Who says location is everything?
You’ve likely heard that we sold our building. What you may not have heard is our vision for the new Muskegon YMCA.
Just as we changed from being a dormitory-based facility on Clay and 2nd St and merged from a single gender emphasis to being family focused, so we are reinventing ourselves once again to provide relevant service to West Michigan. More than just an address on Western Ave, we are an Association of people. People -- our members, volunteers and staff -- have always been the heart and soul of our YMCA. We come from all walks of life and share a passion for strengthening the foundations of our community and achieving health in spirit, mind and body.
Now released from decades of accumulated debt and no longer tied to a facility, we are much less defined by our location on the lake. Rather than convincing people to come to us, we address current community health and wellness needs where they are most prevalent. Through these programs we can help make our community a better place to live.
This approach is not uncommon; nearly 200 YMCAs in the U.S. do not have a fitness facility - 5 in Michigan alone.
The people of Muskegon benefit more as we partner with others in locations throughout the community. What's most important is that YMCA programs designed to build a healthy future for Muskegon continue to serve and grow while assisting those who need them most.
Specifically, we’re focused on key health issues in Muskegon. We continue to offer and expand:
- Safety Around Water aka Pool School teaching over 1,000 third graders throughout the county about water safety, water rescue, rip currents, and ice rescue – a critical need in a community built around water.
- Chronic Disease Prevention Programs addressing some of Muskegon’s most pressing health needs like diabetes prevention, arthritis management, blood pressure management, and post-cancer fitness programs.
- Youth Outreach including the Summer Evening Recreation Program fighting the causes of childhood obesity through physical activity and nutrition coaching and teach life skills and the YMCA values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.
- Nutrition Programs in partnership with the Grand Rapids YMCA. Our Cooking Matters and Nutrition in Action program teach over 2,500 kids and adults about healthy eating including reading food labels, cooking fast healthy meals and shopping for healthy food on a budget.
- Employee Wellness outreach to help members of the community improve their health future through exercise coaching and on-site classes, nutrition education, counseling, and information resources.
- Seaway Run as a vital partnership with Muskegon’s 1 in 21.
Although not unaffected by this milestone event, YMCA Camp Pendalouan will continue to offer high caliber programs that generations of families have enjoyed and come to expect for nearly a century.
Program goals will be even more closely aligned with community outreach initiatives as we embrace the health and safety resources available to us.
The Muskegon YMCA is uniquely capable of making an impact on the health and wellness of our entire community and that is the path we are on. We don’t need a specific building or set of walls – just the passion, people, and commitment to join us in building a healthy future for Muskegon.