As one of the largest not-for-profit community service organizations in Racine, the Y exists based on the support of the individuals, families, businesses and partner organizations in Racine County. The past few years have been an exciting period of growth in our 142-year history of helping children, families and individuals reach their full potential at every stage of their lives.
The corporate foundation of the Y in Racine continues to be our Lakefront Branch, where the dedicated staff and volunteers provide a broad spectrum of programs supporting the health, wellness and social needs of the community. In 2012, supported by generous gifts from companies and individuals in Racine County, we opened the Sealed Air YMCA branch in Mount Pleasant which expanded our outreach with a world-class facility for meeting the growing population of suburban Racine.
With the added Sealed Air facility, the Y has seen our membership grow from 1,800 to more than 5,000 individuals and families; impacting more than 25,000 people and providing 138 new jobs. This expanded footprint has improved the community’s quality of life, making Racine a more attractive place to work, live and raise families.
This past February, a group of donors asked the Y to reopen the recently closed Bray Center. The new George Bray Neighborhood YMCA is serving people in our community through a variety of individual and family-strengthening programs, and youth and adult education and recreational activities.
The heart and soul of the Y’s presence in Racine is providing programs aligned with the Y’s mission of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The impact can be seen in social programs like the Young Leaders Academy, an after school program that now operates in four elementary schools in the Racine Unified School District; the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) focusing on teaching teens about healthy relationships, financial responsibility and educational goal attainment; Focus on Fathers, a program which now impacts more than 300 families each year by helping fathers connect with their children in healthy activities; and Salsa Sabor Y Salud, a first-of-its-kind program focused on encouraging healthy lifestyles in Latino families.
These programs are helping to address critical social needs in our community. Did you know? The Y provides more than $400,000 in need-based financial assistance to individuals and families who participate in Y programs (and other United Way sponsored social programs) whose participants benefit from access to the Y’s facilities.
The Y is also about healthy living, with outstanding facilities and classes to enhance the wellness of the community. On any given day, you will see children taking their first swimming class; school-age boys and girls participating in the Youth Basketball League; teens being trained as certified lifeguards; adults participating in yoga, Pilates, spin or Zumba; and a community of cancer survivors participating in a Livestrong program. On top of that, the Y also has world class cardiovascular and weight training equipment for heart health and improving your quality of life.
The Y is doing so much more than ever before to improve life in our community. Thank you to the companies and individuals that have been instrumental in the exciting growth of the Y, and thank you for the ongoing financial support that allows us to do our part to make a huge difference in Racine County.
For more information on YMCA membership and programs, or how you can contribute to helping the Y make a difference in our community, stop by one of our branches, call us at 262-634-1994, or visit us on the web at www.ymcaracine.org.