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Lauren Acker

Lauren Acker

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (November 13, 2019) – On Saturday, November 2nd 12 swimmers on the Riptide Swim team attended their first swim meet of the season. The meet was held at the Bedford Family YMCA against teams from Alleghany, Altivista and Bedford.  Two swimmers qualified for the Upper Southeast Regional YMCA Meet, Landon Akers qualified in the 100 Breast and the 100 Fly; Brayden Shirley qualified in the 50 fly and he cut time in all three of his individual events. 

On Saturday, November 9th The Riptides took eight swimmers to Eden competing in the Veteran’s Day Invitational.  Overall the team came in sixth out of seven teams.  The Riptide boys came in third overall and the girls came in fifth.  Landon Akers, Chase Davis, Alec Dow and Brayden Shirley cut time in all three events while competing. 

"The team has been working very hard in the pre-season practices, I am glad that the athletes are seeing that work pay off,” says Head Coach and Aquatics Director for the Franklin County Family YMCA, Kameron Kitts,  “we have several kids who are close to Regional times, it will be exciting to see how many qualify this year."

The next meet is being held on November 16th at the Danville Family YMCA for their Pilgrim Plunge Invitational attending this year is Eden, Southside, Martinsville, Altivista and Danville YMCAs. For more information on this and other aquatics programs at the Franklin County YMCA please contact Kameron Kitts at (540)489-9622 or kkitts@franklincountyymca.org

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Rocky Mount, Va. (October 30, 2019) – The Y is partnering with Goodwill to host their Community School-to-Work Transition Program this school year! Goodwill’s School-To-Work program is a prevocational program that combines skills-building with real-world, on-the-job training and wage earning.  The career pathway is designed for high school students receiving special education as they transition into the workforce.

This program, and the community partnerships involved, ensures these young adults receive the work experience and skill sets that allow them to gain employment in the future. Students also receive education credits towards their high school diploma for taking part in this program.

”We are so thankful for the helpful and always smiling volunteers from Goodwill! Mornings at the Rocky Mount Y provide an excellent environment for these young adults to gain valuable work experience and self-confidence because our members and staff are engaging and volunteers receive praise for their hard work every day," says Victoria Brown, Ferrum YMCA Director and volunteer program coordinator.

The Y and Goodwill also partnered over the summer on the Summer Pre-Employment Transition Program where participants took care of the playground up the hill from the Y. Together, The Y and Goodwill, re-mulched the playgrounds and fixed a playground obstacle to be safer for use.

“The Community School-to-Work Transition Program students are currently enjoying developing job skills while helping at the local YMCA! The students look forward to coming to the YMCA every day and feel appreciated by the staff and community daily,” says Crystal Wade, Goodwill Pre-Employment Specialist.

Upon successful completion of the School-to-Work program, individuals will be referred to supportive employment, occupational training or job placement. The Franklin County Family YMCA is always seeking opportunities to positively impact young adults in the community; the partnership with Goodwill perfectly aligns with the Y mission.

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (October 18, 2019) – October is national bullying prevention month. Bullying is a key social issue that impacts many kids and their ability to reach their full potential. Whether the bullying is physical, verbal or online, those who are bullied can suffer negative effects, including depression, poor performance in school, physical illness and increased risk for suicide.

Everyone involved with young people has a role to play in preventing this damaging behavior. One way the Franklin County YMCA’s SAFE before and after school program helps prevent bullying is by making sure staff and students display qualities of an “upstander” – someone who recognizes when bullying is happening and safely works to stop it.

Promoting positive behaviors like being an upstander can be part of the solution to bullying. At the Franklin County Y, modeling positive behaviors is foundational to everything we do. Our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility form the roots of our work, helping young people become the changemakers our communities need to become strong. “A big part of what we do in our after school program is make young leaders. A huge part of that is to give them guidance on how to treat others and how important it is to be kind.” Jamie Stump, Childcare Coordinator.

YMCAs nationwide work hard every day to provide safe spaces for children to grow and thrive. This is part of our commitment to helping develop and activate young people so they can transform communities today and in the future.

Three actions anyone can take to prevent bullying is to treat others kindly and with respect, interrupt and report bullying incidents, and show support for the bullied person. Learn how to support victims of bullying by visiting ymca.net/membernews. To learn more about Franklin County YMCAs SAFE before and after school program contact Jamie Stump at (540)489-9622 or jstump@franklincountyymca.org.

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Rocky Mount, Va. (July 18th 2019) –The Franklin County Family YMCA and Goodwill teamed up to do improvements to a local playground and give young people valuable work experience. The six week program was a part of Goodwill’s Pre-employment Transition Services and had 5 local high school students work with Y staff to mulch, repair and improve the community playground located near the Y on Technology Drive. Despite the warm temperatures the group was determined to see the project through to completion and were very proud of their accomplishments.

"It was an incredible experience to work with this program and accomplish our goal. Together, we made a difference in our community and bonded through service," says Victoria Brown Branch Director with the YMCA.

Students in the program also have the opportunity to take part in classroom sessions where they learned how to find employment opportunities in their community, perform well in a job interview, and earn an income during the summer by serving local organizations. 

This partnership came about when Goodwill reached out to the community looking for locations for the program to serve. The Y contacted Goodwill to meet and further discuss the opportunity. After a quick meeting they began working towards making the program a reality.

After the success of the program the Y and Goodwill have already started planning for next year’s project and look forward to working together again. 

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (JULY 5, 2019) – By LEIGH PROM at Franklin News Post 

While summer is a great time for senior citizens to get outside and be active, medical professionals urge discernment.

Carilion Trauma Nurse Specialist Sarah Beth Dinwiddie shares the following advice: “It’s important to alter the hours in which one is outside,” she said. “Instead of working in the yard in the middle of the day, aim for earlier or later in the day.”

Staying well-hydrated is also important. Seniors can become more sensitive to medication side effects such as dizziness and dehydration. Dinwiddie recommends they discuss medications and these side effects with doctors and pharmacists.

Heatstroke is another serious condition. Signs of heatstroke include elevated body temperature, dizziness and nausea. Those affected should seek hydration and a cooler environment, and seek medical attention sooner than later. Dinwiddie says heatstroke can occur when seniors push on with tasks such as yard work.

She also encourages people to check on their neighbors to make sure they are cool on hot days, and for those who need financial assistance with cooling costs to reach out for help.

As far as sunburns go, Dinwiddie urges all ages to wear lightweight UV protective clothing and stay out of the sun.

Her final bit of advice is to “get outside and enjoy it. Just be careful and mindful of the activities you’re doing.”

Indoor activities

If outside activity isn’t practical or safe, there are a number of other senior-friendly exercise outlets in Franklin County such as the YMCA, Essig Center and Phoebe Needles Conference Center.

Upon visiting the YMCA in Rocky Mount, one can find active seniors throughout the building; whether that’s walking or running on the track or treadmill, using the weight machines, or riding stationary bikes.

Elaine Chitwood, 84, has been coming to the Y for 14 years, averaging four days a week. She and her 79-year-old cousin, Louise Wimmer, walk side-by-side on treadmills before making their way over to the weight machines.

“I feel better when I exercise,” Chitwood said.

George Washington, retired Director of Technology for Franklin County Public Schools, was an original board member of the YMCA for four years in the late 1990s, during which time the Y was built. He confessed to slacking off in working out at the Y since his retirement three years ago. He said he’s now coming more often “to get in the routine.”

Exercise classes are available, such as the Strong Seniors class that’s designed to improve strength, core control, balance and flexibility.

The ground floor of the Y is also home to two pools; one is for laps and the other is a warm therapy pool. Seniors Jim and Martha Gilbert frequently use the lap pool. Martha, 72, usually swims at least 20-24 laps (down and back equals 50 yards) and Jim, 76, does at least 40 laps. They also walk one to two miles on the track upstairs.

The couple has been married for 52 years and live in the Franklin County side of Moneta. Jim said he made a healthy lifestyle change in April 2018. He started coming to the Rocky Mount Y to swim and lost 25 pounds.

“I had had COPD. I don’t have that anymore,” he said of his improving health.

At 7 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Patti Ward cheerfully teaches water exercise classes in the therapy pool. While the classes aren’t specifically for senior citizens, the majority of people in the classes are seniors.

Ward has been teaching the classes for 20 years. One of her original students, Ruth Flora, who’s in her early 90s, just recently retired from the classes. Ward said at one point Flora was scheduled to have rotator cuff surgery, but after her work in the pool, the surgery was not necessary.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve them in their quest for better health,” Ward said. “I just love them so much.”

She said they have formed bonds of friendship that go beyond the pool. She added that new members are welcome to join the class.

“We are a close group, but we are not a closed group,” she said.

Martha Collins, 78, is a water exercise class member. She said her favorite part about being in the class is that closeness, and the exercise helps her improve her flexibility.

Marian Serge, also a water class student, said she admires the way many of her classmates have overcome health concerns related to hip and knee replacements.

Certified pool operator and head lifeguard Field Spicer watches over those in the pools in the mornings. He estimates the average age of the participants in Ward’s classes to be about 70. He thinks it’s great to see active seniors. “You gotta keep moving. I’ll retire some day and join them,” he added.

Lighter options

The Essig Center also hosts activities for ages 50 and older. Line dancing, pickleball, blood pressure and hearing screenings, and classes for balance, stretching and toning are a few. There is also an open gym time and the Silver-Cise Exercise Room. For more information, go to PlayFranklinCounty.com.

In Callaway, seniors have an opportunity to get fit at The Phoebe Needles Conference Center. The center hosts an Active Seniors Class on Monday and Wednesdays from 10 to 10:45 a.m. The light exercise class includes a beautiful view of the mountains for those working on strength, balance, mobility and flexibility. Participants may use a chair during as well as opt out of any exercise that causes discomfort. Classes are free and no sign up is necessary.

Charlie Beckwith, 85, has been coming to the class for about two years. While the exercise is good, he said he particularly enjoys the camaraderie and friendships. He said, “I always leave feeling happier than when I got there.”

Martha Perry, 80, has also been coming to the class for about two years and said she likes the way it makes her feel.

“It’s important for those of us who come because we need to stay fit,” she added.

She acknowledged that the exercises could be done at home but likely wouldn’t get done because there’s something motivating about getting together to exercise. Like Beckwith, Perry says socializing is a big part of the experience.

original article link

SENIORS SWIMMING

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (APRIL 9, 2019) – This past Saturday, April 6th, the Franklin County Family YMCA hosted an event at its Ferrum College YMCA location. The “car smash” event raised funds for the National Safety Council’s Survivor Advocate Program and brought awareness to preventing distracted driving accidents.

Two wrecked vehicles were on display in front of the Ferrum College YMCA for the week leading up to the event with painted messages like “Stay Alive, Just Drive.” An estimated 3,200 people die annually as a result of distracted driving with many more thousands sustaining injuries according to the CDC. At the event students on campus, Y staff and community members could hit the cars with a sledge hammer by making a donation to the Advocate Program that helps surviving family members after a fatal accident.

“People have no idea how dangerous distracted driving can be. So we thought this was a fun way the Y could help raise awareness,” says Victoria Brown Ferrum Branch Director and organizer for the event.

A pledge was also circulated that required the signer to avoid distracted driving. Over 70 Ferrum students signed the pledge which will continue to be available to sign in the coming week. Also in attendance were “CHILL” students from Franklin County High School. “CHILL” is a student group that encourages youth to avoid dangerous behavior with drugs and alcohol.

The high school students set up a demonstration that encouraged students to not drive while impaired by alcohol. “We’re really proud of the Ferrum Community for coming out and supporting this event. We also couldn’t have done it without Danny Lynch towing and setting up the cars and for Chris and Tammy Mather donating them,” says Brown.

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Posted by on in YMCA News

 Rocky Mount, Va. (APRIL 2, 2019) – This past Saturday, March 30th, the Franklin County Family YMCA hosted a fundraiser at its Smith Mountain Lake Location. The “Show of Shows” event featured local talented musicians including the Star City Swagg Jazz Quartet, Star City Squeeze Accordions, Jazz Guitarist Bill Hoffman, Ernie Freeman Latin Trumpet, Parrot Pan Band, Toucan Pan Band, Island Pan Band and the Aloha Ukulele Ensemble.

“The talent on display was amazing and all for a great cause,” says Lauren Acker Branch Director at the YMCA’s Smith Mountain Lake Location.

The event, in its fourth year, had well over 200 attendees who enjoyed sing-a-longs, dancing, snacks and an evening of fellowship. Proceeds from the event are used to fulfill the Y’s charitable mission work in Franklin County which benefits youth, adults, families and seniors in Franklin County. The event was supported by not only attendees but by multiple volunteers who helped the evening go off without a hitch.

“Without this type of fundraising event, it would be impossible for the Y to fulfill our mission. That’s why it’s so great to see so many people from the community coming out to support the Y. The great musicians, volunteers and attendees made it a really special night,” says Acker.

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Rocky Mount, Va. (March 6, 2019) – This past weekend the Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide

swim team participated in the league’s championship meet. The meet was held over the course of three
days, at the Salem YMCA and had 12 teams competing against each other, with 321 individual
swimmers. Franklin County, despite being one of the smaller teams at the meet with 29 swimmers, took
third place overall for the weekend with many swimmers making their best times for the season.


"This year was the first time the team has finished in the top three. We placed third and that is a major
accomplishment for us. We had to outperform teams that had more swimmers than us. We saw some
major time improvements at this championship swim meet. This is by far the best champs we have gone
to. The kids on the Riptide swim team have been working hard this season and it really showed at
champs. We even had two swimmers make regional qualifying times for the first time. I could not be
more proud of the Riptide swimmers. I am excited to see what the future holds because every year we
get better and faster," said Head Coach JT Boyd.


Next weekend is the Upper Southeast YMCA Regional swim meet in which all kids who have made
regional qualifying times from the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina will compete.
The Riptide swim team has 7 kids attending the meet this year. Landon Akers, Mallorie Teer, Gabe
Lester, Maddox Conley, Brayden Shirley, Grayson Altice, and Josie Gilley will be representing Franklin
County in Duncan, South Carolina.

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (December 12, 2018) – The Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide Swim Team hosted its annual invitational swim meet, the Splash Between the Lakes, this past Saturday 12/8/18. This year’s event was themed “The Race for the Golden Duck.” Over 200 swimmers from Y’s across the region including Alleghany, Altavista, Bedford, Danville, Roanoke, South Boston, South Side Farmville, Pulaski and Martinsville.

Competition was fierce to win the coveted “Golden Duck” first place team trophy. Individual swimmers won themed rubber ducks for victory in their respective races. Franklin County rose to the challenge and posted some of their best swim times winning enough points to bring home the “Golden Duck.”

“It was great to see our swimmers’ hard work paying off this weekend. Not only did they swim exceptionally well, they also stepped up as leaders and team mates,” says JT Boyd the Riptide’s Head Coach.

Boyd goes on to say “We would like to thank the members of the National Honor Society and the members of the FCHS swim team that came out and volunteered as timers for the meet. It wouldn’t have been possible without our parents, swimmers and volunteers!”

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (December 5, 2018) –The Franklin County Family YMCA organized a coat drive during the month of November to help county residents stay warm this winter season. The Y offered a free guest pass to use its facilities in Franklin County to anyone who brought in winter clothing. The Y in addition to its mission work, like its swim programs, youth development programs, child care and senior programs also hosts blood drives, food drives, coat drives and much more.

“Our members and staff are so amazing and generous.  The Y as an organization works every day to make Franklin County a stronger community. So giving everyone a chance to help their neighbor made a lot of sense and it gives the donor a chance to visit the Y and improve their health. It’s a real win-win,” says Jessica Thomason the Y’s Membership Director who organized the effort.

The Y members and staff brought in 91 coats (20 children and 71 adult), 14 scarfs, 52 hats, and 26 gloves from its three locations in Rocky Mount, Smith Mountain Lake and Ferrum. The coats will be distributed to help children and seniors throughout the area.

“I’m really proud of the impact that this will make in the community. It’s so important for us all to work together to make a difference,” says Thomason.

 

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Amber Toomey,Nutritional Advisor/ Personal Trainer

 

Amber holds her Bachelors degree of Science in Health and Wellness. In addition, she is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Miss Toomey is a wellness professional who is dedicated to assisting others reach their optimal wellness. She possesses an enthusiastic passion to help her clients understand the importance and benefit of balanced nutrition and exercise. She is trained both traditional and experientially in health education, exercise science, and mind-body connection. Amber has worked with clients of all ages and demographics and has helped individuals with weight related issues, hypertension, type II diabetes, autoimmune disease, food sensitivities, and more.

 

“I am thrilled to be joining the YMCA family and to be able to share my passion for wellness with its members and have the opportunity to reach the community. I am thankful to be given the opportunity to offer Nutritional Advising at the Franklin County YMCA locations and I am eager to bring much needed nutrition education to the area as well as personal training. My goal is to help individuals excel in all areas of wellness and reach optimal health with personalized fitness and nutrition programs.”

 

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (November 8, 2018) - The Franklin County YMCA Riptide swim team hosted its first home meet of the season on November 3rd, 2018. The YMCAs who were among the participants were Altavista YMCA, Bedford YMCA, and Southside YMCA. The FCFY Riptide swimmers took first place for the boys, girls and combined categories.

Several swimmers improved in all 3 individual events that they competed in. Team coaches announced this year’s team captains at the beginning of the home meet and those captains are Age Group Elite swimmer Gabe Lester, Senior Elite swimmer Alec Dow, Senior Elite swimmer Mallorie Teer and Senior Elite swimmer Allison Teer.

“The team captains play an important role for the Riptide swim team and I think this year’s captains will do a great job. They were all a tremendous help at our first home meet. Guiding new swimmers where to go, cheering on the team, being great role models and representatives of what it means to be a Riptide swimmer. I am very proud of the captains and am very excited to watch them grow into the great leaders I know they can be.” said Head Coach JT Boyd.

These meets would be impossible without the parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Franklin County YMCA Riptide swim team is hosting a big invitational on Saturday December 8, 2018 and invites all community members to come and watch or help support your local YMCA kids!

All YMCA members age 5 to 21 can participate and are welcome try out any scheduled practice day. You can get more information on this and other programs at the Franklin County Family YMCA!

 

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (August 1, 2018) – The Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide swim team hosted an “end of summer” swim meet this past Friday night. Altavista, Danville, and Eden YMCA swimmers came and joined in the fun. The lights were dimmed and 100’s of glow sticks lit up the pool area and even the pool itself. The swim meet started out around 10:00pm. Participants got creative and made things from necklaces, bracelets, crowns, and chain links to wear while swimming.


“The whole night was filled with smiles and laughter. The kids, lifeguards, coaches and parents had a really great time, and I am glad we could host such a fun meet for the teams,” said Riptide Head Coach JT Boyd


The YMCA Riptide swim team competes regionally and averages around 40 swimmers. The Y team is great for children who want to develop their swim skills or want to be a little more competitive. Swimmers that have participated in the program have gone on to swim at the high school and collegiate level.


“The Y is grateful for all the volunteer parents that helped with the meet on Friday and we are proud of what Y swimmers have accomplished this year and are excited to see what the future holds for them!” says Kameron Kitts Aquatics Director

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By: Andrew McClung with Virginia First

MONETA, Va. (July 18, 2018) - When you think of basketball camp, you think of shooting hoops, and perfecting your skills. Probably not of Indianapolis Colts head coach, Frank Reich. 

Reich is a new resident to Smith Mountain Lake, and he says the way he got to camp wasn't very typical.

"Actually just getting gas on a jet ski on the lake and was asked by the owner of the marina, who I've become friends with, to come over here today," Reich said.

It was someone campers were excited to hear from.

"It was really cool to meet a head coach of an NFL team," said camper Isaiah Keep.

"It was pretty cool you know, have a guy who just won the super bowl, and now just got hired as a head coach in the NFL," said camper Thomas Dean.

Reich had a simple message for the camp.

"Really about setting your eye on the prize. Having a clear goal in life, striving towards that goal, surrounding yourself with teammates, who will help and can work together towards that goal, talked about that in life in general, but then we also talked about that in our Christian life. What that means as a Christian, to keep our eyes on Christ, to keep focused on him and so we were able to tie those two together today," Reich said.

Even though Reich is a football coach, his message was still relatable to campers.

"He made it relevant to us, he had a couple of basketball stories that he put in," Dean said.

Coach loved being there as much as the kids loved having him.

"As a guy who was very involved in sports as a player and a coach, it's fun to come over and give back, just kinda share a few of the life lessons that you learn over the years. And then obviously this camp was able to share the Christian testimony side of things on how that has played into my life over the years. So that was a lot of fun to be able to do," said Reich

For the entire interview click here

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (July 23, 2018) – The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that they have appointed a new Wellness Director for the organization. Kristina Palmer has worked for the Y, for around a year, as a fitness adviser and group exercise instructor. She takes on her new role with not only a fitness background but with strong experience in leadership and business.


“Kristina brings a lot of great ideas and skills to the table. We are excited to see everything she accomplishes for our members in the coming years,” says Kevin McAlexander CEO of the YMCA.


Kristina lives in the area with her husband Jason and children Gavin, Sage, Mia, Corbin and Caden. The YMCA is home to over 5,000 members and serves not only as a location for fitness and aquatics but focuses on mission based programming that improves the lives of seniors, children, veterans and families in Franklin County.

“I’m extremely honored to accept this position and excited to bring positive change to our YMCA! Even though I am not native to Franklin County, I consider this place my home and want to make a difference in our area. I hope to introduce new programs and ideas to our facility that will positively impact the community. The YMCA is the backbone to our county, and my plan is to increase support to members’ health and wellness needs. I am ecstatic to be a part of this growth!” says Kristina.

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Rocky Mount, Va. (July 18, 2018) – The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that American National bank has continued its support of Y-Splash, the Y’s second grade swim program. All public school second graders are taught essential lifesaving swim skills over the course of the two week class. The program is vital because it gives all children a chance to develop swim skills, instills a love of swimming in young people, and teaches best practices for safety around water.


“The program costs over $30,000 annually to implement so it is essential for community minded businesses and individuals to provide support. It’s a great example of Franklin County coming together to support our kids,” says Aquatics Director Kameron Kitts.


Y-Splash is going into its fifth year this fall and has taught over 2,000 students since beginning. Instruction in the program centers on teaching basic water safety and swim skills. The goal is to teach all children enrolled to be able to prevent water emergencies and how to save themselves if they do occur. However, for children who already know how to swim, they learn to perfect their technique and develop knowledge of Olympic swimming strokes. So the program meets swimmers at their level.


“As far as I’m concerned if we can save one child, it’s worth it,” says Todd Hammock, Market President with American National Bank.
Classes start on August 13th and anyone who wants to support the program can contact Kameron Kitts at the Franklin County Family YMCA at 540-489-9622 or visit the Y’s website.

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Smith Mountain Lake, Va. (June 15, 2018) –The Westlake golf course and grille has partnered with the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA to offer water aerobics classes to the lake community. Classes are being offered at The Westlake’s outdoor pool through the summer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m.

“The Y as a community-based organization thrives when local businesses, such as The Willard Companies, are willing to combine resources to not only offer programs to community members but to add value for our current members,” says Lauren Acker, Smith Mountain Lake YMCA Branch Director.

Water aerobics instructors Becky Rowe teaching Wednesday and Emilee Hall teaching Monday and Friday bring a plethora of experience and enthusiasm to these weekly classes. “The class includes cardio conditioning, muscle toning and flexibility.  Emilee and I are both certified yoga teachers so every class promises to incorporate some of the principles of yoga. More importantly it is a fitness program that is FUN! Good music is a must and meeting new friends is guaranteed,” says Becky Rowe, YMCA Fitness Instructor.

Water exercise offers a deluge of benefits. Exercising in water builds cardiovascular stamina, strength, and flexibility, helps burn body fat, increases circulation, and can help rehabilitate healing muscles and joints. Members of The Westlake and YMCA can attend classes for free. Guests can attend for an $8 fee per class. As popularity has increased, discussions about adding evening classes have been started.

"The Willard Companies and the Y have been partnering for years with Oktoberfest, a festival and 5k run held at Westlake Towne Center, and we were excited at the opportunity to expand on that partnership. We're working together to explore other ways we can enrich the community with new programs, specifically for youth, and there is a wealth of potential," says Gretchen Tipps, Marketing Director for The Willard Companies.

For more information about the water aerobics classes or membership call the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA at (540)721-9622 or The Westlake at (540)721-3845.

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (June 12, 2018) – The Franklin County Family YMCA’s summer camp put the rubber to the road with its racing themed week. The camp which has around 200 hundred registered participants each week has unique themes for every week of camp.

“It’s a way to give the campers a really special and unique experience every week,” says Jamie Stump the Camp’s Director.

For last week the theme was “Start Your Engines,” a race themed week which saw huge community support. The week included race themed activities like building and decorating their own cardboard racers, visiting the Zone’s go cart track, and taking the checkered flag with a visit to Callaway speedway and seeing real race cars.

Whitey Taylor and Randy Pettitt of the speedway, invited the camp out to learn all about the history of racing in Franklin County. Scott Foley of Foley's Automotive and Brad Foy from Duncan Automotive came out and showed the children their race cars and taught them the in's and out of the car and talked about what it is like to be a driver.

“We sure are grateful to everyone who helped make a special memory for all our campers,” says Stump.

 

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SML Tennis Gets Kids Moving at Smith Mountain Lake

Charlottesville, Virginia (5/7/2018) – QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia, Inc. (QCV) is pleased to report that SML Tennis has started its outreach program to elementary schools around Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford and Franklin counties. Chesley Wilkerson, founder of SML Tennis, recently spent all day at Moneta Elementary School teaching tennis during PE classes to kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. Chesley says, “I taught gym class all day April 30th to grades k-5. Each class ranged from 17 to 24 students! Kids learned footwork, ball control and hand-eye coordination through different drills and games, using red foam balls. By the end of each 40-minute class, most kids were able to rally back and forth with each other. Tons of fun! We hope to attract these kids to the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA for some out-of-school programming. SML Tennis is offering red, orange and green ball clinics there four days a week.”


Lynda Harrill, QuickStart Tennis Coordinator, adds, “We love finding people like Chesley in the counties we serve. She has the passion and drive to help us grow tennis. It is so awesome to have a tennis instructor work with PE teachers to get tennis going in a community. Many thanks to Caitlyn Moore, PE teacher at Moneta Elementary, for welcoming Chesley to her classes. Building a tennis pathway for kids starts in PE. Building a tennis tradition in a community takes partnerships like that.” 

QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia is an all-volunteer, grassroots Community Tennis Association established in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to promote, develop and grow QuickStart Tennis in the heart of Virginia for all beginners, especially underserved youth, using the kid-sized QuickStart Tennis format. QCV’s service area includes Albemarle, Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Fluvanna, Franklin, Greene, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Mecklenburg, Nelson, Nottoway, Orange, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Powhatan and Rappahannock counties and the

cities of Charlottesville, Danville and Martinsville. We currently serve 207 schools with more than 95,000 kids, 15 parks & recreation departments, three Boys & Girls Clubs and three YMCAs in our service area of 27 counties and three independent cities. We have also gotten tennis into PE classes in 36 additional schools with 15,000 students in communities outside our service area.

Visit QCV at: www.quickstartcentral.org and on Facebook.
For additional information, contact quickstartcentral@comcast.net

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Charlottesville, Virginia (4/4/2018) – QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia, Inc. (QCV) is pleased to report QCV has made an equipment grant to the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA in Franklin County. Funding for this grant was made possible by the Richard & Caroline Gwathmey Memorial Trust. The equipment will be used for classes at the YMCA and for the Y’s community outreach to nearby schools in both Franklin and Bedford counties. Chesley Wilkerson is the tennis instructor for the YMCA, which is located in Moneta, VA and has two indoor tennis courts.

YMCA Branch Director Lauren Acker says, “Making the QuickStart Tennis program available to youth in our area is incredibly exciting. With support from QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia and enthusiasm from Chesley Wilkerson, USPTA certified coach, I know this program will thrive in the community.”

QCV QuickStart Coordinator Lynda Harrill adds, “It is a pleasure to work with individuals who understand how beneficial learning to play tennis is for kids. It also helps when stars align as they did in this case. We were looking to get afterschool and out-of-school tennis programming going in Franklin County and the Y had just started a new youth tennis program and wanted to add community outreach. Through community partnerships with people like Lauren and Chesley, we can get a racquet in every hand and put a smile on every face. That is what QuickStart Tennis is all about.”

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