Muskegon YMCA set to start new chapter on Third Street; open house planned

Featured on MLive-April 27th, 2016


MUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon YMCA is set to open a new location downtown.

The building located at 1115 Third Street will serve as center for the organization's community-based services. An open house celebrating the milestone will be held at the corner of Third Street and Houston Street from 4-7 p.m. on May 5.

"Our new location on Third Street is the perfect hub for the more than 25 community outreach programs that we have at different sites across the county," said Bruce Spoelman, CEO of the Muskegon YMCA.

"Released from decades of accumulated debt and no longer tied to a facility, we are much less defined by our location. Rather than convincing people to come to us, we're bringing health and wellness programs to where they can have the biggest impact. By focusing on areas of greatest need, we are more successful in making our community a better place to live."



Lake view planned for old YMCA, medical clinic for new campus facility

The Y is now Lakeshore Fitness Center.


The Muskegon Community College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to acquire the former Muskegon Family YMCA located at 900 W. Western Ave for $1.17 million last year.

Several programs will be expanded upon at the new location. They include:

  • Safety Around Water: Also known as "Pool School," the program teaches more than 1,000 third graders every year throughout the county about water safety, water rescue, rip currents, and ice rescue.
  • Chronic Disease Prevention: Programs addressing some of Muskegon's most pressing health needs such as diabetes prevention, arthritis management, blood pressure management, and post-cancer fitness programs.
  • Youth Outreach: After-school programs for physical activity and nutrition to fight the causes of childhood obesity.
  • Nutrition programs: Held in partnership with the Grand Rapids YMCA, the Cooking Matters and Nutrition in Action program teaches more than 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.

"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," Spoelman said. "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."

Brandon Champion is a journalist for Email him and follow him Facebook and Twitter.

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Muskegon women hoping for summer weekend without violence

Featured on WZZM 13 News-June 24th, 2016

MUSKEGON, MICH. - Police and community members are hoping for a summer weekend without violence.  Over the last two weeks two teens have died in gun violence and police are looking now for a man they say is responsible for one of the fatal shootings.

Muskegon Police need help finding Royderrick Collier.  He's known in Muskegon by the street name "Dirty".

Police want to charge him with the fatal shooting from last Saturday of 17 year old Naethon Sims on East Isabella.  He's accused of causing Sims death, and injuring two other teens with bullets.  Those boys are out of the hospital.

Royderrick Collier is considered armed and dangerous.  He may be hiding in the Grand Rapids area. 

If you've seen him call Muskegon police or silent observer at 72-Crime.

The Isabella shooting follows a fatal shooting one week prior.  

16-year-old Jmari Harris was shot and killed in the alley along Laketon Avenue.  A 16-year-old boy has been charged with armed robbery in connection with Harris' death.  

"I was heartbroken," said Pamela Hampton.  The shooting happen right near Hampton's home.  "That kind of stuff we do not need," she said Friday while sitting on her front porch.  

Hampton says already this summer there's been far too much violence.  And she wants to hear more of her wind chimes, and less from the sirens on police cars.  Because for her summer is a time for everyone to relax and have fun.  

"I know they need something to occupy their time instead of fighting and killing each other," said Hampton

There are activities for teens to participate in this summer.  The recreation program offered by the YMCA, Pathfinders, and Boys & Girls Club was created to reduce street violence.  It's now offered at Muskegon Heights two days a week.    

"It is the same program we just switch spots for two days and we have it here," said Shauna Hunter, a site coordinator summer recreation program;

Program coordinators work to keep kids active, healthy, and engaged in positive activities.

The program will take place at two locations: 

Muskegon High School on Mondays through Thursdays from June 20 through August 18. For ages 8-12 it will run from 6pm to 9p.m. and for ages 13-25 it will run from 6pm to 10pm. 

Muskegon Heights High School on Fridays and Saturdays from June 24 through August 20 for ages 8-25 from 1pm to 5pm.  

Hunter wants see more youth take advantage of the activities.  Because it's a safe place, and she cares about the youth in her community.  And hurts when bad things happen to them. 

"We know the kids, we know them first hand, and so we take it personally," said Hunter.


(© 2016 WZZM)

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Muskegon YMCA to hold Thursday open house

Featured on WZZM 13 News-May 3rd, 2016

MUSKEGON, MICH. - Muskegon's YMCA never went away, but it is making a new start in the city. 

Since selling its building on Muskegon Lake to Muskegon Community College, the YMCA has been transforming into an agency focused more on community-based outreach programs. It has since opened a new administrative center on 3rd Street in Muskegon. 

The new location will also be used for healthy cooking classes.

Staff members are holding an open house from 4-7 p.m. at the facility Thursday, May 5.

Their goal is to tell visitors about the more than 25 health and fitness related programs offered by the YMCA across Muskegon County.

(© 2016 WZZM)

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Muskegon Family YMCA Transition Information

Dear Members, Donors and Friends,
Thank you for being a member and friend of the Muskegon Family YMCA. As details continue to be clarified regarding the sale of our building to Muskegon Community College (MCC), we would like to answer some common questions we've received concerning the transition.
What happens to my membership?
There are no planned changes to membership fees or programs offered through the end of 2015 and as of October 1st we will work with MCC for a seamless transition of your membership and membership payments to them.
September 30 will be the last day for your YMCA fitness membership. MCC will be contacting you with more information regarding your new membership.
What does the sale of the building mean for your YMCA?
In a word - "reinvention". 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 will reinvent ourselves once again to provide relevant service to West Michigan.
We're focused on key health issues in Muskegon including programs targeting water safety, chronic disease prevention, obesity in youth and adults, and addressing the unique needs of an aging population.
Where will the Y be located?
We know that our Mission can be achieved in partnership with others and in locations throughout the community. What's most important is that YMCA programs designed to build a healthy future for Muskegon will continue to be available to those who need them most.
For the near future, Muskegon Family YMCA administration will continue operating out of the W. Western facility while we consider alternatives.

What can I do to help?
Continue to support the important work we do in the community. We will contact you in the near future to share details on how we can partner to build a healthy future for Muskegon.
Thank you again for your loyalty and support.

YMCA and MCC Approve Sale of Y Facility on W. Western Ave.

This week, Muskegon Community College (MCC) agreed to purchase the Muskegon Family YMCA property at 900 W. Western Avenue.

The governing boards of the Muskegon Family YMCA and Muskegon Community College approved agreements that will improve the YMCA’s financial position allowing it to continue its transformation beyond the walls of the Y facility. MCC will contract with Power Wellness to operate the W. Western Avenue site.

There are no planned changes to membership or programs offered at the W. Western facility through the end of 2015.

YMCA Board CVO Rod Hayhurst stated, “Over the past 14 months, YMCA CEO Bruce Spoelman has led an operational and financial transformation that provided organizational stability. This transformation, however, was not enough to overcome the long-term debt accumulated from past operations. The YMCA board recognized the opportunity the MCC purchase option provided. Without it, the YMCA faced jeopardizing the ongoing operations of the YMCA at both the W. Western facility and Camp Pendalouan.”

This week’s vote marks an important milestone in the Muskegon YMCA’s history. The Y is more than a building. It’s an association of people. Our members, volunteers and staff have always been the heart of our YMCA. We are people from all walks of life who share a passion for strengthening the foundations of our community and achieving health in spirit, mind and body.

“We will continue our transformation by focusing on signature YMCA programs such as Safety Around Water, Chronic Disease Prevention and youth development outreach” said Spoelman. “Through collaboration with MCC and other community partners we remain committed to building a healthy future for Muskegon.”