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Letter to the editor

Editor, It seems like we just cut the ribbon to our new location at 154 Thunderbird Drive.  Our brand new 10,000 square foot facility seemed so BIG next to our little white building on 10055 Ford Ave. Site 3B, where the YMCA had resided in for the previous 10 years.  We moved with excitement, added more equipment, larger classes, and exciting new family programs.
Now just five short years later, we are even more excited that our need to expand is ever growing.  The Richmond Hill YMCA is so blessed to be part of a community that sees the value in family programming and supports our efforts to keep it thriving.
We moved to our current location with about 156 family units in November of 2009 and now have over 1200 family units. This equates to about 2500 to 3000 members!  With our new expansion of an additional 4000 square feet we will be able to do so much more.  Our most mature member is 87 years old and our youngest is six weeks enjoying our beautiful child care facilities.  This expansion will enable us to add more room for our  free Military child care for deployed spouses, and our mother’s mornings out for our mom’s who  need an occasional  break.  We will also be adding more classes including  jiu jitsu for kids and adults presented by a friend of the YMCA  from Fort Stewart, self defense for women, YOGA, Pilates, Bar, and functional fitness.  We will also be expanding our gymnastics and dance and home school PE areas. We offer character development within our youth sports to ensure that all children see the value in traits such as Caring, Responsibility, Respect, and Honesty.  We are so proud that we are more than just a gym; we are a place where the whole family can come for a wholesome environment that offers total wellness for everyone.
The response to our expansion campaign has been overwhelming.  South State Bank kicked this off with a matching gift of $50,000 that made a huge impact!  The community has come forth and we have surpassed the match and we are now on our way to raising the full $170k needed for this expansion.  I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone in this community for showing so much support in what we are trying to accomplish.  It is more than an expansion of a location.  It is an expansion for our community to have more for their families and their teens and their grandchildren to do.  It is a place where families can actually come together and spend time together at our family fun nights, our family fitness classes, and our family centered children’s programs.   The Richmond Hill community is about families and the YMCA is here to make sure that we do all we can to enhance that family experience in a healthy and affordable way.  Thank you so much again, Richmond Hill for your support and for standing up for the values that we know are so important to families today.

— Mary Arocha
Richmond Hill
Arocha is executive branch director of the Richmond Hill YMCA.

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