Family YMCA awarded $25,000 LANS grant

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By Special to the Monitor

The Family YMCA was awarded a grant of $25,000 from Los Alamos National Security, LLC’s Community Giving Grant Program on Dec. 16 to assist in an expanded community health initiative.

This grant will assist the YMCA with a cardio-wellness expansion and an improved strength-conditioning area to keep pace with families, youth and adults who turn to the YMCA for health and wellness activities and programs.

It will allow the YMCA to leverage existing funds, and funds currently being raised in an annual campaign, for upgrades to the facility that is been in existence for more than 53 years.  

The YMCA’s commitments to community and youth programs have impacted its ability to make needed facility improvements.

During 2007, the YMCA awarded approximately $60,000 to families and individuals in need. Historically, the YMCA has provided assistance to people who are looking to improve their lifestyle, fitness or family life.

The YMCA also provides scholarships to those in need of after school or summer childcare.

The YMCA’s primary services include a wellness facility; youth, family, and community programming; after school care and summer camp programming in Los Alamos, and teen recreational and academic programming in Española.

In 2007, the YMCA served 2,289 youth and 841 adults in programs for a total reach of 3,130 non-duplicate individuals.

In addition to programs, the YMCA currently serves 2,453 individuals through memberships comprised of residents from Los Alamos and White Rock, Rio Arriba County, Santa Fe County and other areas.

The total number of individuals served by programs and membership is 5,583.

Additionally, the YMCA’s largest user group is Los Alamos Public School employees (340 out of 2,453 members), who have a free wellness plan at the YMCA. In turn, LAPS provides space at each elementary school in Los Alamos for the YMCA to run the After School Program.

The YMCA’s facility is not supported by tax revenue, and revenue left at the end of the year is reinvested back into community programming.

Program fees, memberships, donations from individuals and local businesses, and support from the United Way of Northern New Mexico minimally cover the cost to stay a viable part of the community of Los Alamos and now in Española with the opening of the YMCA Teen Center.

The YMCA has a $1.6 million dollar budget, employs 30 full-time staff, 60 part-time staff and provides more than 78 recreational, sports, and health and well-being programs.

As a member of Activate America – the YMCA’s response to the nation’s growing health crisis – The Family YMCA is seeking to provide better opportunities for people of all ages in their pursuit of health and well-being in spirit, mind and body.

 In 2007, the YMCA was selected to become a partner of SilverSneakers.

A nationwide program that provides seniors with free memberships to fitness facilities, SilverSneakers offers an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and socially oriented programming that allows older adults to take greater control of their health.

“An expanded cardio wellness area will allow more young people to participate in fitness, more families to enjoy quality time in a safe environment, and more seniors to participate in programs that keep them healthy and engaged,” Executive Director Linda Daly said. “We are delighted that LANS has chosen to partner with us in this effort to address community health and wellness.”