YMCA of Central Ohio

Bickley YMCA marks decade

The Gahanna community is invited to help celebrate a decade as the Gahanna John E. Bickley YMCA during an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 31.

Wellness-services director Valerie Baumann said the 10-year anniversary celebration would include family Zumba, a bounce house, carnival games, face painting, a Slip'n Slide, a nutrition seminar, field games, a children's hip-hop and other activities.

The open house is free, and the membership enrollment fee will be waived all day, so nonmembers are invited to attend.

Baumann said more than 20 local businesses would be represented, including Giant Eagle and Bob Evans, as well as such small businesses as Shampooch.

Gahanna YMCA executive director Paul Westenheffer said 10 years is a very exciting milestone.

"Our staff and volunteers are proud to celebrate this anniversary and reflect back on the hard work so many people have provided to make our Y a success," he said. "We have been very fortunate to receive tremendous support from the Gahanna community over the years. We appreciate that support and look forward to serving the community for many more years to come."

The Gahanna YMCA opened March 9, 2004.

Westenheffer said the Y has been working with the Ohio State University for outpatient rehabilitation since its opening.

The Gahanna YMCA is volunteer-led, with 21 active board members.

Last year, the Y donated $270,000 to the community, according to Baumann.

She said donations have subsidized memberships, camp registration, swim lessons and program registration for a diabetes prevention program.

"We also have an upcoming program this fall that has already been implemented at other central Ohio YMCAs, called Livestrong, at the YMCA," Baumann said.

The program allows cancer survivors to work with trainers to build strength after treatments.

"We offer this program completely free to cancer survivors, and this is only possible with the support of others," Baumann said. "In addition, this summer, 40 percent of our campers will be able to attend kids camp because of subsidized registration.

Baumann said Gahanna's current membership is 14,140.

Thanks to a partnership with the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, Westenheffer said, the Gahanna YMCA at Clark Hall opened September 6, 2011.

He said the Y offers more than 100 group exercise classes per week, and the largest program is swim lessons, with more than 500 participants per session.

The Gahanna YMCA employs more than 170 people, and it's a host site for the U.S. Navy SEALs training program.

"The Y is community-centered," Westenheffer said. "We respond to community needs through collaboration, program and services."

He said the Y also brings people together, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the gaps in community needs. And the Y nurtures potential.

"We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive," Westenheffer said.

Link to Article

http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/gahanna/news/2014/05/27/bickley-ymca-marks-decade.html