June 16, 2019
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… [...]
June 13, 2019
June 6, 2019 marked the 175th anniversary of the founding of the YMCA in London in 1844. Improving lives has been our mission ever since, and today, we are proud to be a part of a movement committed to strengthening communities in 119 countries worldwide. On June 8, Y staff, members and volunteers participated in the #YMCAChallenge and volunteered 175 minutes throughout Central Florida in honor of the YMCA’s 175th… [...]
June 13, 2019
At the Y, we believe that everyone can be somebody’s hero. Simple acts of kindness can have a large and lasting impact. On May 21, we celebrated our annual Day of Giving with fun activities all day long at our Family Centers to encourage donations and change lives. Thanks to our generous donors, we raised more than $46,000 to help reduce the risk of drowning by providing kids with swim… [...]
June 13, 2019
The YMCA of Central Florida believes that teaching kids water safety skills is a necessity – especially in Florida, where we are surrounded by pools, lakes, ponds and of course – the ocean! And from May 28-31, we provided 1400 free drowning prevention lessons for more than 350 kids at 10 YMCA Family Centers during our annual Safety Around Water Week. During the YMCA’s 4-day Safety Around Water Program, certified… [...]
June 07, 2019
With the arrival of warmer temperatures and higher humidity, it’s important to take extra steps to stay safe while exercising – both indoors and outdoors. When you exercise, your body temperature rises and your heart rate increases. Higher body temperature and heart rate coupled with hot weather makes hydration and rest even more important. Stay safe while exercising this summer with these five simple tips: 1. Hydrate before, during and… [...]
June 04, 2019
Maintaining a healthy family diet during the summer months can be a challenge. Summer is the time to kick back and unwind, but oftentimes, we also relax our efforts to keep our families healthy. With lots of backyard barbeques, July 4th celebrations and long days by the pool or at the beach to look forward to, it’s easy to overindulge on the not-so-healthy stuff all summer long. But don’t worry… [...]
May 07, 2019
Are you tired of adding more chicken and salmon to your salads to increase your protein intake? You aren’t alone. Eating more protein might seem tough, but it’s actually easier than you think! Along with healthy fats and complex carbs, protein is a macronutrient – so, it’s a very important part of your diet. Protein has been shown to help keep you full, speed up your metabolism and help you… [...]
April 04, 2019
On Thursday, April 18, the YMCA of Central Florida will host its Celebration of Prayer Breakfast from 7:15-8:30 AM at the First Baptist Church of Orlando. For 25 years, this annual community tradition has brought together people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds to unite in prayer. Celebration of Prayer supports the Y’s mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida by connecting individuals, families and communities with… [...]
March 28, 2019
Media Contact: Morgan Shepard, APR On Behalf of YMCA of Central Florida +1 (407) 210-1510 [email protected] YMCA of Central Florida Debuts Newly-Renovated Family Center in Pine Hills Community leaders to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wayne Densch ORLANDO, Fla. – March 27, 2019 – The YMCA of Central Florida will showcase its newly-renovated Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour on March 27 at 11:30 a.m. … [...]
March 22, 2019
The smell of flowers blooming, the warmer temperatures, more fresh seasonal fruits and veggies becoming available: All of this puts us in the mood to start our health journey and make a true commitment to ourselves. Just a few short months ago, we all tried to have a health renewal of sorts with our New Year’s resolution. In many cases, that resolution withers away until the end of the year,… [...]
March 19, 2019
Media Contact: Morgan Shepard, APR On Behalf of YMCA of Central Florida +1 (407) 210-1510 [email protected] YMCA of Central Florida Announces Development Team for Newest Family Center Location in The Packing District Brasfield & Gorrie, GAI Consultants, RLF, and Foundry Commercial will join the design team for new YMCA Family Center near College Park ORLANDO, Fla. – March 19, 2019 – Today, the YMCA of Central Florida announced the development team… [...]
January 03, 2019
Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships What do you think when you hear the word, “stewardship?” Many times, this word is associated with donation requests, but the concept of stewardship goes much, much deeper than that. A steward is someone who manages the possessions of another. We are all God’s stewards, managing the resources, abilities and opportunities that He has entrusted to our care. Jesus teaches… [...]
October 09, 2018
Halloween is so much fun because it’s not like other nights during the year. Here are a few tips to have fun and stay safe for parents and children: After dark kids need to be able to see and be seen while watching out for cars and other traffic. Using a light colored costume will allow your child to be seen much easier. Adding reflective tape to your child’s costume is… [...]
September 14, 2018
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… [...]

Back To School

August 08, 2018
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,… [...]
August 07, 2018
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… [...]
July 01, 2018
“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… [...]
June 27, 2018
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… [...]
June 20, 2018
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,… [...]
June 11, 2018
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,… [...]
June 04, 2018
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… [...]
June 01, 2018
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… [...]
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 29, 2018
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… [...]
May 09, 2018
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… [...]
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… [...]
May 04, 2018
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.… [...]
April 16, 2018
It’s 6:00pm, after a long day of work, and I have successfully picked up my kids from their grandparents, gotten my 7 year-old son changed and ready for Y soccer (after searching high and low for his cleats and shin guards, which we never can seem to find), convinced my daughter that, yes, she does have to go with us to his soccer practice, packed up her bike in the… [...]

Spring Renewal

April 11, 2018
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… [...]
April 04, 2018
Register for Healthy Kids Day   With today’s families leading such stressful, hectic lives, it’s nearly impossible to make sure kids are getting enough time for exercise, reading and simple, old-fashioned outdoor fun.   In fact, according to the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot, fewer than 20% of the nation’s children read books for fun, get enough exercise or eat adequate amounts of healthy foods. And with summertime just around the corner,… [...]
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,… [...]
March 30, 2018
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor:  Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside,… [...]
March 29, 2018
The 27th annual event, which will be held April 21, is open to the public and will include family-friendly activities ORLANDO, FLA. (April X, 2018) – The YMCA of Central Florida is welcoming all families from across the region to swing by their neighborhood Y on Saturday, April 21 for a day of fun activities at its 27th annual Healthy Kids Day®. Healthy Kids Day is the Y-USA’s national initiative… [...]
March 28, 2018
The nonprofit is inviting all children aged 5 to 12 years to attend its annual five-day introductory swim program from April 23 to 27  ORLANDO, FLA. (April X, 2018) – The YMCA of Central Florida is continuing its pursuit to end childhood drowning in Florida. The nonprofit is inviting all local families with children aged 5 to 12 years to sign up and attend its five-day introductory swim program. The complimentary… [...]
March 07, 2018
March is National Nutrition Month and what a great month it is. Spring arrives. Days are finally getting longer, the temperatures are beginning to warm up, and many of us start organizing and cleaning our homes. But spring cleaning is not just for your home anymore! It’s just as important for us to clean and brighten up other parts of our lives. Even if that New Year’s resolution did not… [...]
February 09, 2018
“Beans, greens, legumes, oatmeal…” smart food choices can help put you on a heart healthy track. Hear more from our Director of Healthy Eating, Chef Gary Appelsies, on Z88.3 Mornings with Ellis and Tyler as he discusses American Heart Month. [audio src-"020918-Heart-Health-YMCA.mp3"] [...]
February 05, 2018
With February being American Heart Month, we are focused on being heart healthy. “It’s really important to be physically active on a regular basis for the health of your heart,” says Kelly Prather, the YMCA of Central Florida’s Executive Director of Health Strategy and Member Experience. Hear more from Kelly’s radio interview with Ellis and Tyler from Z88.3 Mornings. [audio src-"020518-Heart-Health-YMCA.mp3"] [...]
February 05, 2018
Orlando, Fla., to Host 2018 UANA Pan American Masters Championship The swimming championship will be held at the YMCA Aquatic Center on International Drive ORLANDO, FLA. (Sept. 8, 2016) -- The Central Florida YMCA is pleased to announce that Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) has selected Orlando and the Central Florida YMCA to host the 2018 Pan American Masters Championship. The Championship will be held at the YMCA Aquatic Center… [...]
January 31, 2018
Your heart is perhaps the most important muscle in your body. If your heart is not functioning properly, the organs in your body are not getting the proper amount of oxygen they need to function at their fullest. That’s their nutrition! And by supplying your body and your heart with foods that are healthful, your heart will pump rich, oxygenated blood through your veins and to the organs that help… [...]
January 23, 2018
If you have ever traveled on a commercial airline, you have heard and probably ignored the flight attendants giving the safety briefing. It is actually very good advice on how we should approach our own self-care. It often sounds something like this: “In the event the cabin loses air pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead compartment… please place your mask over your nose and mouth before attempting to… [...]
January 15, 2018
It’s time again when we jump on the ever so popular resolution train. For many, those resolutions are around health and wellbeing. But, where do you start? Does a healthy lifestyle begin at home? Does it start at the gym? I believe it starts at home. In the United States, there are over 150 million people, including millions of children, who suffer from obesity, diabetes, and a myriad of chronic… [...]
January 04, 2018
  Welcome to the start of a new year. If you are like most, you have been a bit indulgent over the holidays and now you’re starting to get rid of the holiday weight gain and moving yourself back on track. At the beginning of the year more than any other time, I frequently get asked, “What do you eat to stay healthy?” The truth is, my diet stays very… [...]
January 03, 2018
By: Kelly Prather, Executive Director of Health Strategies & Member Experience Kelly is a Health Educator by trade and has spent nearly 20 years in the Y movement specializing in health behavior change, wellness, staff development, and the overall Y Member Experience. So, I don’t really believe in the coveted New Year’s Resolution. Through my career, I have just watched too many members put immense amounts of pressure on themselves… [...]
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.… [...]
November 20, 2017
During our 2017 summer camp program YMCA Camp Wewa was visited by the American Camp Association (ACA) to do an accreditation visit and we are happy to report that we have received our official accreditation this fall! The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share their knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. The… [...]
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… [...]
September 06, 2017
Encouraging Healthy Habits “I try to encourage healthy eating habits for my family, but nutritious choices don’t seem to be appealing.” I hear this time and time again from parents who are trying to get their kids to eat healthier. Yes, it can be a challenge, but we must not give up. Whether they’re toddlers or in their teens, children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the… [...]
August 21, 2017
On June 10th, the YMCA of Central Florida gathered past and present Teen Achievers to celebrate the program’s 27th anniversary. Launched in 1980, Teen Achievers is a free program which was designed to support the academic and professional success of middle school and high school students in the Central Florida community. Teen Achievers relies on a network of volunteers who donate their time and energy into mentoring and serving as… [...]
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… [...]
June 06, 2017
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… [...]
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
As the YMCA Teen Achievers Program continues to grow and thrive, a record-breaking 10 students received onsite admission during the Achievers’ 2017 Spring College Tour and eight received scholarship awards totaling $152,000. Now in its 27th year, Y Teen Achievers provides the extra mentoring and academic support that many youth need to make smart decisions and pursue their college and career dreams. The program’s annual college tours cap off a… [...]
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 04, 2017
Gary Appelsies, the YMCA’s Director of Healthy Eating, has been inducted into the Orlando Sentinel’s 2017 Culinary Hall of Fame. Immediately following the Pulse Orlando tragedy, Appelsies created Facebook group, “Culinary Cares,” which rallied the support of more than 100 local chefs, caterers and restaurateurs who provided meals  – and comfort – to those who needed it the most. In all, 5,000-plus meals, snacks and beverages were delivered to the… [...]
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 13, 2017
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… [...]
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… [...]
March 03, 2017
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… [...]
January 31, 2017
With February as American Heart Month, the YMCA of Central Florida is encouraging local families, seniors and individuals to get up, get moving and take charge of their health and wellness. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the nation’s number one killer, accounting for 1-in-3 deaths each year. Additionally, 80 million adults have high blood pressure, yet less than half have it under control. Due to inactivity,… [...]
January 18, 2017
Chances are 2017 isn't the first time you've resolved to lose a few pounds. In fact, last year, losing weight topped the charts as the most common New Year's Resolution. The pattern is familiar: You start your journey to a healthier lifestyle determined that this is the year you are going to make the change. You are dedicated, and don't miss a sweat session for the first week. As the days go… [...]
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 09, 2016
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… [...]
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… [...]
November 15, 2016
Getting started on a fitness plan isn’t always easy, especially as the end of the year approaches. With the holiday season starting to kick in, schedules get busier, and your time to focus on yourself often takes a backseat to the demands of your work-life balance. At the Y, we understand that this is a reality. That’s why we recommend setting your sites on something tangible to help you start… [...]
November 07, 2016
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… [...]
November 03, 2016
At the YMCA, we believe all kids have big potential. That’s why we offer so many Youth Development programs that nurture young minds, strengthen growing bodies and inspire big dreams. Through the Y, kids find a place to call their own. A place where they hear, “you can do it, I believe in you,” every single day. A place where they can be kids, and where they can grow into… [...]
November 01, 2016
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… [...]
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… [...]
October 09, 2016
January 2018 Our vision is to provide a high-quality, safe, and stimulating environment for your children. In order to meet that vision, and to help us grow, we need your involvement and feedback. We take your concerns very seriously and make every effort to address issues within our Centers. In order to assist with this, we have outlined a process and provided contact information for parents to share concerns or… [...]
September 30, 2016
Now that school is back in session and schedules have been set, we would like to provide a few back-to-school tips to help your child be successful this school year. It's been proven that children are more likely to succeed academically when parents take an active role in their education. And here are some simple tips to help you achieve that: Make sure your child gets proper rest in order… [...]
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… [...]
July 06, 2016
If you have visited the Downtown YMCA in the last few months, you may have noticed our new Technogym® equipment. And, if you have been into the cycle studio or upstairs in the last 10 days, you may have also taken note of brand new group cycle bikes and television in the cycle studio.  While the equipment itself is top-of-the line, it is actually the technology within the equipment that sets… [...]
June 28, 2016
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… [...]
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… [...]
June 14, 2016
  As our community grapples with the tragic event of June 12, 2016, our Downtown Orlando YMCA family would like to extend our chaplain services to any and all community members who are seeking support or a listening ear.  If you would like to reach out directly to our chaplains, please email [email protected]  You can also stop by our membership desk, and we will connect you with a chaplain. Our Downtown… [...]
May 19, 2016
At the Y of Central Florida's annual meeting on May 13, Mike Manuel was re-elected to chair the 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… [...]
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… [...]
May 13, 2016
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… [...]
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,… [...]
April 01, 2016
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,… [...]
April 01, 2016
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… [...]
March 29, 2016
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… [...]
March 27, 2016
Bringing the Easter message home to 800-plus area residents, best-selling author and inspirational speaker Elizabeth Smart said that the power of prayer is real and can transform lives in astonishing ways. As keynote speaker for the YMCA’s 22nd Annual Celebration of Prayer, Smart began by thanking everyone who prayed for her during the 2002 kidnapping, which captivated the nation. At age 14, Smart was taken from the bedroom of her… [...]
March 17, 2016
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… [...]
March 10, 2016
Healthy emotional development is critical in the first five years of a child’s life. Everyday social interaction with parents, caregivers and others provides the foundation for all areas of a child’s brain development. It’s also the gateway for encouraging children to develop the self-control, focus and confidence they’ll need to be successful in school and beyond. At the YMCA Child Development Centers at Walt Disney World Resort, we pride ourselves… [...]
March 04, 2016
by Gary Appelsies, YMCA Director of Healthy Eating  It’s March and it’s national nutrition month. Most of us are still reeling from that January let down of the all American resolutiona to “diet and get healthy!” Yes, we jumped on the band wagon with all good intention only to find that the “diet” we chose is limiting and disappointing. Now it’s March and we are thinking of the spring and… [...]
February 26, 2016
Please join us for the 22nd Annual YMCA Celebration of Prayer, a community-wide prayer breakfast event that ushers in the Easter season and unites our community in faith, prayer and understanding. Thursday, March 24, 2016 7 a.m. First Baptist Church of Orlando 3000 S. John Young Parkway Orlando, Fl 32805  This year's guest speaker will be New York Times best selling author, Elizabeth Smart.   When Elizabeth, at age 14,… [...]
February 23, 2016
Despite mounting pressure to start formal education sooner than ever, research shows that our youngest children benefit most from a fun, active learning environment that encourages them to explore the world around them. This "Learning Through Play" philosophy best describes the Y's approach to early childhood learning at our YMCA Child Development Centers at Lake Buena Vista and Sherberth. In fact, what looks like play is actually disguised learning as… [...]
February 10, 2016
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… [...]
February 05, 2016
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… [...]
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 20, 2016
Two top experts in the fields of education and child development recently joined our YMCA Family Centers at Walt Disney World® Resort. Dr. Kinyata McGee-Swope, who holds advanced degrees in education, is the new Executive Director of the Y’s Sherberth location. And Mary Anderson, 25-year YMCA early learning professional, has assumed leadership of the Lake Buena Vista location. Mary replaces Nicci Bucher who has been elevated to the Y’s new District… [...]
January 19, 2016
From the time they're born, children learn all the time and everywhere they go. In fact, research tells us that kids' most important learning takes place before age 5. That's why the YMCA Early Learning Centers at Walt Disney World Resort give kids a jump start on school through innovative, accredited Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) programs. With a solid focus on pre-reading, pre-math and social skills, 98% of kids who complete the… [...]
January 19, 2016
A new study by the Pew Research Center tells us something that working parents everywhere already know: Today's families are stressed, tired, rushed and finding it harder than ever to achieve a proper work-life balance. And while nearly 60% of all kids now grow up in homes where one or both parents work, public and private programs to help families cope still lag far behind. According to the New York… [...]
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… [...]