YMCA: Open House be­ing held Oct. 1-8 wel­comes new and old mem­bers

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By Charles Pritchard cpritchard@onei­dadis­patch.com

ONEIDA, N.Y. » For 25 years, the Oneida Fam­ily Y has been part of the com­mu­nity, and to cel­e­brate, they’re open­ing their doors.

“Ev­ery year, we do an open house event,” said multi-team leader Stephanie Neff, but this year they wanted to make it ex­tra spe­cial.

From Oct. 1-8, the pub­lic is in­vited to try Y for free, tour the fa­cil­ity, par­tic­i­pate in events and see first hand what the Y has to of­fer them.

Satur­day, Oct. 7 is the Y’s big birth­day bash, fea­tur­ing pre­sen­ta­tions on tra­di­tional archery his­tory by Ron Pat­ter­son from War­rior Archery at Oneida Her­itage; a youth wildlife craft ac­tiv­ity and pre­sen­ta­tion by Camille Warner, con­ser­va­tion ed­u­ca­tor at the Great Swamp Con­ser­vancy; bounce houses, pick­le­ball, open swim; and the Holy Smo­ques bar­beque food truck.

“It’s the Oneida YMCA’s 25 an­niver­sary, but for me it’s my 23rd,” said CEOHank Leo. “It’s been in­cred­i­ble to watch the Y grow from what it orig­i­nally started as, which was a dream by some lo­cal com­mu­nity lead­ers who wanted to bring the YMCA here.”

A fea­si­bil­ity study was con­ducted more than two decades ago to see how many peo­ple would sign up for the YMCA and if the com­mu­nity would sup­port it. When the num­bers came back, they didn’t look good and the study sug­gested that the YMCA not be built, Leo said.

In­stead, the com­mu­nity went along with it any­way. The orig­i­nal Y was built on do­nated land from the for­mer Oneida City Hos­pi­tal, and when the time came to clear the land, sur­vey and start dig­ging, lo­cal res­i­dents vol­un­teered to help.

To­day, the Y is an in­te­gral part of the com­mu­nity.

Mem­ber Carol Whit­ney likes to keep her­self ac­tive and par­tic­i­pates in a num­ber of classes at the Y.

“I needed to get mov­ing again,” she said, not­ing how par­tic­i­pat­ing has helped her back and legs. “I do the pre/post sur­gi­cal class and in the af­ter­noon I do the young at heart aer­o­bics class for se­niors and I also do the sil­ver sneak­ers clas­sic aer­o­bic class. I love it.”

Whit­ney stressed the im­por­tance and need to keep mov­ing and ac­tive, some- thing that echoes with the roots of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Es­tab­lished in the mid1800s, the YMCA was cre­ated as a re­sponse to the chang­ing times and liv­ing con­di­tions of the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion, and has only grown in size and scope since its in­cep­tion.


A mem­ber of the Oneida Fam­ily Y does laps at the pool on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 27, 2017.

Oneida Fam­ily Y mem­bers use the gy­monWed­nes­day, Sept. 27, 2017.


Oneida Fam­ily Y mem­bers par­tic­i­pate in a class on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 27, 2017.

A mem­ber of the Oneida Fam­ily Y does laps at the pool on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 27, 2017.

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