By Carolyn J. Stefanik

Carolyn Stefanik Stefanik

The YMCA has long had the reputation of a ‘swim and gym’ – a place where the community could come to swim, do yoga, lift weights, or play basketball. But, if you look closely at the agency’s promotional materials, you will see that the YMCA’s tag line is The Y. So Much More. What exactly does the ‘more’ include?

The YMCA is more than just a gym. It is a summer camp, a before-and-after school program, a childcare center, a preschool, and a community service organization. Despite the fact that the YMCA is a nonprofit organization that benefits greatly from financial and in-kind support from the community, it does its best to give back to the community and encourage its members to do the same.

The YMCA offers a sponsored membership program, which allows families who cannot afford a full-price membership to receive memberships on a sliding fee scale according to their household income. This allows everyone to access facilities and activities that will improve their physical and emotional health. Also, just last week, participants in the YMCA’s 33rd Annual 5k Race donated nearly 500 nonperishable food items to Ohio Heartland Community Action.

The importance of contributing to the community is prevalent throughout all levels of YMCA programming, The youth who participate in YMCA programming have many opportunities to have positive impacts in the lives of others. The Galion YMCA’s childcare program participates in an annual Trike-A-Thon in order to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This event is coupled with lessons on bike safety. Additionally, appropriate conduct and interpersonal skills are strongly emphasized in all YMCA youth activities.

The YMCA believes that given a solid foundation of respect, generosity, and caring, it can make the community a better place for everyone. For more information about YMCA programming or events, visit or call 419. 468.7754!