CONNECTIONS A Newsletter for Friends of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
SAY HELLO TO SUMMER FUN It’s hard to believe summer is just around the corner. At the Y, summer is about fun, meeting new friends, and trying new experiences in a supportive environment. Tons of swimming, awesome games, and enthusiastic staff make summer camp one of the best times of year! Learning doesn’t stop when the school year ends. Our staff believe in nurturing the potential of every child. We know children are sponges, absorbing skills and values from everyone around them. We help campers connect to each other and their community, as well as understand that who they are truly matters. Here are camp options if you’re not sure what is the best fit for your child: Summer Day Camp offers an action-packed schedule of swimming, arts & crafts, sports and more. The summer zooms by while kids make life-long memories and new friendships, all before returning home at the end of each day. Creative activities ensure that young minds stay active, while having an absolute blast. With flexible locations, schedules and a wide range of options, your child belongs at summer day camp. YMCA Camp Hanes changes kids for the better. During evenings spent around a campfire and days having fun with friends, children grow. The resident camp sits below the beauty of Sauratown Mountain in King, NC (just 25 miles north of Winston-Salem). Core values are taught in everything we do from the ever-popular blob and zip lines to our new, state-of-the-art Shotgun Range and Equestrian Center. Learn more at www.camphanes.org, where you can see all the age levels, activities, session dates, rates, and more! Teen and Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Camps provide options for summer in a safe environment that doesn’t lose any of the “cool” factor. Meet new friends and hang out with awesome counselors while you learn new skills, give back to the community, and take great trips each week. Camp High Hopes offers educational support in a summer tutoring camp for academically atrisk students, referred by their teacher. The six-week, half-day program includes lunch, tutoring, academic enrichment, a physical fitness component, and a healthy snack. The camp is free thanks to donation support. Parents are required to attend a weekly parent meeting. Speciality and Sports Camps are a great option to enhance your child’s interest in a particular sport, whether it’s a basketball academy or soccer clinic. Children are more motivated to do well in school and other activities when they excel outside the classroom. Building athletic skills during summer months is a great way to stay active and help your child achieve goals during the sports season.
Register now for YMCA Summer Camps online or at any branch. Visit ymcanwnc.org/summercamp to learn more about camp options.
CONNECTIONS | A Newsletter for Friends of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
GREETINGS FROM THE BOARD CHAIR & THE PRESIDENT/CEO As we look back at a successful 2011, we are happy to report our Association is thriving. We are financially sound, which allows us to continue to better serve our community. The merger with the YMCA of Iredell County is now complete. We have expanded our Y family and embraced the staff, volunteers, members and community at each of these branches. Another area where we have seen growth over the past year is the Robinhood Road Family YMCA, which recently became our third largest branch based on membership units. Growth is about more than numbers at the Y – it is about the people we serve. One group we support is the aging community at our branches through programs where they can stay active, meet new friends, and expand the network of people who support them. The SilverSneakers® membership category, offered by health care providers for retirees and those eligible for Medicare, is the fastest growing area across all of our branches. We are now in the strategic planning process to develop a road map for our Association’s work in the community for years to come. We look forward to sharing more about the direction of YMCA of Northwest North Carolina in the next issue. Thank you for your continued support. IN SPIRIT, MIND & BODY,
David Fain, Board Chair
Curt Hazelbaker, President and CEO
FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: TAKE ON SUMMER HEALTHY KIDS DAY 2012 Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow, but sometimes when the school year ends so does a child’s exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind. Through Healthy Kids Day, a Y-USA national initiative to improve the well-being of kids, the Y challenges families to take on summer by addressing critical gaps in kids’ health and education. From balloon animals to bounce houses, the free community events at YMCA of Northwest North Carolina branches vary by location, but all are focused on one goal: educating families about healthy living. This year, Healthy Kids Day activities will have a special focus on helping families find fun through active play and educational opportunities that inspire them to carry that spirit of fun activity through the summer. Childcare Services Executive Director Kim McClure explains, “With longer days and time off from school, summer is the perfect time to make playing and learning a family goal.”
Mark your calendar! Most branches will celebrate Healthy Kids Day on April 28 (full listings by branch available online). Visit ymcanwnc.org/healthykidsday to learn more.
FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: TEENS GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY Our Y recently received the United Health Heroes Youth Service Learning Grant Award for the Davie, Jerry Long, Kernersville, Winston Lake and William G. White, Jr. Family YMCAs. The grant funds a teen service learning project at each branch. Teens across our association will contribute to the PACES program, to help fight childhood obesity. Middle School students in Y afterschool programs will learn about youth obesity in our community and help design physical activity and healthy eating activities to share with their friends and family. Additionally, they’ll assist younger students in kindergarten through fifth grade at the Y and local schools. The program helps students develop leadership skills, confidence and take an active role in a healthier community. Separately, three teen volunteers have been recognized with a President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and is presented on behalf of President Obama. We are pleased to congratulate Bibiana Arroyo with the Davie Family YMCA, Courtney Caudle with the Stokes Family YMCA and Eleanor Richardson with the Wilkes Family YMCA, for their recognition and thank them for their service to the Y.
To find ways to give back to your community through the Y, please visit ymcanwnc.org/volunteer or call 336 777 8055.
FOR HEALTHY LIVING: TRANSFORMATION NATION TRIAD People are often sidetracked by the barriers to a healthier lifestyle: not knowing where to start or how to stay motivated. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has collaborated with other Ys in our region, WXII 12, and Forsyth Medical Center to launch Transformation Nation Triad and remove those barriers. The 16-week program launched in early February at Y branches across the Triad as a free weight loss program for both Y members and potential members. YMCA personal trainers and wellness coaches provide group training, support for those working toward personal wellness goals, and expert information from nutritional and motivational speakers. The desire to become healthier for their families or to live longer, more productive lives motivated hundreds to stand in line before doors opened on registration day. The Y developed the program to help people in our community become healthier and reach their full potential. The participants put in the effort, and the Y helps them reach their goals. Tune in to the WXII 12 Morning Show each Wednesday to follow Transformation Nation Triad. If you or someone you know is interested in other Y programs focused on weight loss, check with your local branch for “Get on Your Weigh” session times. The Y never turns anyone away due to the inability to pay. WXII 12’s Mary Beth Brown and Austin Caviness (right) with one of the Transformation Nation Triad groups at the Robinhood Road Family YMCA.
CHANGING HABITS TO EAT HEALTHIER
Getting started? Here are tips to keep in mind: 1. Aim for more fruits and veggies. Cooked veggies at dinner, fruit at breakfast, or carrot stick snacks add up to the 4-5 recommended cups a day before you know it. 2. Focus on fiber. Read food labels and aim for 25-30g of fiber found in plant foods and whole grains. 3. Jot down what you eat. Tracking what you eat helps you make better choices and think twice (or three times!) before another cookie. Statesville Family YMCA Nutritionist Jill Gillis works with the community in Iredell County on ways to improve health through better nutrition. Visit statesvilleymca.org to learn more about free Nutrition Seminars scheduled throughout the year and open to all YMCA of Northwest North Carolina members.
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS: HERITAGE CLUB MEMBER DR. MICHAEL POLLAK Dr. Michael Pollak, a local OB/GYN, decided to leave a legacy gift through the Heritage Club because the Y has always been a big part of his life for two reasons – the physical fitness benefits, but also for the benefits to his mind. When you meet him today it is hard to imagine Dr. Pollak ever struggled with depression, but 30 years ago he credits exercise at the Y as helping him “lift that fog.” As a physician, he knows working out can be integral to treating moderate and mild depression. “I owe the Y. I owe the Y for the camaraderie that developed with certain people over the years, for helping lift my depression, and for the physical and mental benefits,” Pollak shared. “I’ve always felt fortunate to be able to afford membership at the Y and wanted others to have that opportunity.” The Y has been there for Pollak through various stages of life – from a young man growing up in Queens, New York, through his career as a physician, to a father with two young girls, and today as a SilverSneakers® member. His medical career spans 40 years including time in private practice, as a clinical instructor at Wake Forest University Medical Center, and most recently as a traveling physician. That experience has made him acutely aware of access to healthy lifestyles, for example when he has seen firsthand the healthcare struggles of Native Americans during his work with Indian Health Services. Whether it was the friendships that formed during the 6 a.m. “Happy Hour” basketball league or the precious one-on-one time with his daughters in Adventure Guides (formerly Indian Princesses), Pollak saw the Y add value to his life, “[The Adventure Guide program] allowed me, as a father with two kids, to have one-on-one time with my girls and taught me the true value of that time so we could communicate on a much deeper level.” Active in the community, Michael volunteers with the YMCA Annual Giving Campaign, Community Care Center, the Humane Society, Meals on Wheels with his wife Evelyn, as well as past missionary work in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. He also facilitates a group at First Baptist Church that examines social issues to better understand our community. As a Jewish man, Michael explains his strong belief that “with interfaith cooperation, we may be able to have a better world.”
Contact Joan Marie Belnap about the Heritage Club at 336 777 6225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.