YMCA: Strengthening and Enriching the Community

August 6, 2013 Updated: August 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm
photo - Jill Wilke reads to Nola 1, and Arianna, 2, in the walking through 2 year-old care center at the Briargate YMCA
Jill Wilke reads to Nola 1, and Arianna, 2, in the walking through 2 year-old care center at the Briargate YMCA 

It's hard to find a family in Colorado Springs that has never utilized the YMCA in some way or another. Whether its child care, fitness, swim lessons, youth sports or another of the many options available, the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region (or Y) is a valuable member of this community.

Fortunately, the Y is about far more than offering facilities for fitness and daycare. Strengthening the community in the Pikes Peak region has been the primary goal of the Y for 135 years. By fostering and supporting community connections, the Pikes Peak Y is helping to develop strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

"The Y has been successful because we recognize the importance of evolving with the times and staying relevant to the needs of the community," said Dan Dummermuth, President and CEO for YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

In their endeavor to remain valuable, the Y takes pride in providing an array of services and support to people of all ages, abilities and interests. "We're not known for just one thing," said Dummermuth "That makes us unique and able to stick around forever."

Part of what makes the Y so good at meeting the needs of so many, is their determination to create quality experiences for the whole family. As part of that effort, every Y, around the nation, focuses everything they do under "three pillars", healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility.

Healthy living is about offering a safe and supportive place for members to work on becoming healthier. Spirit, mind, and body are all important aspects of healthy living and opportunities for all ages include personal training, group exercise, massage, nutritional consultations and more.

Youth development begins with motivating kids and teens to recognize their potential by promoting self-confidence along with the core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility.

By participating in programs like youth sports, day camps, overnight camps, swim lessons, or numerous other options, kids are able to form positive relationships and build the skills which lead to constructive behavior and better health.

"Families account for around 70 percent of our members," noted Dummermuth. "And a large number of those members are children."

The third pillar, social responsibility, is about responding to issues that influence our community such as, military outreach, senior programs and child care.

"Supporting families who have a deployed loved one, helping folks who are new to the community connect with others, working with seniors to meet their diverse needs from physical to social to spiritual, and giving families experiences that enrich their lives" are just some of the examples Dummermuth gives to describe the ways the Y reaches out to its members.

"We have 860 staff members and thousands of volunteers delivering services and programs to meet the needs of our community," said Dummermuth. "We value our volunteers and appreciate that people want to be involved and truly want to make a difference."

A volunteer board of directors works directly with the executive staff in addition to more than 1,000 associates.

"We are fortunate to have many volunteers with the right expertise to help us out," said Dummermuth. "We have to make sure we are good stewards and deliver on our promise to provide a good place to live and raise a family"

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