Category: Community Impact

May 31, 2018
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: American Institutions: Celebrations such as Father’s Day, and organizations like the Peace Corps, all have their roots at the… [...]
May 07, 2018
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… [...]
April 01, 2018
With nearly 1-in-3 Florida kids overweight or obese – and a majority reading below grade level, the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is a great way for families to get up, get active and start developing healthier, smarter routines for summer. Scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018, this fun, FREE, family-friendly event will be held in partnership with Publix Super Markets Charities at 17 YMCA Family Centers across Central Florida. Activities will include games,… [...]
December 13, 2017
The YMCA of Central Florida would like to thank our partners at Tivity Health for their recent donation of 100 gift cards that we were able to provide to our Central Florida neighbors in need. At both the South Orlando YMCA and Wayne Densch YMCA, Y team members helped to identify those who are in financial need, whether to support a medical aliment, hurricane relief following Irma, or other distress.… [...]
October 16, 2017
It takes a village (of volunteers!) YMCA Camp Wewa has a special opportunity upon us. On Saturday, October 21, 2017, our camp will be flooded with over 800 volunteers made up of Lockheed Martin employees, friends and family. Every year Lockheed Martin picks an organization to donate their time and resources to for their Day of Caring event. This year YMCA Camp Wewa will be the benefactor of this company-led… [...]
June 29, 2017
As part of our Communities for Health initiative, we joined OUC – The Reliable One to launch a successful “Lunch in the Garden Event”.  Organizations such as Seed2Source, OUC, and the YMCA of Central Florida, combined efforts to educate employees on sustainable farming, healthful eating, and how to take food farm-to-table.  Our very own Healthy Eating Director, Gary Appelsies, demonstrated how anyone can prepare the healthful meal that they all… [...]
April 04, 2017
In support of its mission to improve community health, the YMCA of Central Florida has begun a major renovation to the Oviedo YMCA Family Center. It is the fourth Y facility in recent years to undergo a significant renovation or expansion as the organization seeks to expand its impact through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Included in the yearlong renovation will be new locker rooms, family changing rooms,… [...]
April 04, 2017
Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President/CEO; Mike Manuel, YMCA Metro Board Chair; and Wayne Humphrey, YMCA Senior Vice President for Public Policy, were among more than 100 Y leaders from across the nation who recently attended YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. During the event, the group met with lawmakers to promote broader awareness of the Y cause and mission. Also discussed were potential collaborations in areas where… [...]
April 01, 2017
At the end of the six-month ordeal, the bank donated the facility to the county, which then donated it to the YMCA of Central Florida. In June 1992, it was re-opened as the YMCA Aquatic Center. As they began to build the aquatic center back up, the Y was dedicated to bringing the best staff possible on board to oversee its future... [...]
March 10, 2017
As YMCA Teen Achievers kick off their annual college tour, the program has received a $75,000 grant from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF), a McCormick Foundation Fund, in support of college and career readiness among at-risk teens. The grant will be used to expand YMCA Teen Achiever programs for students who live in Orlando’s Holden Heights neighborhood and attend Jones High School or Memorial Middle School. The OMYF has generously… [...]
January 16, 2017
Dr. Richard E. Lapchick delivers a message of hope and unity during Y's 26th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Speaking to a capacity audience of more than 1,000 guests, Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, an internationally recognized human rights activist, shared a message of hope and unity during the YMCA’s 26th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast. As the largest community-wide… [...]
December 01, 2016
Most people know the Y as the place that invented basketball, volleyball and swim lessons. And while this will always be true, the Y has expanded its cause to strengthen communities in ways that few other private, public or nonprofit organizations can. As one of the region’s oldest and largest nonprofits, the Y of Central Florida has always dreamed big. And it’s on a mission to improve the lives of… [...]
October 14, 2016
Most people know the Y as a place where kids learn how to swim, shoot hoops and become better athletes. But at today’s Y, kids are just as likely to have a reading coach as a soccer coach. And when we celebrate home runs, we know the biggest victories often take place in the classroom. From infancy through college, the Y of Central Florida is helping kids enter school ready… [...]
July 20, 2016
When it comes to giving youth the brightest possible future, few things are more important than a good education. But schools can’t do it all. And many families simply lack the resources to fully prepare their children and teens for the future. That’s where the Y comes in. With a strong portfolio of out-of-school-time programs, we're moving the needle on: Kindergarten Readiness Elementary and Middle School Reading Scores Summer Achievement STEM… [...]
June 21, 2016
In times of celebration and sorrow, food brings people together and offers comfort. So when Orlando was rocked by the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, Gary Appelsies, YMCA Director of Healthy Eating, knew what to do. By creating the Facebook group, “Culinary Cares: In Support of Pulse Orlando,” Appelsies rallied local chefs, caterers, restaurateurs and others to deliver more than 5,000 meals – and comfort – to where it… [...]
June 14, 2016
As Central Florida continues to deal with the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, the Y is committed to helping our community heal and move forward. Many of our Y staff and members have personal connections to the victims. Others,  including first responders, medical personnel and victims’ families, will be turning to the Y to help them overcome stress, grief and trauma. We’re ready with counselors, pastors and others who can provide… [...]
May 19, 2016
Nearly 300 guests and community leaders recently gathered for the YMCA of Central Florida’s Annual Meeting, which recognized the leading donors, volunteers and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause in 2015. The event was held at the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center on May 12.     Mary Jane Arrington, Osceola County Supervisor of Elections, received the John W. Sterchi Award, the Y’s highest honor for those who… [...]
April 01, 2016
With pools, lakes and beaches all around us, drowning is a leading cause of death among Florida kids, ages 1 - 14.   To help kids stay safe in and around the water this summer, the YMCA of Central Florida is offering 10,000 complimentary swim lessons to children ages 4 to 12 during our Safety Around Water event, April 25-28.  Introductory lessons will be provided by certified Y swim instructors,… [...]
January 25, 2016
At a time when local kids and families need more support than ever, the YMCA has expanded its innovative after-school learning programs to three additional counties across Central Florida. Modeled after the longstanding success of the YMCA After School Zone program, the new programs are providing after-school safety, learning and wellness for an additional 1,000 middle school students throughout Brevard, Lake and Osceola counties. That’s in addition to 3,200 children… [...]
January 18, 2016
Gathering in faith, hope and understanding, more than 1,000 guests and local leaders attended the YMCA’s 25th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast, commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson, acclaimed pastor, author and broadcaster, served as keynote speaker for the anniversary event. As the granddaughter of Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first black elected official, she urged guests to carry on the dream that… [...]
December 01, 2015
It is with great sadness that the YMCA of Central Florida announces the passing of one of our strongest advocates for youth, Tracey Sullivan. As a 43-year volunteer leader with the YMCA Christian Values Conference and other pivotal Y programs, Tracey nurtured the faith, values and potential of thousands of teens, all of whom she considered “her kids.” In doing what she loved most, Tracey led groups of high-school students… [...]
October 21, 2015
TIME IS RUNNING OUT!  NOV. 22 IS THE LAST DAY TO DONATE A SMALL GIFT AND MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD For the 19th consecutive year, the YMCA of Central Florida has joined forces with the Samaritan’s Purse in support of Operation Christmas Child, an annual gift-filled shoe box drive for children in need. Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, collecting… [...]
September 25, 2015
The YMCA of Central Florida wishes to honor the memory of Jim Hinson, Former President, CEO and Chairman of Dr. Phillips Charities, who recently passed away. Hinson transformed Dr. Phillips Charities into one of the most generous local charitable organizations with the YMCA of Central Florida as its primary support agency. The YMCA of Central Florida has benefited greatly from this generosity, as have countless other local arts, cultural, educational,… [...]
July 15, 2015
When Quinton English fell ill two years ago, he thought it was the flu. Saying goodnight to his wife, Betty, and daughters, Katie and Taylor, he hoped he’d feel better in the morning. But when he didn’t wake up, it was his dog, Levi, who alerted the family that something was very wrong. “It all began with a bark and quick action by Betty,” said Quinton, a Dr. P. Phillips… [...]
July 02, 2015
Dominique Wilkins, an NBA Hall of Fame member, former Atlanta Hawks star and Dr. P. Phillips Y member shared his inspiring journey of living with Type 2 Diabetes with members of the community on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA. A year after Dominique Wilkins retired from playing professional basketball, he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Wilkins said, "I trained for years, but… [...]
June 18, 2015
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… [...]
June 04, 2015
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… [...]
March 30, 2015
With nearly 1-in-3 Florida kids overweight or obese – and a majority reading below grade level, the Y’s Healthy Kids Day is a great way for families to get up, get active and start developing healthier routines at home. Scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at each of our 27 Y family centers, the event is being co-sponsored by our great partner, Orlando Health.… [...]
February 27, 2015
  [caption id="attachment_36661" align="alignright" width="300"] Lucas Boyce, Featured Guest Speaker[/caption] Celebration of Prayer, held each year during Holy Week, is a unique opportunity to celebrate the YMCA’s Christian heritage and mission that has guided our organization for over 150 years. This year’s guest speaker is Lucas Boyce, a former foster child and “Y Kid” who overcame incredible obstacles to graduate from college, to serve in the White House Office of Public… [...]
February 05, 2015
You may have heard that eating certain foods can increase your risk for heart-related conditions. Did you also know that eating certain foods can decrease your risk for being affected by heart-related conditions? Whether you have been eating unhealthy for years or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are 7 heart-healthy nutrition tips. Eat more low fat protein sources Reduce your sodium intake Eat more fruits and Vegetables Control portion… [...]

Heart Health Matters

February 04, 2015
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the nation's number one killer, responsible for one in four deaths each year in the United States.  In celebration of American Heart Month and to address the prevalence of heart disease in our community, we have partnered with Orlando Health's Heart Institute to host a healthy eating seminar on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Downtown YMCA. From asparagus… [...]
January 19, 2015
Commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, more than 1,000 elected officials, faith leaders and everyday citizens gathered for YMCA’s 24th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 19. As the largest such prayer gathering in Central Florida, the YMCA convened the community to honor the legacy Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African-American elected official. This year’s event… [...]
December 19, 2014
JANUARY 19,2015 @ 7:45AM The YMCA of Central Florida and the SW Orlando Jaycees present the 24th ANNUAL ARTHUR "PAPPY" KENNEDY MLK PRAYER BREAKFAST in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, on January 19, 2015 at 7:45 a.m. This year's guest speaker will be Chaplain Black,  the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. Black served for over 27 years as a chaplain in the United States Navy, rising to the rank of rear… [...]
November 07, 2014
More than 300 guests, community partners and members of the Dr. Phillips community gathered on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips YMCA to celebrate the $9.5 million expansion and renovation of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA. The celebration, which took place on Wednesday, November 5, was filled with warm reflections from community members, who shared how the Y has positively impacted their lives over the past 30 years. David… [...]
October 21, 2014
Food Day is a year-round nationwide celebration of and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food culminating in a day of action on October 24 every year. Created by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and driven by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders and citizens, Food Day aims to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care… [...]
September 17, 2014
Getting fit and physically active are major components in helping kids improve their wellness and maintain a healthy weight. That's why Florida Hospital for Children partners with the Y to provide greater access to top-notch fitness opportunities, as well as team of pediatric experts focused on all aspects of kids' health. Since 2014, Florida Hospital for Children's Center for Child & Family Wellness has operated its entire pediatric practice at three YMCA… [...]
September 16, 2014
 (Presented during Aug. 28 YMCA Metro Board Meeting)   Dear Y Friends and Family, After careful thought and deliberation, I've decided to retire at the end of the year. My wife, Deb, and I have given it a lot of thought and prayer and have decided that this is a good time to spend more time together as a family. We've had a wonderful 41-year career with the Y and… [...]
September 08, 2014
We invite our members and Central Florida communities to join us at our 4th annual Seminole County Prayer Breakfast, Friday, Sept. 19, 7 a.m. at The Rink-Northland Church, 530 Dog Track Road, Longwood, FL 32750. Community leaders will offer prayers and input regarding our three focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Keynote speaker for this year's breakfast is Dr. Patrick Morley, chairman and Co-CEO of Man… [...]
September 03, 2014
From reading great books and sailing in the Keys to racing rockets and exploring careers, more than 23,900 kids enjoyed a jam-packed summer of fun, growth and learning at the Y. Families were involved, too, through Fun Friday activities, Reader’s Theater performances, athletic events, swim lessons, field trips and family fitness challenges – not to mention livelier dinner conversations as kids shared their daily adventures. With so much going on,… [...]
September 02, 2014
Drowning is the No. 1 killer of children under age 5 in Florida. It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown or sustain serious, life-altering injuries. Children, as young as 6 months of age, can learn to save themselves in a drowning situation by using the self-rescue techniques taught in the YMCA of Central Florida’s Safe Start program. Unlike other swimming programs, Safe Start combines safe swimming… [...]
August 25, 2014
In 41 years of nonprofit leadership, I can safely say that no other philanthropic benefactor has ever had a deeper impact on a community than Dr. Phillips Charities. As its primary beneficiary, the Y of Central Florida has been especially blessed. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Phillips Charities has invested an astounding $38,447,923 in our Y, including its most recent gift of $4.2 million. It’s a monumental legacy that’s… [...]
August 12, 2014
To make the college application process less daunting for teens and families, the Y of Central Florida and Heart of Florida United Way have teamed up to launch the “Going to College” texting program. Based on a model from the Florida College Access Network, the program aims to increase college enrollment by providing guidance and information during the application process. By simply texting a pre-assigned code, students receive timely reminders… [...]
June 11, 2014
As we prepare to celebrate dads this Sunday, let's take a look back to how it all got started. Did you know Father's Day began at the YMCA? It was founded in Spokane, WA, at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, William Jackson Smart, had raised six children on his own. After hearing a sermon about Mother's Day, Dodd told her pastor that fathers should have… [...]
June 09, 2014
With summer officially underway, the Y is at our busiest and best as thousands of kids families walking through the doors of our 27 family centers serving nearly 100 neighborhoods. From swim lessons and reading classes to team sports and summer camp, it’s a season for learning, growing and developing new skills and values that last a lifetime. Here’s a quick look at what’s happened so far – and we’re… [...]
June 09, 2014
In response to changing health care trends, the Y of Central Florida is expanding its hospital partnerships and facilities to deliver community-based health and wellness services in innovative new ways. In recent months, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, Munroe Regional Medical Center and the West Orange Healthcare District have forged new or deeper partnerships with the Y – all rooted in a common commitment to prevention and combating chronic disease. “With… [...]
June 06, 2014
As part of the Y’s century-long commitment to keeping kids safe, confident and secure around water, more than 350 Fern Creek Elementary students recently participated in free swim lessons at Cady Way Pool in Winter Park. Provided through a partnership between the Downtown and Winter Park YMCA Family Centers, Fern Creek Elementary School and Fern Creek Boosters, the lessons are part of a combined effort to reduce childhood drowning. “In… [...]
June 03, 2014
Everyone likes to think of summer as an idyllic, carefree time when kids enjoy enriching family trips to museums, read great books and get plenty of active, outdoor play. But for far too many kids, summer has become a time of learning loss, weight gain and endless hours of unsupervised TV or computer time. According to the National Summer Learning Association, it’s a problem we as a community and nation… [...]
June 02, 2014
Charlie Egerton, founding shareholder at the law firm of Dean Mead Egerton Bloodworth Capuano & Bozarth PA, was recently elected 2014-2015 chair of the YMCA Metropolitan Board. Egerton has been involved with the YMCA for more than 30 years, most recently in leading its $3.2 million annual support campaign. A YMCA member since 1981, he previously served as Board Chair and Scholarship Chair of the Downtown YMCA and led the… [...]
May 28, 2014
The YMCA of Central Florida kicked off the summer season on Saturday, May 17, with a Splash Bash Celebration, where more than 160 minority youth received free swim lessons. The celebration, promoting water safety and water survival techniques, was held at four YMCA locations, which included the Wayne Densch YMCA, South Orlando YMCA, Blanchard Park YMCA and the Osceola YMCA. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, about 70 percent of African-American… [...]
May 14, 2014
More than 400 guests and community leaders attended the YMCA of Central Florida’s Annual Meeting, which recognized the leading 2013 partners, volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community. The event was held at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, FL on May 7, 2014. During the program, four Y volunteers received a special recognition. Lou Carrion received the annual John W. Sterchi… [...]
April 24, 2014
Join us on Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at your neighborhood Y Family Center for Healthy Kids Day!  This FREE community event is a great way for families to get up, get active and start developing healthier routines at home. To learn more, click here: VIDEO: Healthy Kids Day April 26, 2014 Healthy Kids Day Activities will include games, contests, health screenings, family Zumba and yoga classes,… [...]
April 23, 2014
More than 1,000 local leaders were present at the 20th Annual Celebration of Prayer Breakfast held at First Baptist Church of Orlando on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Major Dan Rooney (USAF Ret.), a patriot, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation and man of faith delivered a message on volition. According to Rooney, “Volition is the power of choice. Every day you wake up, you have a choice. You can… [...]
March 10, 2014
The Y of Central Florida’s Annual Support Campaign has officially kicked off with a $3.2 million goal to make the Y available and accessible to more than 31,500 neighbors in need. Leading the effort is longtime Y champion, Charlie Egerton, founding shareholder of Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capuano & Bozarth P.A. “Not everyone knows it, but the Y never turns anyone away due to an inability to pay,” Egerton said.… [...]
March 10, 2014
Major Dan Rooney, a great American patriot, author and man of faith will headline the YMCA’s 20th Annual Celebration of Prayer on Thursday, April 17. Tickets and corporate tables are now available for this community-wide breakfast, which features inspirational speakers, music and prayer. You won't want to miss Major Dan Rooney (USAF Ret.), who will share his inspiring life history as an F-16 pilot, philanthropist, PGA professional and author of A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear… [...]
March 10, 2014
After five years of big dreams, hard work and incredible fundraising, construction has begun on the new Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center in Ocala. More than 325 people turned out for the Feb. 21 groundbreaking, which reflected the pride of an entire community. Helping lead the celebration was Ocala businessman Frank DeLuca whose major gift anchored the project’s $5 million capital campaign. Also participating were officials from Munroe Regional Medical… [...]
January 20, 2014
In keeping the “C” alive and well at the Y and across our community, the Y of Central Florida united more than 1,200 people of all faiths and backgrounds for the 23rd Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Held Jan. 20 at First Baptist Church of Orlando, the event was attended by local pastors, elected officials and everyday citizens who joined together in… [...]
January 07, 2014
Central Florida is fortunate to have many great youth organizations, but it’s only at the Y – as the crossroads of our community – that at-risk youth get to experience the other side of life.   Not long ago, one of these youth, Jason Towne, dropped out of school and was lost on the streets, until he found his way to the YMCA of Central Florida.   Thanks to a… [...]
January 02, 2014
In October, we honored Barbara Roper and her late husband Bert for their incredible generosity in establishing the Roper YMCA Family Center in Winter Garden. It was also a chance to recognize Barbara’s groundbreaking leadership with the Y.   In addition to serving on our YMCA Metro Board for several decades, Barbara made history in 1990 when she was elected as the first female chair of the Y-USA board. She continues… [...]
January 02, 2014
Not everyone knows it, but the Y never turns anyone away due to an inability to pay. In fact, one-third of our members receive some sort of financial assistance for membership, after school care, youth sports, swim lessons and more. The majority of these dollars are generated through our Annual Support Campaign, which reflects the tradition of “servant-style leadership” that the Y has been teaching for nearly 130 years.  Last… [...]
January 02, 2014
Through our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the Y provides the complete “wrap-around” support today’s kids need to reach their full potential. And we do it through academically based programs focused on values, reading, wellness and reducing family stress.     From infancy through college, we are helping children enter school ready to learn, close the achievement gap and graduate on time. To prevent bullying and school violence, we’re instilling values. And… [...]
January 02, 2014
Few things feel better than helping kids in need. Just ask the thousands of Y members, staff and volunteers who joined together to support Operation Christmas Child, an international mission project of Samaritan’s Purse.   For the 17th year in a row, the Y sent more than 25,000 gift-filled shoe boxes to kids around the world. In addition to treats, toys and hygiene items, many of the boxes also contained… [...]
January 02, 2014
When we talk about Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, nothing highlights the heart of the Y’s mission better than our 11 Outreach Ys. The fact is, not all Ys are created equal. Nearly half serve financially challenged communities such as Pine Hills, South Orlando, Kissimmee and Titusville where families are under tremendous stress. Enter the Y of Central Florida. With the support of Dr. Phillips Charities, Winter Park… [...]
December 10, 2013
Each day, more than 30,000 people walk through the doors of YMCA facilities serving more than 100 neighborhoods across Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard and Marion counties.   They’re visiting 27 Y family centers that anchor communities; 57 after school locations; dozens of summer camps sites that teach values, reading and wellness to kids; senior centers where elders gather for health and connection; innovative child development centers; and so much… [...]
December 09, 2013
  Over 1,000 major donors to the YMCA of Central Florida lit up the Orlando Museum of Art for our 12th annual Donor Celebration at the “Festival of Trees” on Sunday evening, November 17.   The Chain of Lakes Middle School Orchestra, carolers from the Conway Music Factory at Conway Middle School (both part of the Y’s After School Zone Program), and a jazz trio entertained our guests as they… [...]
November 18, 2013
The YMCA of Central Florida was front and center during this week’s National Conference on Summer Learning attended by 680 education leaders and experts from around the U.S.   [caption id="attachment_27815" align="alignright" width="199"] Daniel Wu, YMCA Summer Camp Kid[/caption] Wowing the crowd were 33 students from Conway Middle, 14 robotic students from Avalon Middle, and numerous students from 14 other schools who proudly presented some of the robotic, rocketry, science,… [...]
November 07, 2013
During November the Y is honoring the sacrifice of local veterans and their families by saying thank you and supporting their health and wellness. Starting Veterans Day, Nov. 11, through Nov. 30, 220,000-plus local military families will have complimentary access to all Y family centers, as well as programs that improve physical, emotional and family health. And through a partnership between Y-USA and the Department of Defense, active military families… [...]
November 05, 2013
It took teamwork, planning and partnerships, but the results of our two YMCA summer learning pilots are in and the outcomes are incredible. At McCoy Elementary, where we co-sponsored the YMCA/BELL summer learning pilot, 111 young “scholars” collectively improved their math achievement by 6.6 months and boosted reading scores by 5.8 months.  That’s half a year of learning in just six weeks! Our local pilot was one of three that… [...]
October 02, 2013
Y of Central Florida :: Healthy Living Initiative     YMCA CONVENES LOCAL HEALTH EXPERTS TO COMBAT CHRONIC DISEASE With chronic disease threatening the health, wellness and future of our community, more than 50 top medical experts, health care executives and public health officials joined with the Y this week to determine how they, as key stakeholders, can work together to focus on prevention. During his welcome, YMCA President/CEO Jim… [...]
October 02, 2013
Y of Central Florida :: Youth Development     YMCA BRINGS LOCAL LEADERS TOGETHER TO IMPROVE COLLABORATION AND STUDENT OUTCOMES With our children’s future at stake, more than 70 local education leaders recently attended a YMCA Youth Development event to discuss how we could work together to improve student success. During a luncheon held at Leu Gardens, Dr. Jesus Jara, Deputy Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) discussed the district’s… [...]
October 01, 2013
Coinciding with the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the Y of Central Florida was pleased to recently launch a new initiative to improve the health and well-being of more than 16,000 area first responders and their families. Made possible through the generosity of Dr. Phillips Charities, the program has enabled us to invite area first responders – police, firefighters and EMTs – and their families to become part of the Y family… [...]
October 01, 2013
As a cause-driven organization focused on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, an important part of the Y’s mission is to serve those who need us the most.   That’s why 11 of our 20 YMCA family centers are Outreach Ys ─ centers of pride, purpose and social connection in  communities like Pine Hills, Tangelo Park, Kissimmee, South Orlando and Titusville.   As with every other Y, these are… [...]
October 01, 2013
When it comes to good health, what we eat is just as important as how often we exercise. That’s why the Y is in the diet and nutrition business. And we’re “digging” deeper every day. Many of our Ys feature onsite Farmers Markets that make it easy for members to enjoy freshly picked, locally grown fruits and vegetables. At the Oviedo YMCA Wellness Center, where diet and nutrition are a… [...]
October 01, 2013
The Y is fortunate to have the support of many like-minded partners who share our passion for health, wellness and strengthening communities. Together, we are taking action and improving Central Florida’s health and wellness – one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time.   WINTER PARK HEALTH FOUNDATION  As the community’s greatest advocate for Healthy Living research and collaboration, the Winter Park Health Foundation is one of the Y’s… [...]
September 25, 2013
  Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of Winter Park area residents turned out to celebrate the opening of the Y’s third – and newest ─ easy access pool.   With the local senior population growing every day, pools are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for people who want to maintain their mobility and independence.   Swimming also helps prevent obesity and gives today’s busy families a great way to connect,… [...]
September 25, 2013
At the Y, we’re doing more than just talking about health and wellness. We’re also investing millions of dollars to modernize and expand our facilities.   Our goal: Create beautiful, inviting Healthy Living Centers that anchor communities and improve lives.   With Phase 2 of our New Frontier Campaign derway, we’re raising $33 to $41 million to renovate or expand more than half of our 20 family centers. We’re starting… [...]
September 05, 2013
From September 1 through 15, the Crosby YMCA Wellness Center will be honoring the region’s first responders by offering no barriers to join the Y Family. For all police department, sheriff’s department, fire department, prison and EMT employees, the standard joiner’s fee will be waived, and first responders will be able to sign up their families for the individual membership rate. Also, on September 11, the Crosby Y will host… [...]
August 07, 2013
To ensure that all kids have opportunities to progress – not regress – with learning over the summer, the Y has teamed up with two national partners to provide innovative summer reading pilots at two local Title 1 schools. Through a partnership with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for LIFE) 117 students at McCoy Elementary have received 6.5 hours per day of reading, math and science and enrichment activities. Designed to… [...]
August 07, 2013
by Jim Ferber Most people know the Y as a safe, nurturing place where kids learn to swim, shoot hoops and become better athletes. But at today’s Y, kids are just as likely to have a reading coach as a soccer coach. And when we celebrate home runs, we know the biggest victories are often taking place in the classroom.   That’s because the Y of Central Florida has adopted… [...]
August 07, 2013
YMCA Early Childhood Development Centers Operated at Walt Disney World Resort, these two centers give children, birth to age three, the consistent, nurturing care they need for the best possible social and cognitive development.Y teachers guide children through important early developmental stages. They also provide the consistent, positive relationships which children need to develop trust in themselves and others.   YMCA Elementary and Middle Afterschool Programs In partnership with Orange… [...]
August 07, 2013
Eighteen months ago, the Y of Central Florida set out to revamp our summer camp program and make it even more effective in addressing the challenges facing today’s kids and families. In doing so, we talked to parents, teachers and educational leaders whose insight helped shape our new curriculum – one based on values, reading, wellness and strengthening families.   When we launched the program in June, we knew we… [...]
July 16, 2013
YMCA SUMMER CHALLENGE - ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS July 15 - August 30, 2013   Continue your journey to a healthier lifestyle by particpating in our six-week YMCA Summer Challenge. Enjoy fun and exciting activities in wellness, group excercise, sports and aquatics that will keep you on track and hep you meet your fitness goals while experiencing different welness activities.   OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS & THEIR FRIENDS   Achieve Your Goal  … [...]
July 16, 2013
 At the Y, we believe summer should be a time of active play, learning and exploration for kids. But for too many children, opportunities to keep their minds and bodies active end with the school year.   In fact, research shows that kids gain weight three times faster and fall significantly behind in their studies over the summer.   To prevent this, the Y’s summer camp program ensures that kids, ages… [...]
June 06, 2013
Proving once again that our Y family is the most caring, generous group in Central Florida, we want to thank the 7,500 donors who have put our 2013 Annual Support Campaign on track to reach its $2.5 million goal.   “Thanks to an incredible outpouring of generosity, this year’s campaign reached new heights,” said 2013 Campaign and Metro Board Chair Glen Davis. “But the true measure of our success will be… [...]
June 03, 2013
With more than 79 million Americans estimated to be pre-diabetic, chances are you or someone you know are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes – as well as the related, life-threatening problems of heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and stroke.   To help you take charge of your health, classes are now forming for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.   Based on cutting edge research from the National Institutes… [...]
June 03, 2013
by Jim Ferber   As the school year ends, many local families are again facing the daunting challenge of keeping their children safe, active and learning over the summer.   With dual-working or single-parent households now the norm – and quality, affordable summer programs difficult to find -- it’s always my nightmare that thousands of local kids will be left home alone.   This, despite that fact that research shows… [...]
June 03, 2013
When 102-year-old Don Napier walks into the YMCA’s Peggy and Phillip B. Crosby Wellness Center, it’s like the mayor has just arrived. From the warm welcome he receives at the front desk to the good friends he chats with on the wellness floor, everyone knows and loves Don and his lovely wife, Carolyne. Together, the two are an inspirational team who represent what it means to live life to the… [...]
June 03, 2013
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… [...]
June 03, 2013
Based on the Y’s longstanding success in helping kids thrive - both in and out of school - we recently received two prestigious grants to launch summer reading programs for at-risk students at McCoy Elementary and Union Park Middle School.   Created in partnership with YUSA and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), the McCoy Elementary program will provide 6.5 hours per day of academic support in reading, math and… [...]
May 23, 2013
More than 400 guests and community leaders recently gathered for the YMCA of Central Florida’s Annual Meeting, which recognized leading 2012 local and global partners, volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community.   Held Thursday, May 16 at the Lake Nona YMCA/Northlake Park Community School, the meeting also included the election of the Y’s new Metro board chair, Glen Davis,… [...]
May 22, 2013
At the heart of every Y family center, there are a select volunteers who give incredible amounts of time and energy to advance the Y’s cause. During the Y of Central Florida's annual meeting, we recently honored Rhoda Fisher, of the Titusville Y, and Tim Haberkamp, of the Wayne Densch Y, with the 2012 Ronnie Walker Unsung Hero Award. It recognizes volunteers of 10 years or more who truly exemplify the spirit of Y servant leadership. The award was named for Ronnie… [...]
May 21, 2013
As part of the Y of Central Florida’s local focus and global impact, we’re excited to be sending 14 promising high school students and five young YMCA professionals to the 2013 YMCA Global Teen Leadership Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. During the week-long August event, the students will join with 10,000 peers worldwide to share their faith, exchange ideas and learn how they CAN make a difference through the YMCA… [...]
April 30, 2013
As a wellness coach and personal trainer at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Family Center, Jessica Freeman loves helping people transform their lives, but it wasn’t until the day she actually saved a life that she truly understood the commitment to serve. Thanks to extensive CPR and life-saving training, Jessica knew exactly what to do when a Y member recently suffered a near-fatal heart attack while working out at the… [...]
April 19, 2013
Even for an organization that’s continually innovating and moving forward, the first quarter of 2013 has been an incredibly busy, productive time for the Y of Central Florida. From raising $16 million to help neighbors in need and expand our facilities − to hosting two hugely successfully prayer breakfasts that united thousands of local leaders, the Y is truly an organization that pushes the envelope and gets things done.  … [...]
April 18, 2013
Did you know that employees who exercise regularly have lower rates of absenteeism and higher levels of productivity, energy and focus?  Or that many doctors now believe that sedentary lifestyles are more harmful than smoking?   As part of the Y’s focus on Healthy Living, we are now offering a Corporate Partnership Program that helps companies improve employee health, while controlling skyrocketing healthcare costs. In addition to a healthier workforce… [...]
April 18, 2013
As the Y strives to be the most relevant, forward-thinking nonprofit in Central Florida, we’re always seeking the best and brightest minds to help guide our organization. That’s why we’re pleased to announce the addition of two new two staff members who are recognized leaders in fields.   Dr. Brenda Fettrow, former Cocoa City Manager and longtime friend of the Y, recently joined the Y as District Vice President of… [...]
April 18, 2013
The Y’s Teen Achievers and Middle School Achievers groups recently completed their spring college bus tours, with nearly 150 kids participating. It was the first year for the middle-school group, which enjoyed a one-day visit to UCF, Valencia Community College and Rollins College. Over the course of their four-day excursion, the high-school Achievers toured Alabama A&M University, Tuskegee University, Fisk, Meharry Medical College and other leading Southeastern universities. Many also… [...]