On Monday, June 3, 2019, the YMCA of the Suncoast on Mariner Blvd hosted their 30th-anniversary celebration. This event was an all-day event with multiple activities including member appreciation, a community open house where anyone could stop in and check out what the YMCA has to offer, tours of YMCA, the anniversary ribbon cutting and to end the day, a social by the pool where many shared what the YMCA meant to them. They had pictures on display to show how far the YMCA has come in thirty years and members shared information and experiences. There have been many changes over thirty years and the only original features still in use at the Y in Hernando County are the swimming pool and lockers.
The YMCA is all about helping people learn, grow, and thrive. They offer multiple programs, such as summer camps for kids, swim lessons, before and after school care. There is “LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA” for cancer survivors and their families. This is a free 3-month membership to all cancer survivors and their families. They get customized group training and social group support with other cancer survivors at no cost thanks to generous donations to the YMCA annual campaign. The academic achievement program assists kids struggling with certain subjects in school to help them improve. They also offer free memberships for kids in foster care. They are willing to work with anyone by offering a financial assistance program, “which is a sliding fee scale designed to fit each individual's financial situation.” The ‘SilverSneakers’ program, for adults 65 and older are included with most Medicare Advantage plans. The YMCA in Hernando County is one of the gyms that offer this program. This program offers fitness classes like water aerobics by trained instructors and full access to the gym.
The YMCA has a fun, friendly, social, and safe environment. All the staff is there to help you accomplish and succeed. “Many members feel like this is a second family, they feel a sense of belonging, and many friendships have been built here at the YMCA,” said Amber Slusser Executive Director. The Y serves multiple age groups all the way from six weeks old to 99; welcoming everyone. As the community grows, the YMCA serves to bring people together to better themselves, build friendships, and grow as a community.
At the ribbon cutting and social many people came together to help celebrate the last 30 years and share stories of how the Y has helped them or impacted their lives in some way, “The YMCA has shown me how to live a healthier lifestyle, how to keep active, and has bettered my health. Since joining I am down 32 pounds and my cholesterol has gone down. I have also built many friendships being a member,” said Karen Karas a member of the YMCA and three-time cancer survivor.
“The Y has impacted me in multiple ways, I have met so many new people, I have been able to help give back, and my daughters have been able to grow up here as well,” Amber Slusser said.
The YMCA offers an encouraging and supportive environment, connecting people from all around the community. “I have grown up around the YMCA. I love being a part of the YMCA and being able to help make it a better place alongside and surrounded by people who want to make the community they are a part of a better environment,” Scott Goyer CEO of the YMCA said. “The YMCA is my life, a place I grew up in and a place my kids have grown up in as well,” Scott said.
The 30th anniversary of the YMCA in Hernando County brought everyone together in a fun social way. The YMCA has grown so much in 30 years and will continue to grow and change more as time goes on, but one thing that will remain the same is the way they help people learn, grow, and thrive. Stop in at your local YMCA at 1300 Mariner Boulevard to learn all about the programs offered, to build new friendships, and to make new memories. The YMCA offers something for everyone.