Central Florida and its community partners, like Lockheed Martin Corporation, are enhancing their commitment to provide innovative opportunities that encourage math and science interests among students with its new “Vision of Flight” Aviation Technology Program at the South Orlando YMCA Family Center. Designed to complement the proposed Aviation and Aerospace Engineering Magnet at nearby Oak Ridge High School, the “Vision of Flight” program will launch with a special visit from the legendary Tuskegee Airmen on Monday, February 20 at 10 a.m.

Tuskegee Airmen, some of whom belonged to the elite fighter squadron known as the Red Tail Pilots, were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, the men were specially trained to fly and maintain combat aircraft. Red Tail Pilots Lieutenant Colonel Leo Gray, Lieutenant Colonel Hiram Mann and Lieutenant Colonel George Hardy will be honored for their contributions to aviation at the YMCA event and answer audience questions about their experiences.

The program begins with a performance of the Tuskegee Airmen Fight Song by Oak Ridge High School Marching Band. Orange County Commissioner Tiffany Moore-Russell and Orange County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Barbara Jenkins will offer remarks, as well as Dr. John Johnson, president of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Showing their commitment to science and technology, Lockheed Martin Vice President John Varley will make a special donation presentation to the YMCA of Central Florida before the unveiling of a new aviation monument to be placed at the South Orlando YMCA Family Center. The event will conclude with an opportunity for students and event attendees to interact with the Red Tail Pilots.

“Red Tail Pilots have played an inspiring role in aviation history. It is a tremendous honor to host several of these legendary heroes at the South Orlando YMCA,” said Jim Ferber, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “We are bringing the community together to hear the Red Tail Pilots share their experiences and inspire more students to take advantage of the math and science resources offered at our Technology Center. Now, students will have an opportunity to see how their learning can impact the world.”

The YMCA of Central Florida works in close collaboration with educators, business leaders and local governments to develop unique learning environments that support academic achievement and high performance in schools. Its partnership with Lockheed Martin Corporation helped establish the Technology Center at South Orlando YMCA, which provides students at neighboring community schools with an opportunity to explore careers in math and science that play a significant role in Central Florida’s economic development.  The “Vision of Flight” program will support this effort by supplementing the rigorous college preparatory curriculum and hands-on activities being proposed as part of Oak Ridge High School’s Aviation and Aerospace Engineering Magnet program.

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

Y Golf After School Program Debuts at Tangelo Park Y Family Center

WHAT:

The YMCA of Central Florida will launch its new Y Golf and Learning Center after school program at the Tangelo Park YMCA Family Center on Thursday, December 1 from noon – 3 p.m. The program will be on display at a presentation luncheon and ribbon cutting ceremony that will also include a demonstration.

Orange County has invested $1.3 million over a four year period to renovate the Pocket Park at Tangelo Park and revitalize the golf facility by installing a new high quality and low maintenance putting green surface and hitting bay net. The Y partnered with Orange County Public Schools to offer Y Golf at the updated facility to introduce kids to the popular sport and teach critical life skills, including the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, faith and responsibility “one swing at a time.” The program will be offered to 3rd – 5th grade students. Y Golf events will also engage the local community in positive activities and help keep kids off the street.

Y Golf is one of many youth development programs led by the Y in the Tangelo Park community with the goal to engage children and teens through positive, fun activities with an educational component. The after school program provides kids with homework help and life skills learning while also offering them access to a sport they might not otherwise have access to. This program was created with support from Y community partnerships with Orange County and Orange County Public Schools.

The Y is currently exploring the possibility to replicate the Y Golf after school program at several Family Centers, including its Wayne Densch, South Orlando and Osceola County locations.

WHO:

Open to the public; Representatives from YMCA of Central Florida, Orange County, Orange County Public Schools and Tangelo Park Program Advisory Board will also be in attendance.

WHEN:

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Noon – 2 p.m. Presentation Luncheon
2 – 3 p.m. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Y Golf Demonstration

WHERE:

Tangelo Park YMCA Family Center
5160 Pueblo Street
Orlando, FL 32819

RSVP:

Seating is limited. Please RSVP via email to Mina Ford at [email protected] by Monday, November 21.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amanda Forbes, APR
407.883.8993
[email protected]

Leonard Williams, Sr. Receives YMCA Champion of Youth Award

YMCA of Central Florida Honors Donors at Annual Festival of Trees Celebration

ORLANDO, FL … The YMCA of Central Florida honored Leonard Williams, Sr. as the 2011 Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award recipient for his commitment to kids, families and our community at its annual Festival of Trees Celebration. The event, which took place on November 13, provided an opportunity for the Y to thank more than 800 donors in attendance for their generous gifts that create meaningful impact in the lives of many neighbors in need across our community.

The Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award is presented to an individual or organization who demonstrates an unyielding commitment to improving the lives of children in Central Florida. For decades, Williams has supported a wide range of charitable programs and organizations like the YMCA dedicated to education, youth, community service, health and the arts. He has consistently supported the Y in its efforts to create a safe place for kids and families in underserved communities like Pine Hills at the Wayne Densch YMCA, and many others. Additionally, the Williams Family provided a major gift for the renovation of the J. Douglas Williams YMCA in Seminole County, which is now named in honor of his son.

Recent past recipients of the Champion of Youth Award include Former Orange County Mayor, Richard T. Crotty (2010), Mary Jane Arrington (2009) and the Winter Park Health Foundation (2008).

This year, 6,600 donors raised over $4.2 million in scholarship funds. This impacted over 31,500 kids, families, seniors and individuals across Central Florida. Its through generous giving each year that the Y is able to teach children to swim and be safe around the water, mentor teens and provide role models, provide a safe place for kids and families to connect, encourage seniors to stay active and social, and let kids build self esteem while discovering who they are.

“This annual event reminds us how committed the Central Florida Community is to giving and supporting those in need. We are thankful to our members, staff, volunteers and partners for their generous gifts.” stated President and CEO, James W. Ferber. “Bringing together our Y family is a sign of a strong community.”

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

The Y Supports Operation Christmas Child

YMCA of Central Florida Family Centers to serve as collection sites for OCC shoe boxes

ORLANDO, FL … The YMCA of Central Florida supports Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse annual gift-filled shoe box drive intended to improve the lives of many suffering children overseas. From November 14-21 the YMCA of Central Florida Family Centers will serve as collection sites for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. In cooperation with Samaritan’s Purse, the YMCA is encouraging its members and the community to assemble a shoe box with small toys, toiletries and hard candy, then bring the shoe box to one of the 25 conveniently located YMCA Family Centers accepting shoe boxes. The boxes will be sent to children around the world who live in severe poverty as a result of war or natural disaster. It is a simple act that can change the life of a child.

Why extend a helping hand to children around the world? The YMCA is an international movement that has been meeting needs of communities in over 121 countries for more than 150 years. The partnership with Samaritan’s Purse is a natural connection that encourages the community to act in a Socially Responsible manner and help those vulnerable and unable to help themselves.

To get involved, bring a shoe box to a local YMCA Family Center or attend the Send Off event at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 21 at the Downtown Orlando YMCA Family Center located at 433 N. Mill Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803.

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

Osceola County Y Takes Steps to Move the Community Forward with Generous Support from Dr. Phillips Charities

– Join the Y for a Groundbreaking Ceremony with Elected Officials –

WHAT:

Join us in transforming not just the Osceola Y, but the entire Osceola community with the generous support of Dr. Phillips Charities and Mary Jane Arrington at the upcoming groundbreaking ceremony. Be a part of the celebration that is building a better Y and making an impact on kids, families, seniors and individuals in the Osceola County community. Arrington led the Osceola County Y Capital Campaign and raised $250,000 and Dr. Phillips Charities contributed a matching $1.5 million toward the expansion of the Osceola Y.

Why do we need to reinvent the Osceola Y? Being the leading county in the state for foreclosures and one of the hardest hit by the recession, Osceola County is a county in need. The Y wants to help people live better lives. This renovation will allow the Y to provide more of the programs, services and initiatives that make healthier communities, get children and teens off the street, help send disadvantaged teens to college and lead the fight against chronic illnesses. We want to help move our community forward.

The Osceola Y expansion will add 10,300 square feet, making it one of our largest YMCAs in Central Florida, and allowing more neighbors to connect with one another and the community.

The new Y will offer a Pulse Area or gathering area designed for members, families and friends can all come together and meet or make new friends as they develop lasting, meaningful relationships.

Expanded Wellness Center that gives members new ways to get healthy, including:

  • New Studio Cycling Room
  • New Multipurpose Room for aerobic classes and other uses
  • Adult and Family Locker Rooms providing members with convenience and saving
    time

WHO:

Open to the public

WHEN:

Thursday, November 3, 2011
10:00 a.m.

WHERE:

Osceola County YMCA
2117 West Mabbette Street
Kissimmee, FL 34741
407.847.7413

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]

 

The Y Invests $2.9 Million to Make Winter Park a Stronger, Healthier and More Connected Community

Celebrates the Grand Re-Opening of the Winter Park Y with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

ORLANDO, FL … The Y has invested $2.9 million to make Winter Park a stronger, healthier and more connected community through the renovation of the Winter Park Y (1201 N. Lakemont Avenue) where the community will come together on Thursday, September 15, for a grand re-opening celebration from 4-7:30 p.m. The event offers a chance to see the difference community support, local volunteers and scholarship dollars continue to make in leading the fight against chronic illness and for healthier communities.

The community celebration will feature live entertainment, a ribbon cutting ceremony, food and beverages, prizes, poolside party and cookout for kids, sneak peek of new program offerings, personal training demonstrations and a Business After Hours event in Phelps Park hosted by The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.

The newly renovated Winter Park Y now offers enhanced amenities and programming space to connect neighbors and promote healthy lifestyles.

Renovations to the Winter Park Y, which added 3,110-square-feet to the facility, include:

  • New Welcome Center (front desk) to provide better service to members.
  • New social gathering areas to connect with old friends and make new ones.
  • Improved wellness amenities with the addition of a new indoor cycling studio.
  • Addition of family locker rooms to provide a convenient place for the family to change.
  • Upgraded men’s locker rooms and new women’s locker rooms with larger saunas and steam rooms.
  • Addition of environmentally friendly features such as specially designed landscaping and energy efficient windows to provide natural light throughout the facility and save on electricity use.

 

Programming at the Winter Park Y includes:

  • Child Development programs for kids grade K-5.
  • After school Teen fitness, youth sports leagues and mentoring programs.
  • Summer and Specialty Camp programs.
  • Adult sports leagues and group fitness classes.
  • Aquatics programs, including swim lessons, water aerobics and lap swim.
  • Safe Start, a survival swimming program for infants.
  • Volunteer opportunities in coaching, fundraising, boards and local committees.
  • Coach Approach, our new program being introduced to keep members active and adhere to a regular exercise routine, done at home or at the Y, that is manageable, realistic and customized to your needs.

“Our goal was to create a vibrant gathering place for Winter Park neighbors while also providing increased services and amenities that enables the every day practice of healthy living,” said President and CEO, James W. Ferber. “We now have more space for programming that will help us continue to strengthen the Winter Park community and make it an even greater place to live.”

 

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About the Y

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.

CONTACT:
Amanda Forbes, APR
407-849-0100
[email protected]