Guest Blog: Y Make Waves? - THCOC
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Guest Blog: Y Make Waves?

The TH Chamber would like to welcome Brenda Williams, member of the grassroots group “Y Make Waves?”… the below guest blog was also assisted by YMCA Executive Director Ryan Penrod.

Y Make Waves? Because people who believe in a cause and make waves
make a difference.

“The YMCA pool was the best way to exercise when I was pregnant… my baby enjoyed it too!…My cholesterol has dropped 30 points…. I haven’t used an inhaler in a year …… relaxing in the pool helps with stress and adds fellowship….. winter’s coming and without the pool,  I will experience more pain which leads to addictive painkillers……my lung capacity has doubled with lap swimming……. my children, diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder,  participate in one-on -one aquatic therapy that helps them cope, function, and decrease self-injurious behaviors… no one can see you cry in the pool when pain and grief weigh you down… These are snippets of testimonials from the wide range of people who use the pool for health benefits and socialization. “Y Make Waves?” formed in August to create  awareness of the community gem that had been closed … and now we have become a movement of men and women who are promoting the wellness benefit of the YMCA all
access pool in our community. Would you believe 300 pool patrons walked through the YMCA doors for water therapy and socialization each week before it closed? Those
patrons have few options now for maintaining their necessary health regimen.

We would like to thank 100 Women Who Care who believed in us enough to award us $15,700 for our pool mission. It inspired us to believe the community will support our cause and help us create sustainability. It is a long road to that goal, but we are committed to a fundraising plan to add to their money. Thus, our first fundraiser is a Christmas Cookies and Canvas event. There is an artist in each of us that can create a beautiful, serene winter scene in oil. The cost is $50. Only a few seats with brushes remain. Send reservations to mosilla2@cs.com to paint with us. For those not interested in painting, we will offer a freewill bake sale and raffle for a Christmas wreath and
handmade Santa wine basket as well as some other handmade items. It will be held at Union Christian Church, 5350 East Hulman Drove on Saturday, December 1 from 11:00-1:00. Hope to see you there!

What are the benefits to the community that the YMCA provides? The YMCA of the Wabash Valley is an organization that seeks to strengthen the foundation of our community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y strives each day to meet the needs of our community by providing a nurturing and supportive environment for children in our afterschool program, through health and wellness programs we provide to seniors that help improve their quality of life, and through feeding programs that help prevent children from going home hungry over the weekend. Yet, the Y has suffered some financial difficulty recently and
mechanical issues that caused us to close our indoor swimming pool. Having a pool open and available to the community would allow the Y to provide access to healthy living options, teach the lifesaving skill of swimming and drowning prevention, and provide therapeutic resources to those with physical limitations.

The YMCA is pursuing multiple fundraising options to help procure the funds necessary to reopen the pool and help the YMCA have the funds necessary to provide programs for all. Such a facility in the Wabash Valley Community enhances our quality of life by working to prevent health issues through water activity and drowning prevention, as well as minimize the use of opioids for pain relief. Swim lessons for youth and family swims, even a floating movie night, all incorporate the goals of the pool program. The medical community will be approached to support the physical and mental wellness benefits from water exercise. Testimonials will show a wide range of doctor prescribed water therapy by individuals recovering from injuries or surgery as well as therapeutic benefits for pregnant mothers and children with special needs. Aside from the medical community, businesses, banks, and corporations will work together to challenge one another peer to peer. Businesses have a vested interest in making the community attractive to all current citizens who work and spend money in the community as well as be attractive to people considering a move to the area.

The Y has secured financial support from the city, who is the landlord of the building, and the city has committed money to help cover costs for some maintenance and pool operations. In addition, the YMCA has activated a group of volunteers known as “Y Make Waves?” to help secure fundraising dollars through applying for grants and organizing fundraising events. It is a grassroots fundraising arm for the YMCA, born out of that community wellness need. We believe an all
access community pool is as important to a community as a library!   It is a basic element of community wellness.

Watch for our Facebook page which is one of those fundraising options. It will be our goal to increase awareness in our community and beyond about who the YMCA serves and ask for your monetary support in our mission to create sustainability for the YMCA pool. You might even enjoy the healthy options for eating and exercising in our posts as well as human interest stories. Your contribution would help the Y provide aquatic access to all members of the community, not offered through any other provider. As you can see, the “Y Make Waves?” purpose is deeper than the pool!

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