Spotlight On Y Families - The Y is Community

Your donations to the YMCA of Greater Dayton help people and families in your neighborhood. Here are just a few Y spotlight members that show why the Y is a part of your local community.


Achieving a Healthier Lifestyle with the Y

When joining the YMCA, the Watkins family discovered a purpose and plan to a healthier and active lifestyle.

Justin and his family utilize the YMCA’s many benefits including the fitness center, ActivTrax program and the child watch program.

“As a family we truly wanted to adopt health as a lifestyle,” Justin continues, “The Y has offered us a place where we are all together enjoying what we are doing. While my wife and I work on our fitness goals, my three year old son and one year old daughter work on having fun together in the child watch center. It allows us to all enjoy ourselves while in the Y’s family atmosphere. We are grateful for the Y membership and financial assistance through their scholarship to help us maintain our health and fitness goals."


The Y is our Extended Family

As members of the YMCA and participants of the YMCA Scholarship  program the Christmon Family utilizes the YMCA’s services to make sure their children are safe, happy and healthy.  

“The YMCA has been a saving grace for my family,” says Angel. “My children have learned to swim, play soccer, eat healthy, and have discovered better school habits at the Y. They especially enjoy the summer day camps.”

Angel continues, “The YMCA staff have always been like extended family. It’s a comfort to know that while my husband and I are at work, my children experience that ‘extended family’ feeling. It is wonderful to have people I trust look after and care for my children.

Angel’s family encourage people to contribute to the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds the scholarship program. “I am grateful for the help I was able to receive - without it my family would not be able to function. We are a family that has grown together over the years and part of that is our involvement with the YMCA.”


Finding Fitness, Family and Friends at the Y

Jim not only found fitness and friendship when he joined the Y eight years ago, he also found his future wife, Velma!

Jim states, “I first joined the YMCA to stay in shape and found that in addition to the fitness element, I met a lot of nice people. These people became great friends and one even became my lovely wife, Velma. We married two years ago.“

Both Jim and Velma participate in many of our programs such as Silver Sneakers, beach ball volleyball, dinner events, and both serve as members of the Senior Advisory Committee. Jim adds. “The YMCA has been a great addition to my life. I look forward to working out on a regular basis. The Y is one of the best kept secrets in the area. The staff is always friendly and courteous and often go out of their way to accommodate a member’s request. “

Velma likes the fact that the Y offers a safe environment to walk, exercise and socialize. “Being aware of the need to stay physically fit as a person ages while joining others in a similar situation at the Y has made it not only easy but enjoyable to be a member,” Velma states. “The Y is a great incentive to get my day started in a positive way.”


The Road To Wellness

”Rob wanted to start coming to the Fairborn Y because he is a Type 2 Diabetic.
He exercises for his health, and to control his diabetes. He drives a school bus for Fairborn and has to control his diabetes not only for his health, but for his job.”

The Ryan family has been involved with the YMCA since the fall of 2013, and has participated in many of the programs provided by the Y. “We both use the exercise room and take classes such as Zumba and TRX. I have gone through the Move 2 Lose program and I’m ready to start a PT class in June. We are also going to start bringing our grandson, Zach, to the swimming pool.”

The Y has made a huge impact for their family. “For Rob, making exercise at the Y a regular routine has made a huge difference in his diabetes numbers. They have greatly decreased and his doctor is thrilled!” said Lori. “I have learned to love exercise! By going through the Move 2 Lose program, I’ve lost 15 pounds and several inches.” Both Rob and Lori have made exercise a priority in their lives and have made several new friends along the way.


A Positive Impact For All

“The Y always has been a place we can go to let go of the day’s stresses or even to get our days started out right,” explains Jessica Worley. “I know it’s been a positive place for my family and I am grateful.”

The Worley Family has been involved with many programs at the Y over the years. “The Y has impacted our lives in so many ways. Swim lessons have allowed my children to build their confidence and social levels, not to mention my confidence in knowing they are learning life-building skills,” Jessica continues.

“At one time things were really difficult for us and our well pump at home broke. Knowing we were able to come to the YMCA to take a shower with clean water until the pump was fixed was a huge comfort.

Our family benefits from the scholarship provided by the Annual Campaign, we take part in swim lessons, youth basketball, fitness classes and more. We are grateful for the assistance. Without the help, our family would not be able to continue our membership.”


Fitness, Friendships & Fun at the YMCA

“The YMCA has not only given us the opportunity to improve our health, but has allowed us to gain many friendships over the years,” exclaims Jana Novy. “We are still good friends with a family we met back in 2008 with the Gym & Swim program.”

The Novy Family has been involved with many programs at the Y over the last six years. “I enjoy walking the track and working out at my own pace in the fitness room. My husband and I watch our daughter at swim lessons, she truly enjoys those and is now at the Fish level. Mark enjoys the fitness room and we all enjoy the game room. Cheyenne has even joined the Kid Fit classes and is now able to join us in the fitness area,” Jana continues.

“The YMCA gives us alone or family time, depending on our needs, as well as the chance to learn from others. There are so many things to learn and plenty of helpful staff around if you have questions. It gives us a place to unwind and focus on our health. We can exercise and workout without fear of embarrassment—everyone is different and works out in their own way and ability. We are comfortable at the Y and feel better when we make time to go.

Our family benefits from the scholarship provided by the Annual Campaign, especially our daughter and her swim lessons. She sees two specialists at Children’s Hospital for various health reasons. They want her to swim for the fitness benefit and the scholarship helps us to afford the lessons for her. We are grateful for the assistance. Without the help, our family could not continue our membership.”


A Journey To Health, Happiness and Friendship

“Our family benefits greatly from the YMCA,” exclaims Jena Patton. “From my lifestyle transformation and knowledge learned from the Y trainers to my son’s new friends he has made through swim lessons, tae-kwon-do, and youth baseball, our family is excited to go to the Y.”

The Patton’s and their two children have been involved with many programs at the YMCA. Jena began her personal weight loss journey on her own, but soon joined the group classes and eventually Move2Lose to assist her in her healthier lifestyle choices. Her oldest son, Jack, has even joined her in training and completed his first kids marathon last May! 

Jena states, “We are SO THANKFUL for the Annual Campaign scholarship. With my husband finishing school and trying to secure a full-time position, we needed the extra help to maintain our YMCA membership. Without the help and our membership, I would not have been as successful in my journey to a healthier lifestyle. Jack would not have been able to take swim lessons or youth sports. Also, my  youngest son enjoys the nursery when I NEED a break for a ‘me-time’ workout.” Jena has lost 75 pounds with the help of her Y family and is looking forward to becoming a fitness counselor to help others. She adds, “I am so excited about my journey and even more excited to see how the Lord has used my story to inspire others. It’s very humbling.”


Eight Years and Counting

The Arcuri family joined the YMCA of Greater Dayton eight years ago and have utilized many of our programs over the years. 

“We have made many new friends and relationships with great people over the years,” exclaimed Kevin Arcuri. “We come to the Y just about every day and our kids enjoy it as well.”

The Arcuri’s and their three children have been involved with many programs at the Y over the last eight years. Youth sports, childcare, fitness classes, aquatics, the cardio name the program and it seems the Arcuri family has been involved.

Kevin says that the relationships formed at the Y and encouraging a healthy lifestyle are two of the biggest impacts the Y has had on his family. He volunteers at the Y to set a good example and hopes to be a good role model for his kids. Implementing a foundation of good eating habits and healthy habits are important lessons he wants to pass on to his children and he hopes growing up at the Y is way for them to get a good start.

When asked why he and his family give to the Y's Strong Kids Campaign, Kevin replied, “The Y is a great family-oriented place that focuses on strong family values. The Y provides so much to the local community and the overall well-being of its members. Donating and volunteering at the Y is a great way to encourage values and strong ties with your neighbors and other Y members.”


Growing Miracles Daily

"I just really want to say that I LOVE the YMCA and thank you for all that your organization does for families,” Belinda exclaims enthusiastically. “Four years ago I gave birth to my fifth child, Jacob. While some may not see that as a miracle, I had been told that I could not have any more children after my fourth child was born, 13 years earlier. Currently, my children’s ages are from 25 years old down to age four.
We joined the YMCA in 1993 and through various moves, maintained our membership. In 2001, we returned to the Dayton area and of course, re-joined the YMCA. We not only utilized the youth sports, we needed the after-school care and summer day camps. As my four older kids grew, they continued in team sports and finally became old enough to use the wellness center (this was a huge milestone for them).
After Jacob was born, I had to return to work and the ONLY place that came to mind was the YMCA!  We felt so comfortable with the environment and the qualified staff and were impressed with the entire program. We applied for a scholarship. Without the help of the tuition assistance, I would not have been able to return to work.
The Y has been an enormous blessing to my family over the last 20 years and I’m thankful that my five personal miracles have been fortunate enough to participate in the YMCA programs and activities. It’s a safe, fun and healthy environment where friendly faces of all ages have given our family a place to belong and grow stronger. Thank you so much!"


Hardworking Families Deserve A Chance

The Daniels Family joined the YMCA three years ago and happily shared their story. “We are hardworking parents, just like the majority of the families out there today,” states Carmela, mother of two. “ We initially needed child care for our son, Mekhi, then added to our family last year with the birth of our daughter, Morgan. The Y was the perfect answer for us - a stable, safe and loving environment to nurture our children.

The teachers provide an education, along with a caring environment. They are essentially the secondary caregivers for our kids, while we work during the day to provide for our family.

Financially, the scholarship allows us to continue to work and care for our kids, we couldn’t afford the child care otherwise. We do our best to attend all the Y events and support the YMCA, they’ve given us peace of mind. We know our kids are being cared for and learning skills that will help them once they are ready for school.”


Encouraging Everyday Families To Excel

Your donation to the Y helps people and families in your neighborhood. The Eneix Family joined the YMCA two years ago - they shared their story with us.

“We are just your normal, everyday, working family,” states Brandon Eneix. “My wife and I both are working parents, it takes two incomes to make ends meet. We needed a child care program that we trusted to help with our three kids afterschool until one of us could get home. That’s when we turned to the YMCA.

Now our children are involved in several YMCA programs, including aquatics, sports and enrichment programs, as well as the child care. Along with a boost in confidence, our kids have shown a great improvement in their sports abilities, and are more enthusiastic to try out new skills and ideas. I attribute this to dedication of the Y staff in working with the kids
and families.

The Strong Kids Campaign allows working families to utilize the YMCA and experience the programs that we just couldn’t afford on our own.

I would also like to thank everyone that donated to the YMCA, even a small donation helps out everyday families like ours.”


Enriching Families and Strengthening Communities

Bridgette and her grandson Jaymes utilize the Y to enjoy family time together. Bridgette shares their story.   

“We enjoy the many opportunities that are available to us at the YMCA. As a Y member, I attend the classes and I’ve also enrolled my grandson, Jaymes, in many of the enrichment classes. He has been in the YMCA summer daycamp for four years and enjoys basketball and swimming at the Y. In addition, I personally go to the Y to enjoy socialization with other members that are working on the same goal as myself—better health, toning and shedding pounds to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

The YMCA encourages family values and that is important to me. Our activities combine quality family time—exercising, swimming, basketball (or shooting hoops as my grandson calls it). The Y also offers community sponsored events that strengthen neighbors and relationships like family night.

Small communities in particular need the YMCA, because it offers activities that are affordable that otherwise might not be available in that area. Families have tight budgets and need a resource for safe, fun family programs and the Y is there for everyone.

By donating time, money or resources to your local YMCA, you are investing in the future of families and communities as a whole. With the financial assistance from the Strong Kids Campaign, summer daycamp and enrichment programs are available to Jaymes and my family. It’s good to know your child is attending a quality summer camp or program and that you can still utilize it during this tough economy.”


Building a Child's Confidence is Priceless

Renee Bostick shares her story - “When we joined the YMCA, my children, Thomas and Breanna, started participating in swim lessons. Thomas has difficulties with dealing with his frustration and anxiety and attends a special needs school. When I received the first report on Thomas and his progress in the class, I cried because I was so happy. The evaluation said how much they enjoyed having Thomas in class and liked his personality. They stated he always listens and is eager to learn. This was the first activity in which Thomas was completely successful. It has also led to Thomas knowing he can be successful in other activities. It is nice to watch Thomas in swim lessons because it is a rare opportunity to see him completely happy and able to follow directions consistently. He looks forward to swim lessons and is making really good progress.  

We have seen a significant behavior change at school and we do believe swim lessons has played a large part in his behavioral change. His self esteem was amazingly different after just two short months in the classes. It has now been over a year and Thomas has been moved from adaptive swim lessons to swimming with his peers during class.  The swimming staff at the YMCA have played a vital role in teaching Thomas not only swimming skills but also social skills such as taking turns. We want to thank you so very much for accepting our family into the Y. Without financial aid, we would not have been able to give Thomas or Breanna the opportunity to be involved in swimming.”


Offering Peace of Mind for Single Parent Families

Terry Flora utilizes the YMCA of Greater Dayton before and afterschool child care for his daughter, Lydia.  “As a single father, I have peace of mind and assurance that she is well loved and taken care of while I work,” Terry stated. “Without the help of the YMCA’s Strong Kids scholarship, I would not be able to involve Lydia in the child care, summer day camp and other programs at the Y. Lydia loves the staff there and it has brought stability to our lives. The positive impact the Y has had on our family is without measure.”

Terry continued, “I would encourage others to invest in making a positive difference in the lives of other families in the area by supporting the Strong Kids Campaign. I am here to tell them, their contributions are appreciated and they matter! God willing, one day I will be in a position to help more families like my own by becoming a Strong Kids campaign supporter.”


The McCommons Family Appreciates your Support

The McCommons Family is an example of a growing population of grandparents that are helping raise their grandchildren.

They utilize the YMCA of Greater Dayton childcare for their three school-age grandsons.  "When my grandchildren came to live with us the daycare issue became a top priority," Marlene stated. "The YMCA's Strong Kids scholarship helped our family afford quality daycare and allowed us to give the boys a safe and secure environment. Not only did they provide a safe environment, they truly care about the boys...from the beginning, the Y was both understanding and helpful."

Marlene continued, "If it wasn't for scholarship programs like Strong Kids at the YMCA, I don't know where people would turn in times of crisis. It's encouraging to know that there are programs to help those in need."


Meet Your Neighbors

From the pool and aerobics to soccer and homeschool gym classes, the Ripbergers have utilized the Y for over three years.

Kathy says, "I make it to the Y three or four times a week.  My kids love it.  They love going to the childwatch program and look forward to it.  The kids know that we go to the Y because it is important for our physical, mental, and spiritual health.  I cannot imagine not having the option of going to the Y."

Without assistance from the Y, the Ripberger Family would struggle to maintain their Y membership. "The Y really has been such a blessing to us," continues Kathy. "We have benefitted from the scholarship because without it, we could not do it. One salary does not allow for many extras."

Kathy and her family are grateful to the Y donors. "We are thankful for the generosity of so many members of the Ys in our area. This economy makes everything a little tighter, every decision to donate a little tougher. If you are a regular supporter, first I would say thank you! If you haven't given and are in a position to, then I encourage you to try it. You will never know whom you may be helping. It may be the person on the treadmill right beside you."


The Beal Family Loves the Sense of Belonging

"Initially we joined the Y for the youth programs," says Jeri. "We wanted our kids to take swim lessons and participate on the various teams. Then we started using the fitness portion of the Y."

Jeri and her husband, Brandon, have both participated in the Move 2 Lose program. To date, Jeri has lost over 100 pounds, ran two half marathons and one full marathon. "I pushed myself like I never have before. My self esteem and self worth have multiplied 100 fold. I could never have done it alone. The trainers, directors and Y members have been a constant support team."

Without assistance from the Y, the Beal kids wouldn't have been able to participate in the various sports, including fencing and gymnastics. Jeri states, "We are a typical middle class American family...loving, hard-working and happy. The Y gives us a safe place to share our lives with others. Giving even $5 a month to Strong Kids keeps the Y running and helps every member utilize the Y branches."

The Beal family is just one of the thousands of Dayton area families the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign supports.


Going Strong Since 2001

Thanks to your support of the Strong Kids Campaign, they are still valued Y members.

"The family atmosphere and programs were two of the main reasons we joined the Y." says Tina. "Working out, volleyball and swim lessons are programs we participate in regularly." When financial difficulty struck the family, the Strong Kids Campaign helped the family remain Y members and kept their family healthy.

"Our son, Boston, has a few special needs and swimming lessons have helped tremendously with his confidence and self-esteem. Also, my husband, Brian and Boston both have heart problems. Brian has undergone three open heart surgeries and Boston one. Exercising at the Y has helped both of them to live a healthier life. We truly appreciate the Y and it's family values. If you are looking to support a non-profit, please support the Y!"