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The YMCA to Celebrate Seniors This September
9/10/2013

 

Media contact:
Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

The YMCA to Celebrate Seniors This September 

San Antonio -- This September, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio will be celebrating senior citizens all month long with free fitness classes, health chats and other fun activities designed with seniors in mind. The Y hopes to raise awareness of the numerous health benefits associated with fitness during the golden years.

 “Countless studies have shown the importance of staying active as we age,” says Monica Garza, Director of Community Wellness for the Y. “In addition to exercise, remaining socially connected and engaged is also very important. The Y provides a place for both of these things to occur – and if you ask any of our seniors, we have a lot of fun while becoming more active and healthy.”

In addition to fitness classes and health chats, the Y has also scheduled several viewings of The Age of Champions, an award-winning documentary that follows five competitors who participate in the National Senior Olympics. Adolph Hoffman, a Somerset resident and 86-year-old pole vaulter featured in the film, will be on hand to talk about his experience on the film and take questions from the audience. YMCAs across our area will also conduct “benefits checks” courtesy of the National Council on Aging where seniors can learn more about the various services that may be available to them such as transportation, meals and prescription assistance.

Also this month, the Y’s very own Gloria Garza, a member of the Westside Family YMCA, will be honored as a semifinalist for the 2013 Richard L. Swanson Award. The Swanson Award honors a member of the Healthways SilverSneakers Program whose healthy behavior has made a difference in his or her own life and inspired others along the way. A reception will be held on September 27 at 11am at the Westside Family YMCA to congratulate Ms. Garza for her award.

Events offered vary by branch and are free and open to all senior citizens over age 55. For a complete listing of branches and activities offered, please visit www.ymcasatx.org.

-YMCA-

 

YMCA and Metro Health Team Up to Fight Diabetes
9/5/2013

Media contact:
Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

YMCA and Metro Health Team Up to Fight Diabetes

SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 4) – San Antonio ranks high in the number of people living with Type 2 Diabetes. Today the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District are teaming up to change that. Beginning in October, they will offer three free programs aimed at fighting Type 2 Diabetes in two ways: prevention for those at risk and management for those who have diabetes.

In Bexar County, 13 percent of the population was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, compared to 10 percent in Texas and 9 percent in the U.S. The good news is that Type 2 Diabetes is preventable through adjustments to diet and exercise. Individuals that have already been diagnosed with diabetes can live longer and healthier lives through properly managing the disease.

The YMCA will offer two programs aimed at equipping those at risk with the knowledge, tools and support necessary to make these changes:

The YMCA’s Diabetes Program is a 12-month course that provides a supportive environment where participants work together to learn about healthy eating and increasing their physical activity to prevent diabetes. The will be offering this program at no cost to participants.

The Y Living Program is a 12-week course that takes a holistic, family-based approach to preventing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. This program is also offered at no cost to participants and empowers families to obtain total wellness through enriching the spirit, mind and body. Participants of both the Y Living and YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program will receive free 3-month YMCA memberships to help them in their journey towards healthier living.

“We are offering cutting edge, evidence based programming that has proven results both nationally and locally,” says Sandy Morander, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio. “The fact that we are able to offer this program at no cost to participants is unique to San Antonio. Nationally, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program runs around $350 per participant. We are thrilled to be able to offer this vital programming at no cost to our community.”

Metro Health’s Diabetes Self Management Program will provide education and guidance to individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes. Through curriculum developed at Stanford University, participants will learn how to manage symptoms, exercise for strength and energy, set goals for their treatment and manage stress. This free program is available to anyone who has Type 2 Diabetes and their family members.  

“Diabetes is a silent killer that affects more and more people every year.  The Centers for Disease Control predicts that, given current trends, one third of the population of the United States will be diabetic by 2050.  South Texas is already known as ‘DiabetesvilleUSA.’  It is urgent that we reverse this terrible trend,” said Dr. Schlenker, director of Metro Health.

These programs will be offered throughout the year at various locations throughout San Antonio. For more information about locations, dates and to assess your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, visit DiabetesHelpSA.com.

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YMCA Provides Afterschool Programs for Kids Across Our Area
8/14/2013

Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

YMCA Afterschool Programs Provide Learning, Enrichment Activities

SAN ANTONIO – Providing youth with opportunities to continue to learn and engage in meaningful activities at the end of the school day can boost their academic success. To help motivate and inspire kids to learn, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio is offering an afterschool program to school-aged children throughout our region. The Y’s afterschool program combines academics with play and offers a caring and safe environment for youth who would otherwise be left unsupervised.

During the school year, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m., according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. In Texas, a staggering 26% of children are left alone and responsible for taking care of themselves. With the start of the new school year, the Y encourages parents/caregivers to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school.

“The combination of enrichment and extended learning opportunities is essential to increasing children’s success in school,” said Sandy Morander, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater San Antonio. “Y afterschool programs promote a love for learning, social and emotional development and physical activity to help children achieve and reach their full potential.” 

Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.

"What really sets the Y apart is our commitment to ensuring children receive at minimum 30 minutes of physical activity a day while in our care," says Morander. "We also provide help with homework, a healthy snack, and opportunities for expanded learning through the exploration of arts, crafts and science." 

Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.

For more information about the Y’s afterschool program, please contact call (210) 924-2277, emailchildcare@ymcasatx.org or visit www.ymcasatx.org/afterschool.

-YMCA-

 

YMCA Offers Free Memberships to Eligible Military Families
7/22/2013

 

Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

 YMCA of Greater San Antonio Offers Free Memberships to Eligible Military Families

SAN ANTONIO – The YMCA of Greater San Antonio is currently accepting applications for the Y’s Military Outreach Initiative. This program provides eligible military families and active duty personnel with access to complimentary Y memberships.The Military Outreach Program is available to eligible military families at all of the Y’s eleven health and wellness facilities located in San Antonio, Boerne and New Braunfels.

“The military is such a vital part of the fabric of our community in the San Antonio area,” says Sandy Morander, President and CEO of the Y of Greater San Antonio. “We are thrilled to be able to extend this program to our military and their families, and we are proud to serve them as they serve our country.”

Those currently eligible to participate in the initiative include:

  • All interested families of deployed National Guard and Reserves
  • Active Duty Independent Duty station personnel (single or family members)
  • Relocated spouses and family members of deployed Active Duty personnel
  • Community Based Wounded Warrior Transition Unit personnel and their families.

For more information on the YMCA Military Outreach Initiative contact Andi Anderson at andia@ymcasatx.org or by phone at (210) 619-1900. Or, to find a participating YMCA, visit www.ymca.net. Eligibility forms for military personnel can be found at the Y or by going to http://www.asymca.org/programs/ymca-dod-military-outreach-initative.

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YMCA Welcomes New Chairman of the Board
5/10/2013

Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

YMCA Welcomes New Chairman of the Board

SAN ANTONIO – Volunteers, donors and staff of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio gathered Tuesday, May 7 to reflect on the successes of 2012 and welcome a new chairman of the board. Jim Hamer, a longtime member and volunteer for the Y, officially took the reigns as “volunteer in chief” for the organization following the successful tenure of outgoing board chair Geoff Crabtree.

 Mr. Hamer recently retired as an Executive Vice President of Broadway Bank after a career in private banking. His family has resided in San Antonio since 1979. As a Y member since the early 1950s, Hamer looks to continue the significant strides the organization has made over recent years. Last year alone, membership at the organization’s 10 wellness facilities grew by 8%, bringing total membership to over 40,000.  

“The Y has a long history of excellence both internationally and right here in our community,” says Hamer. “We are currently 137 years strong in the San Antonio, and year after year we keep exceeding expectations. I am so proud to be associated with this great organization!”

In addition to the health and wellness facilities located across San Antonio, Schertz, New Braunfels and Boerne, the Y also operates five early childhood education centers in San Antonio, numerous after school programs and summer day camps across the area, Camp Flaming Arrow in Hunt, TX and the Y Living Center on San Antonio’s South Side. The Y Living Center was opened in Spring 2012 to address the prevalence of type-2 diabetes in that area.

“Many people may not realize the full scope of what the Y does in the community,” says Hamer. “There will be an increased focus in the coming years on fully articulating our offerings and how we are strengthening the foundations of our community.”

Hamer will serve as the chairman of the board for the Y through the spring of 2015.

For more information about the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and to download a copy of the 2012 Annual Report visit www.ymcasatx.org.

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YMCA Plans Weekend-Long Open House
5/9/2013

Contact:
Laura Waldrum
lauraw@ymcasatx.org
(210) 246-9631

YMCA Plans Weekend-Long Open House
 
SAN ANTONIO – The YMCA of Greater San Antonio is kicking off summer 2013 with an area-wide open house Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19. The community is invited to try out the Y’s 10 health and wellness facilities located across San Antonio, Boerne and New Braunfels. Guests will have full access to all the Y has to offer including a sampling of exercise classes, family fun in the pool, and the Y's state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The open house is free and open to the public.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to come see what the Y is all about,” says Sandy Morander, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio. “Our facilities will be hosting activities on Saturday, May 18 that will give visitors a glimpse of everything that the Y offers, from childcare to summer camp.”

During the open house, the Y will waive the join fee for new members – a $49 value. Additionally, members receive exclusive pricing on other Y programs such as youth sports, summer day camps, swim lessons and more.

“We are much more than a gym, we are a community,” says Morander. “We serve people of all fitness levels, we frequently host events for families, and we even have special events and services for our senior members. We truly have something for everyone.”

Another aspect of the Y that is unique to other health and wellness facilities is the organization's Open Doors Scholarship Program. This program provides financial assistance for individuals and families who typically may not be able to afford a gym membership.  More information regarding the Open Doors Scholarship is available at the Welcome Center in each facility.

For a complete listing of YMCA locations in the Greater San Antonio area and for details about the Open House, visit www.ymcasatx.org.

 -YMCA-

Síclovía Returns April 7
3/18/2013
Contact:
Laura Waldrum
(210) 246-9631

It’s almost time to “Go Play in the Street”

Síclovía returns April 7

 

SAN ANTONIO – Tune up your bikes and grab your helmet or running shoes because it is time for San Antonio’s next Síclovía! On Sunday, April 7 Broadway Street will be closed to auto traffic between Lion’s Field and Alamo Plaza so attendees can bike, run and “Play in the Street”.

 

Síclovía is a YMCA signature event presented by H-E-B. The event is non-competitive, registration is not required and it is free and open to everyone.

 

We are proud to host the city’s largest organic health and wellness event and expect attendance to top 50,000 participants this time around," says Sandy Morander, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio. “We have many fun, free activities scheduled all day and there is something for everyone. It’s a great way to experience how fun it can be to get moving and be active.”

 

Along the route participants will enjoy Reclovías, areas that feature fun scheduled group activities and exercise demonstrations. Free-form recreational activities like hula hooping, sidewalk chalk art, street tennis, jump rope and soccer games will also take place along the route. Activities new to this Síclovía include a senior activity area and an expanded skate park that will accommodate BMX bikes in addition to skateboards (helmets are required).

 

“The YMCA is also excited to announce that 100 bicycles will be given away courtesy of Safelite AutoGlass,” says Morander.  “Twenty of the bikes will be going to the Mayor's Fitness Council Student Ambassadors and 80 will be given away to the public during two drawings.”

 

Drawings for the free bicycles will take place at 12pm and 2pm at the Safelite AutoGlass Bike area located at Grayson St. and Broadway St. in the San Antonio Merchant's Association parking lot. To register to win a bicycle, attendees can pick up an entry form at any Reclovía and return it to the Safelite AutoGlass Bike area at least 15 minutes prior to the drawings.

 

An opening ceremony will kick off the event at 10am at Alamo Plaza. Dignitaries including Mayor Julían Castro will make opening comments. The event will officially begin immediately afterward and last until 3pm. All are welcome, including pets on leashes.

 

Visit www.siclovia.org for more information.

 

-YMCA-

 

St. Patty's Day Race Scheduled for March 16
3/7/2013

Contact:

Laura Waldrum

210.246.9631/lauraw@ymcasatx.org

 

NEW BRAUNFELS -- The New Braunfels area is usually known for its German heritage, but on Saturday, March 16 it will take on a decidedly Irish flare. The New Braunfels Family YMCA is hosting the second annual St. Patty’s Day 5K and 10K presented by the New Braunfels Rotary Club. The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Rockin’ R River Rides in aptly named Gruene and proceeds will benefit the Y Partners Scholarship Campaign. 

 

This is the first 10K race of the season and will provide beautiful scenery and fun for the whole family. In addition to the 5K and 10K races, there will be a “Tot Trot” for children ages 2-6 and “Leprechaun Chase” for kids 7-12.

 

Runners and their canine companions are encouraged to dress in St. Patrick’s Day attire. Prizes will be given to the best-dressed runner and best-dressed pup.  After the race, runners will celebrate along the banks of the beautiful Guadalupe River at Rockin' R with green beer and wings generously donated by Wright Distribution and Wings and Rings.

 

“This is a great way to get outdoors, get some exercise and raise money for a wonderful cause,” says Toni Miller, Executive Director of the New Braunfels Family YMCA. “All of the money raised for this event will go back into the New Braunfels community, ensuring that everyone can benefit from Y programs regardless of ability to pay.”

 

Registration will be available online through March 15 and beginning at 7 am on the morning of the race. For information regarding race fees and route visit ymcasatx.org/runforluck.

 
 
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YMCA Plans Fun-Filled Summer for Children of Deployed Parents
2/28/2013

Contact: 

Laura Waldrum

YMCA of Greater San Antonio

210.246.9631/lauraw@ymcasatx.org

 

YMCA Plans Fun-Filled Summer for Children of Deployed Parents

 

San Antonio, TX – Summer is just around the corner, and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, in partnership with Military Family Association (NMFA), is hoping to make this summer very special for children of military families. The two organizations are partnering for a third year to offer Operation Purple Camp at the YMCA’s Camp Flaming Arrow. This program provides summer camp scholarships to children of active duty Military families who have experienced or are in the middle of deployment.

 

“The YMCA summer camp experience is one of the most formative experiences in a young person’s life,” says Bill Hinton, director of YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow. “Through this program, we are able to provide a fun-filled, values-based camp experience while helping children cope with the stress of deployment.”

 

YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow is located in Hunt, TX on the banks of the Guadalupe River. This one-week camp offers an outdoor fun and adventure in a setting centered on the Y’s core values of caring, honesty respect, responsibility and faith. Camp activities include hiking, swimming, archery, horseback riding, devotion, crafts, and boating and much more.

 

The June 30-July 6 session of the camp season will be designated as “Military Initiative Week.” During this week the highly trained Camp Flaming Arrow staff will work with mental health professionals sent by NMFA to provide a memorable camp experience customized to children of military families.

 

The NMFA is helping fund scholarships for 70 children to attend camp at a discount. The Y hopes to fund an additional 70 spots at an even larger discount through the Y’s scholarship fund.  

 

Your help is needed by March 4 to ensure that as many children can attend camp as possible. Donations can be made at www.ymcacampflamingarrow.org by clicking on the “donations” tab. Donations can also be mailed to YMCA Camp, P.O. Box 770, Hunt, TX 78204.

 

For more information about Operation Purple Camp visit www.militaryfamily.org.

 

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Síclovía October 7 – Now a Y Event
9/18/2012

Mark your calendars! The Y and H-E-B will host Síclovía on October 7 from 10 am to 3 pm.   Síclovía is a fun, free outdoor event designed to show that physical activity can be fun, no matter your age or fitness level. Broadway Street will be closed to cars, allowing attendees to walk, roll, jog or bike in the open street.  Reclovías will line the route, featuring free fitness demonstrations, healthy food vendors and more.

Síclovía is now a YMCA signature event. The Y will bring you all the fun activities and programs that have always been featured at Síclovía, plus a few new ways to play in the street:

  • The Síclovía route has been extended to Alamo Plaza, adding an extra mile to the fun. 
  • The first ever Síclovía 5K Run/Walk will kick off the fun Sunday morning.  The race will begin at Alamo Plaza and will head down along the Síclovía route to Mahnke Park. Information about the race, including fees and start time, can be found at register.iaapweb.com.
  • We haven’t forgotten about your pets!  This fall, a “Petclovía” will be a placed on the route, providing a place for your pet to rehydrate and have a healthy snack.

This October, Síclovía will be part of a day an entire day of health and wellness known as Alamo City Health Day.  In addition to Síclovía,
H-E-B is sponsoring CULINARIA FEASTIVÁL at Pearl from 12-3 pm.  Visitors will be able to sample healthy foods from area chefs as well as wine seminars and cooking demonstrations.  Tickets are on sale now at your local H-E-B. 

This is a day you will not want to miss!  For more information visit www.siclovia.org

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Thank You Harvey E. Najim and the Najim Family Foundation for generosity
6/29/2012

For immediate release - June 29, 2012

Harvey E. Najim
The YMCA of Greater San Antonio graciously recognizes local philanthropist Harvey E. Najim and the Najim Family Foundation for their generous donation of Little Tikes Young Explorer computer units preloaded with Leap Frog educational software that will benefit dozens of children at two local Y
Early Learning Centers.

The YMCA of Greater San Antonio graciously recognizes local philanthropist Harvey E. Najim and the Najim Family Foundation for their generous donation of Little Tikes Young Explorer computer units preloaded with Leap Frog educational software that will benefit dozens of children at two local Y Early Learning Centers. This week, The Harvey E. Najim YMCA Childcare Center at Haven for Hope and the YMCA Early Learning Center Downtown each received six units, which will allow 12 children (ages 3 to 7) to work simultaneously at each center, to improve their reading and math skills. Additionally, The Najim Family Foundation donated to each center, six sets of Leap Frog Learn to Read Tag Reading Systems – complete with 13 books and reading pens that teach short and long vowel sounds, phonics, vocabulary and reading comprehension to children ages 4 to 8. The Y thanks Harvey E. Najim and the Najim Family Foundation for their total donation valued at approximately $30,000. And the Y appreciates Dean Newell, George Simmons, Larry Kuhlman, and Santina Basham from Sirius Computer Solutions; and Melissa Bauman with The Najim Family Foundation, for their time and enthusiasm to order and install the units that the children are already enjoying.

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New Y Living Center addresses critical needs for wellness
6/27/2012

 
Address: 835 W. Southcross, San Antonio, TX 78211 | Phone: 210-924-8858

Y Living Center

This past summer, the Y Living Center opened on the city’s south side, incorporating preventative and intervention measures to reduce risk factors for diabetes, cancer and other chronic illness.  Serving this community where obesity rates are alarming at 85 percent, the Y Living Center offers group exercise classes, as well as the medically based Y Living Program.  Following a holistic approach to teach nutrition, exercise and spiritual wellness, the medically based 12-week wellness program involves the whole family in educational seminars and physical activity sessions. 


“We know disease prevention is critical to helping people live longer, healthier lives. With the Y Living Center, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and its community partners aim to reduce and eliminate health disparities among the city’s most vulnerable populations on the south side,” said Geoffrey Crabtree, YMCA of Greater San Antonio Association Board Chair. “Offering evidence-based wellness programs for the entire family in a values-centric environment demonstrates the Y’s role as a leader in health and well-being initiatives.” 

The Y Living Program is a project in collaboration with UT Health Science Center’s Institute for Health Promotion Research (UTHSC-IHPR), that started in 2011 with families at the Westside Family YMCA.  First year results show positive impact - 30 families and 50 individuals benefited with 83 percent of participants reporting improved physical activity behaviors, and 79 percent reducing their weight and showing improved waist circumference (directly related to occurrence of cancer and diabetes). 

"We've learned so much here, we've made friends, we've changed our habits, we've learned how to eat, we've learned what to eat,” said Program participant Debbie Hill.  “These are lifestyle changes, it's not what you buy at the store in a bottle, these are things that are going to last." 

Additional Y Living Center programs

· Salsa, Sabor y Salud (“Food, Fun and Fitness”) – an 8-week interactive, bilingual course developed by the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI) and Kraft Foods to raise awareness among Hispanic/Latino families on the importance of good nutrition and increased levels of physical activity, and to encourage healthy lifestyle habits for families. Families will participate in sessions that reinforce the importance of achieving “energy balance” through healthier food choices and increased levels of physical activity. This is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” initiative. 

· Y Preschool Wellness – provides children with structured activities and lessons to encourage and foster a healthy lifestyle at an early age. Creates a free play that is carefully planned to provide opportunities for children to acquire and fine-tune basic locomotors and motor skills. 

· Y Summer Youth Express – also part of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” initiative, and as a participant in the in the Texas Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program, program provides youth with free USDA-regulated lunches during the summer, as well as opportunities to engage in daily Fit Kids activities, and the "Get a Clue" Summer Library Program. Participants will be coached on the importance of lifelong wellness for Spirit, Mind, and Body. 

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in Bexar County, and affects 16 percent of south side residents, compared to only 7 to 8 percent among north side residents.  Additionally, cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Hispanics (approximately 97 percent of residents in the Y Living Center’s service area are Hispanic). 

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YMCA Mission

To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs
that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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