Greater Wichita YMCA Ranks Among Top in Country for Budget and Size

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Every day‚ the Greater Wichita YMCA finds new ways to strengthen area kids‚ families and communities. The program’s rec reational centers‚ classes‚ childcare programs and day camps rank among the top 30 in the nation in terms of operating budget and size‚ and serve a diverse population of 12‚000 men‚ women and children each day. “Our mission is what sets us apart from other athletic facilities‚” says Shelly Conrady‚ communications director for the Greater Wichita YMCA. “As a non profit‚ we’re focused on giving back to community and doing what we can to help members and non-members develop healthy lifestyle choices.” That commitment to serving all individuals regardless of ability to pay is what has distinguished the YMCA for more than 100 years. The organ ization offers financial assistance programs with discounts of up to 90 percent off monthly membership rates and other classes. With seven branches and more than 100 total locations throughout the city‚ the YMCA is doing its part to educate and care for residents in middle Kansas. The organization is the largest child care provider in the Wichita area‚ providing award-winning child devel opment centers in several local high schools. Latchkey before- and after-school programs also are available in several middle schools‚ where field trip and homework assistance is pro vided to more than 6‚000 students each year. Meanwhile‚ the SPLASH program ensures every area second-grader has the opportunity to swim and provides transportation to and from the YMCA’s water parks and indoor and outdoor pools. Conrady says the popular aquatic facilities provide more than a place to cool off during the long‚ hot days of summer. “Many people overlook the health benefits of swimming‚ but the water parks provide a great opportunity for families and kids to stay fit together‚” she says. The three water parks feature high and fast slides‚ diving boards and climbing walls designed to help kids combat obesity and provide a safe and healthy place to hang out. Members of all ages will enjoy the YMCA’s new Indoor Sports Center‚ located on the South Branch campus. The facility features hardwood courts‚ gymnasiums‚ spectator and concession seating‚ a performance training center and more. The center also will host large-scale clinics and tournaments as well as competitive sports leagues. Health screenings‚ fitness classes‚ marathons‚ family centers‚ corporate health programs‚ adult sports leagues‚ certified personal trainers and com munity outreach programs are just a handful of the many services available to the more than 160‚000 members and residents served by the YMCA. Conrady says the program’s incredible growth is made possible by enormous community support. “We have strong volunteer and professional support‚ from fundraising and creating new facilities to general membership‚ “ she says. “You can’t do it without that.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melanie Hill is an independent writer, editor and public relations specialist based out of Franklin, Tenn. She began writing for Journal Communications in 2003, shortly after reloc... more

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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:22