YMCA of Greater San Antonio




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Harvey E Najim Family YMCA to open Spring 2017

San Antonio's Southside community is long overdue for a YMCA of their own, well the day has finally come.

The Harvey E Najim Family YMCA will open in the Spring of 2017 a few hundred feet from the Mission Branch Library. We are working with the San Antonio Public Library to develop new and engaging programs for the Southside community.

The 14,000 sq. ft., two-story YMCA, will provide resources for residents to live a healthy lifestyle, including an exercise floor, group exercise areas, child watch, a teaching kitchen and an outdoor covered gymnasium. 

The second phase will include a community garden.

We are thrilled to be bringing another Y into our community - providing families the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

YMCA Receives Healthy Workplace Award

On November 4, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio was awarded the new, highest level of recognition as a healthy employer by the Mayor's Fitness Council and the San Antonio Business Group on Health in their annual Healthy Workplace Recognition Awards Reception.

This award honors the hard work of participating employers in the area of employee wellness.  This year, a new Platinum-level category was added, and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio was one of the inaugural recipients of this designation.

The Healthy Workplace Recognition Program is an initiative of the San Antonio Business Group on Health and the Mayor's Fitness Concil. 

Learn more at http://www.fitcitysa.com/at-work/healthy-workplace-recognition.html.


The YMCA of Greater San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library are Coming Together to Serve Families on the Northwest Side

The YMCA and the San Antonio Public Library held a ground breaking ceremony on Monday, November 2 to kick off construction on a new, joint location.

Community members on the far Northwest Side of San Antonio will soon be able to access resources a little closer to home. The YMCA of Greater San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library will be sharing over 58,000 square feet of space at the corner of Highway 151 and Potranco Rd in what will be known as the Mays Family YMCA at Potranco and the Potranco Branch Library.

The space was previously owned by San Antonio Water Systems but is now fully owned by the YMCA. Opening in September 2016, the YMCA is projected to serve 8,000 members.

“District 6 residents can only benefit from the amazing partnership that is bringing a new YMCA and library to the Northwest Side of San Antonio,” said District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez. “Not only will we have those two services in one facility, we also have opportunity to increase housing options for seniors through a unique public-private partnership.”

On top of celebrating the completion of their 12th branch, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio will turn 140 next year. Although the programs provided by the Y today are different than those from it’s founding in 1876, one goal remains the same, to build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Potranco Branch Library will be the 30th location for the San Antonio Public Library. Some of the amenities that the community can look forward to include multiple group exercise classrooms, a family adventure zone, a multi-generational center, a teaching kitchen, and an indoor swimming pool.


Davis-Scott Family YMCA Celebrates National Night Out


The Davis-Scott Family YMCA celebrated National Night Out at their facility on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. There was Zumba, a movie on the big screen, games, popcorn and more!

The Y is extremely grateful to have the support of the Denver Heights Association, the San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Police Department and many local dignitaries who took the time to stop by, including District Attorney Nico Lahood and Councilman Alan Warrick.

The Y will always be a safe place for youth, teens and adults to escape to for any reason, which was a topic of conversation that evening.

There are a lot of organizations, like the YMCA and Denver Heights Neighborhood Association, who are committed to offering programs and services that curb violence," said Shon Doresy, Davis-Scott Family YMCA executive director. "That helps residents feel a sense of empowerment and ownership in their community."

"People still resonate with the east-side San Antonio community. They still have family and friends here. Events like this show that we have community unity, and it's an inviting place," said Alan Warrick, district two city councilman.

Síclovía? There's An App For That.

Síclovía mobile app for iOS devices helps navigate event


Locating friends or activities at the Alamo City’s largest health and wellness event on Sept. 27 will be a click and swipe away thanks to the Síclovía mobile app developed by event organizers at the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.

Launched at a kickoff press conference featuring CEO Sandy Morander and YMCA President and District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Trevino, the app, titled “Síclovía,” includes these features to make the Síclovía experience even more fun:

  • A map with geolocating to help navigate along the route.

  • Schedules of fitness classes, cooking demos, and other activities.

  • Alarms and reminders of events so participants don’t miss their favorite Síclovía activity

  • “Síclovía” will be available for download at the Apple App Store for iOS devices (an Android version will be available in 2016).

"We are so proud of how far Síclovía has come in promoting healthy lifestyles to our community," said YMCA of Greater San Antonio CEO Sandy Morander. "Each Siclovia we try to add a new component to make the event more fun and accessible for our guests. Our goal with the Síclovía app is to create an easy and social way for participants to locate activities along the route, making sure that they don't miss their favorite exercise class or a water stop, and help them connect with their neighbors."

The Síclovía Safety Pledge is another prominent “Síclovía” feature, allowing participants to pledge to follow rules of the road – ensuring a safe event – and get chances to win cool prizes such as bicycle helmets, lights and even a bicycle. Although Síclovía is free of vehicles, there is still a high volume of foot and cycling traffic on designated roadways as more than 50,000 people traverse streets by foot, bicycles, walking dogs or pushing strollers.

“Síclovía is car-free, but pedestrians and cyclists must put safety first,” said Councilman Trevino. “We can all can ensure a safe, fun event by using the app to learn the rules of the road.”

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 27, the YMCA and the City of San Antonio will open the streets to an expected 50,000+ participants. For the second year, the fall route will span 3.25 miles along Broadway Street, from Lion’s Field to Alamo Plaza, and a section of McCullough Avenue and Nolan Street, ending at Dignowity Hill.

Morander also thanked presenting Sponsor H-E-B and Platinum Sponsor Humana for their continued support of this citywide fitness activity.

“We are excited that people from across our city will get to see this vibrant part of the East Side near Dignowity Hill,” added District 2 Councilman Alan E. Warrick II.

Additionally, the Síclovía 5K Run/Walk will take place at 8 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 27. Proceeds fund future Síclovía events.

Síclovía features many reclovías, or stopping points along the route with free, family-friendly activities such as Zumba and yoga for everyone to enjoy. The event’s Presenting Sponsor, HEB, will provide two cooking demonstrations at Lion’s Field! The mobile app includes all reclovía locations, water stations and the ability to donate to show your support for Síclovía, helping ensure it stays free for the public.

During Síclovía, certain roads become temporary car-free zones. People take over the streets for five hours to engage in free physical activities, including running, biking, and more.

About Síclovía:

A YMCA of Greater San Antonio event, Siclovia closes 3.25 miles of streets and allows tens of thousands of people to bike, run, skateboard, walk or enjoy a variety of events without worrying about traffic. Reclovías, or stopping points, along the route offer free activities, including a novice cyclist zone, zumba, yoga, music and several vendors with information on healthy lifestyles. Visit www.siclovia.org for more information.


Wimberley Strong - The Y is Offering Encouragement After the Storms

 KSAT.com Special Report

“We needed to reach out to the Wimberley community because that’s what the YMCA does,” said Joshua Simpson, branch director of the New Braunfels Family YMCA. “We believe in social responsibility.” 

YMCA of Greater San Antonio is Closing the Gap and Minimizing Summer Learning Loss

The YMCA of Greater San Antonio is one of only 14 YMCA associations in the country to offer the Power Scholars Academy. This summer was the second time that the YMCA of Greater San Antonio hosted Power Scholars at Hawthorne Academy and in Friday, August 7, 110 scholars graduated! 

The YMCA of Greater San Antonio served 110 scholars this summer in grades Pre K–6. Power Scholars is free to participants and they were served breakfast and lunch everyday.

Power Scholars Academy is a partnership between the YMCA of the USA and the national nonprofit BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life). Power Scholars was created to tackle summer learning loss in students K-8, but it offers so much more. It builds strong youth academically, physically and emotionally. The program partners will local schools to support students in literacy, math, enrichment activities in STEM and the arts, along with a health curriculum. Certified teachers provide the rigorous academic instruction that includes hands on activities, field trips and service learning projects.

The overall theme this summer for the YMCA of Greater San Antonio scholars was Superheroes because superheroes show courage and can overcome any obstacle. The scholars are our community’s future superheroes. Every week had it’s own theme as well. Themes included family week, college week and theatre week.

Scholars visited, Our Lady of the Lake University, The San Antonio Riverwalk, The DoSeum, a local fire station and The Magik Theater during their Friday field trips.

Herlinda Sanchez, great grandmother of Amy and Ashley Guzman said, "My girls have loved the opportunity to learn new things everyday and make new friends. Wherever Power Scholars Academy is offered next summer, we will be there."

Scholar growth is assessed through a computer adaptive test given to scholars at the beginning and end of the program. The Y is able to provide the data to the campus, school district and family. This summer, scholars who initially tested with reading skills below grade level, gained 2 months of academic growth. Underperforming scholars in math, gained 6 months of academic growth.

Click here to learn more!

Walzem Family YMCA Hosts Back to School Event
The Walzem Family YMCA is hosting a free back to school event on Friday, August 21 at Takas Park from 5-9pm and everyone is welcome! 
We will have over 300 backpacks for students*. There will also be many family-friendly activities including water slides, water balloons, a kiddie pool, music, concessions and more!

Takas Park is located at 9310 Jim Seal Dr, Windcrest, TX 78239.

*Backpacks and school supplies are while supplies last. One backpack per child and child must be present.

Westside Family YMCA Passed Out Backpacks to 465 Students

On Monday, August 10, the Westside Family YMCA helped families get ready for the new school year by hosting thier annual Healthy Kids Day.

A new school year can be exciting and overwhelming so we provided a one-stop shop for families to obtain school supplies, receive immunizations and access tools needed for their child to be successful. 

Thanks to a partnership with Metro Health, Superior Healthcare and University Health Systems, families accessed vision screenings, health checkups, immunizations, snack demonstrations, kids fitness classes and more. Uninsured adults also received immunizations.

At the Y, we are committed to comingtogether with parents and guardians to make preparing for the school year less stressful,” said Monique Pierce, associate executive director of the Westside Family YMCA. “We want families to be able to focus on helping their child realize their potential and discover who they are.”

The Y creates opportunities for everyone to learn, grow and thrive, regardless of their gender, income or background. One of the many ways we focus on youth development is by providing kids with a healthy and caring environment full of fun and educational activities that will help them reach their full potential.

Kens5 stopped by too! Check out the news story here.

New Braunfels Family YMCA employee helps Wimberley flood victims

The New Braunfels Family YMCA has been asking visitors and members to write notes and blessings to families affected by the Memorial Day floods in Wimberley, Texas. Pictures of the flood hang in the front lobby of the Y.

On a weekly basis, the notes are taken to Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley and given to flood survivors who visit the church seeking assistance.

"I recognized an opportunity for our interactive bulletin board to offer emotional support to our neighbors," said New Braunfels Family YMCA employee Suzanne Hoffman. "It gives people the opportunity to give something thoughtful and personal to the survivors. Many people want to help but may not have much to give, this is their chance to offer support and encouragement."

So far, more than 100 notes have been collected. Some have come from locals and others have come from out of state visitors. 

Green ribbons have also been placed on the columns at the entrance of the Y to represent the recent flooding.

The New Braunfels Family YMCA is still collecting notes, they can be dropped off at the Y or mailed to 710 Landa St.

We are grateful for New Braunfels Family YMCA executive director, Joshua Simpson, Neil Moore, Irene Witten, YMCA Bible study group member Ray Anderson, Chris in Action, HEB, the San Antonio Food Bank, Scrap-booking and More and the Walgreen's on Seguin Avenue, as all were catalysts in getting the initiative going.

The Obesity Action Coalition: Your Weight Matters Healthy Living Expo

The Y Healthy Living Center provides families about how to reduce and prevent obesity, and we’d like to
invite you to learn more about your weight and health from a variety of organizations at the YWM 
Healthy Living EXPO. 

The YMCA of Greater San Antonio is partnering with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) to provide the 
San Antonio community free-of-charge access to the EXPO on Saturday, August 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 
5:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. The partnership was born from the organizations’ 
similarly-aligned missions, with a focus on improving the lives of individuals affected by obesity, excess 
weight and related conditions. 

There will be a variety of great exhibitors attending who will provide you with evidence-based 
information about your weight and health. The Healthy Living EXPO will offer attendees access to 
invaluable tools, resources and products for their journey with weight, all under one roof. By attending, 
you’ll get to meet with some of the leading companies and organizations in the fields of weight and 
health, as well as learn evidence-based strategies to live a healthier and happier life. The EXPO features 
free information, giveaways and health screenings on-site to give you a variety of topics and products to 
learn about, so don’t miss-out! 

Register for your pass in advance to guarantee that you’ll receive all of the on-site materials for use 
during your visit at the EXPO, which includes EXPO information, free samples from our vendors and 

Saturday’s YWM Healthy Living EXPO is open to any who wish to attend, so please encourage your 
friends, family, colleagues, neighbors or anyone else you know who would benefit from attending to join 
you for the day. Take control of your health and wellness and join us at the YWM Healthy Living EXPO! 
For more details, please visit http://www.ywmconvention.com/ywm-healthy-living-expo/


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT

                                                                                                Cary Corbin: 830.609.1932





Public is invited to attend Annual Prayer Breakfast with guest speakers Mayor Ivy Taylor, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller and Rabbi Mara Nathan

Trinity Baptist Church and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio invite the community to come together for a day of prayer, peace and reflection as they celebrate National Day of Prayer during the Annual Prayer Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 7 at Trinity Baptist Church’s Tripoint Center, 3233 N. St. Mary’s St. Doors open and breakfast served at 6:45 a.m. Pre-service music starts at 7:15 a.m.

This year’s honorable guests are Mayor Ivy Taylor, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and Rabbi Mara Nathan of Temple Bethel.  Each will share their thoughts on the importance of prayer, and address the theme of “Stronger Through Prayer.” The Annual Prayer Breakfast will be led by Senior Pastor Leslie Hollon of Trinity Baptist Church.

“Trinity Baptist Church is a regional congregation that partners with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio to strengthen lives by nourishing the body, mind and spirit,” Hollon said. “The Prayer Breakfast is a marvelous way for us to celebrate God's vibrant hope for our lives, and praying together strengthens us.”

 Trinity Baptist Church is a caring family of believers who communicate and apply the life changing message of Christ's unconditional love through the 100 plus ministries it offers to San Antonio and global regions. Its three campuses, located in the heart of San Antonio, provide a spiritual home for children, youth and adults, and it connects with thousands of people each week.

Sandy Morander, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, said the YMCA has a deep Christian history and heritage that teaches love, care, service and faith. “Prayer is a growing value in our YMCA’s around the country,” she said. “In San Antonio, each of our YMCA’s has a Prayer Box for members to share their prayer needs.  We believe in the power of prayer.” 

In the Alamo City, all YMCA branches plan a National Day of Prayer event for their respective members.  Although each event might have a different program, all have the common purpose of celebrating together as Y members commemorate National Day of Prayer.

“At the Y, we want to make a difference in the lives of our members and community,” Morander said.  “We desire to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for everyone. We welcome all and pray for all.”

The Annual Prayer Breakfast is sponsored by the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio. “As a community funder committed to honoring God and our Baptist heritage by improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of our residents, the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio is proud to foster and fund a breakfast gathering of God’s people to focus on prayer and to celebrate a risen Savior,” said Cody Knowlton, president and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation.

Cost to attend the Annual Prayer Breakfast is $10 per person or a table of eight for $80. For tickets or to purchase a table, call Trinity Baptist Church at (210) 733-6201 or online at www.dayofprayersa.com.  

National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The observance of National Day of Prayer is founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans. In addition, this government-proclaimed day is offered to everyone, regardless of religion, to celebrate their faith through prayer.

For more information about National Day of Prayer, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.


The YMCA to Celebrate Seniors This September


Media contact:
Laura Waldrum
(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 and Metro Health Team Up to Fight Diabetes

Media contact:
Laura Waldrum
(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.



YMCA Provides Afterschool Programs for Kids Across Our Area

Laura Waldrum
(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 Offers Free Memberships to Eligible Military Families


Laura Waldrum
(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 



YMCA Welcomes New Chairman of the Board

Laura Waldrum
(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.


YMCA Plans Weekend-Long Open House

Laura Waldrum
(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.


Síclovía Returns April 7
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.




St. Patty's Day Race Scheduled for March 16


Laura Waldrum



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.



YMCA Plans Fun-Filled Summer for Children of Deployed Parents


Laura Waldrum

YMCA of Greater San Antonio



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.





Síclovía October 7 – Now a Y Event

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

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

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). 

- YMCA -

YMCA Mission

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

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