Socialization is one of the most important aspects of the human experience. It makes us feel good to know we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, and that someone else is looking out for us as we go about our lives. So when the Duneland YMCA cut the ribbon on their newly renovated Cardio Center, they invited their community to celebrate with them.
The Duneland Y wanted people to know they care.
Dave Kasarda, the Executive Director of the YMCA, said, “To grow the membership and meet the needs of the community, our equipment needs to be modern.”
The old Cardio Center had faulty equipment from the 70s. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it would not. The back of the room had thick cabinets lining it just below the windows, blocking sunlight and taking up enough space for another two rows of machinery.
When they replaced the equipment with state-of-the-art models, the Y also tore down the invasive cabinets, repainted the walls, and added a run of flooring.
Past Board President Laurie Wehner-Evans said, "The renovations were driven by the need for new equipment for the members. A healthy community is one vision of the YMCA. It’s not just about working out, it’s about socializing. It’s about family=centered activity.”
They want to bring more people into the fold. The YMCA is a place where everyone in the community can learn respect for themselves, their bodies, and each other. The Y sets the example for this by partnering with other organizations that share their passion for community growth.
The Duneland Chamber of Commerce and YMCA partnership has been forging monthly events for the community for years.
President Maura Durham said, “The Duneland Chamber was here today to conduct a ribbon cutting in recognition of a great investment in the quality of life for the Duneland Community. All of our organizations make each other stronger. We’re here to support them and they support us in our mission, which is to make the community a better place to live in.”
Ideas in Motion Media is another partner of both the YMCA and the Chamber.
Kasarda said, “We started partnering with you since the beginning of PortageLife. We have a common mission: focus on the good in life. It’s not just the big leaders that matter to us, it’s the grinders. The people.”
Of course, the people are the Y’s most vital partners. The Cardio Center remodel was done for them.
Wehner-Evans and current YMCA Board President Bob Capehart said they had been having community forums in order to get the community’s opinion on a proposed project: renovating the entire facility next. It needed to be bigger, better. They were considering building an entirely new building instead of remodeling.
Wehner-Evans said, “We don’t want to make decisions based on what we think, we want to make decisions based on what they think.”
“That is where our memberships come from,” agreed Capehart.
The community had a lot of ideas, including new programs and an outdoor pool.
Excitement about the Cardio Center had already stirred amongst the members. They waited a week and a half for the room to reopen after renovations. The new equipment has even brought people back in to renew their memberships.
I guess it is good to be reminded of the commitment the Duneland YMCA has to its membership in our community. For more information on the programs and activities offered by the Duneland Family YMCA, click here.