Farmington Valley YMCA focuses on community in 2024

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As we start to turn the calendar page on 2023, we are excited about what is to come in 2024.

In 2023, we had our first Middle School Night Out and it was a huge success. On the second Friday of each month, middle schoolers from Granby and surrounding towns take over the Y as soon as it closes.

The kids have access to the pool, climbing wall, the gymnasium where glow-in-the-dark basketball and capture the flag have become quick favorites, a movie, and pizza. It is amazing to watch our middle schoolers move through the Y with confidence and making their own activity choices knowing they are in a safe place with caring adults letting them “be”. Registration is open for December, thru March Middle Schools Night Out.

This year also saw the return of our LiveSTRONG at the Y program. This free 12-week program is designed to support cancer survivors on their wellness journeys as they regain their spiritual, mental, and physical health. This powerful program takes place at 790 YMCAs in 400 communities across the country and has served over 80,000 survivors. For a survivor, knowing you’re not alone is very powerful. This program is funded by the generous donations of our members, local business, survivors themselves, and our Bike for The Battle  returning  this spring!

Call the Y to learn more about LiveSTRONG!

In 2024, the YMCA is continuing to build on its existing community health and wellness initiatives, starting with Mental Health Awareness and Parenting Programming. We are proud to be teaming up with the Farmington Valley Health Department to offer a Free Parenting Class Series. These classes include Anxiety in Children, Depression in Children, and education around Social Media and the developing brain. The Y will be offering free childcare during these classes. We plan to work with the FVHD to offer Suicide Prevention and Narcan training opportunities in the 2024 calendar year as well.

We have also partnered with the local schools to teach Water Safety to some of our youngest community members during the month of May. In the summer we partner with the CMAK foundation to offer our Race4Chase program where youth learn and practice swimming, biking and running, which culminates with a Triathlon in honor of Chase Kowalski.

We are very proud that we have the unique opportunity to offer many free community events at no cost to the community including Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 9, 9–11 a.m. Be sure to join us with a non-perishable item for our local food bank or an unwrapped gift to support our local Social Services toy collection. There will be pancakes and smiles to go around as the Big Guy spreads holiday cheer. Also be on the lookout for other free community events in 2024, including Healthy Kids Day in April and Halloween at the Y in October.

Even though it is getting colder outside, we are proud to be offering Indoor Farmers Markets at the Y on the second Saturday of each month. This past month, we had 17 vendors from 9 a.m. to noon selling items including baked goods, gourmet cookies, Children’s books and activities, items from local farms, handmade soaps and jewelry, ornament kits, African print head wraps, and birdhouses. This is a great opportunity to shop for the upcoming holidays and to support your friends and neighbors who run small businesses. Shopping local strengthens the entire community.

Mark your calendars to join us on Saturday, May 4, for the Annual Granby Road Race. This storied event is a staple of our community. One of Connecticut’s oldest historic road events, the 10K race takes place on a rolling scenic route, partly road and partly through the McLean Game Refuge. The 5K also runs partly on road, and partly through Salmon Brook Park. Both races start just south of Granby Memorial Middle School on Route 10. Registration is currently open.

As a charitable organization, The Y relies on the generosity of so many to help us provide financial assistance to members of our community who need the services and programs the Y has to offer. We are excited to be kicking off our 2024 Annual Campaign in early January. Our goal is to raise $130,000 to support our community. Be on the lookout for more information.

Our Y is grateful for the support we receive from our community and we look forward to serving you in 2024.