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Franklin County Family YMCA

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Posted by on in YMCA News



It is with some sadness but also hope for what the future holds that we are officially announcing the “closure” of the Ferrum branch of the Franklin County Family YMCA. Ferrum College plans to utilize the “fitness center” to further develop and grow their Health and Human Performance program which means that they will need to utilize the space fully. This provides an excellent opportunity for students of the program and Ferrum College. The Y is immensely supportive of anything that helps make Ferrum a stronger and more vibrant institution.

The good news is that YMCA members will still have access to the facility for the next 12 months and potentially beyond. This is in part because of Ferrum’s understanding of the value to the community health and wellness represents but also as a way to utilize the growing Health and Human Performance program as a tool to provide those wellness opportunities. The benefit to students will also be a level of professional experience that they can take into the job market.

For any questions about the immediate operations of the fitness center you can contact Karen Carpenter at Ferrum College. She will be serving as general manager for the facility.

We are immensely grateful to Ferrum for partnering to make the Y on campus a possibility since 2012 and are excited to continue to collaborate with the College to improve the health and lives of Franklin County Residents.



Kevin McAlexander


Franklin County Family YMCA

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Rocky Mount, Va. (May 21, 2020) – In accordance with phase one guidelines, the Franklin County Family YMCA is now offering outdoor, instructor lead group exercise classes. Since shutting its doors mid-March due to COVID, the YMCA has been working hard to keep members healthy by making video content and exercise routines available on their website and social media platforms.

When talks of phasing back into normal operating hours began, Y staff got busy preparing for social distancing and occupant limitations that they anticipated may be set forth by the governor. “We were hopeful that we’d be able to open at the beginning of the first phase as long as we spaced machines, calculated occupancy and took the proper precautions. Although we still aren’t able to let members use any indoor facilities at our branches, we are excited to be able to offer outdoor group exercise,” says Andrea Fansler, Smith Mountain Lake Branch Director.

The Y started offering outdoor group exercise on May 15th at both the Rocky Mount and Smith Mountain Lake locations. These classes are being held Monday through Saturday and include bootcamp, cycling, yoga, and Zumba.

“We are so excited to be able to offer group exercise classes again! We believe exercise is foundational to our health: spirit, mind and body. We are taking all precautions necessary, including spacing everyone 10 feet apart, using little to no equipment and sanitizing any equipment used both before and after classes. We hope you come and see what we have to offer and hope to open the doors to the YMCA soon,” says Abigail Jamison, Fitness Director at the Rocky Mount YMCA.

Class sizes are limited to 10 people including the instructor.  During the early phases of reopening, the Y will not be able to have visitors or members of other Y’s participating in outdoor group exercise classes.

The outdoor group exercise schedules can be viewed on the Y’s website or on the Franklin County Family YMCA Facebook page. For any questions about this or other fitness programs please contact Abigail Jamison (Rocky Mount) at  or Andrea Fansler (Smith Mountain Lake) at

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Rocky Mount, Va. (May 20, 2020) – The Franklin County Family YMCA and Franklin County Public Schools teamed up to work closely in an effort to support critical members of the workforce and provide safe child-care alternatives for their families.  Camp Hope began serving Franklin County families with children in grades K - 5 on April 6th and since then eligible students have participated in an assortment of activities and instruction.

Staff assisted all children in not just completing online assignments provided by FCPS, but taking one on one time to make sure all lessons were fully understood. “We didn’t just want to make sure the assignments were done. It was important to all staff that each child understood the information. We’re happy to say that each child passed their designated grade with flying colors,” says Jamie Stump, YMCA School-Age Childcare Coordinator.

Camp Hope also provided physical education and fun activities, all while following strict spatial distancing requirements and group size limitations. Some of the activities included cleaning up flower beds at Rocky Mount Elementary, planting new flowers, multiple cooking projects and even music lessons. In addition to scheduled activities participants received free USDA-approved breakfast, lunch and snack.  “Having fun and keeping the children safe was one of our main priorities,” says Stump.

The summer session of Camp Hope will begin May 26th, 2020. Due to limited capacity for this program, eligibility will be prioritized, therefore, for now, we encourage families who are not “essential personnel” to remain at home to care for their children. This will help ensure spaces for essential personnel in need of childcare as they directly support the COVID-19 response effort.  

Essential personnel are the first-responders, health care workers, and others who help maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the Commonwealth's residents. Here are examples of essential personnel:

  • Providers of healthcare including, but not limited to, workers at clinics, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), nursing homes, long-term care and post-acute care facilities, respite houses, designated agencies and emergency medical services;
  • Essential government employees including public health employees and employees who oversee or support all the other functions included in this list;
  • Criminal justice personnel including those in law enforcement, courts, and correctional services;
  • Police, firefighters, and military;
  • Employees who operate shelters or other essential services for adults, children and families;
  • Employees who ensure continuity of basic services such as electricity/gas, water, internet, plumbing, sanitation and garbage removal;
  • Employees who ensure essential transportation including public transportation, trucking and health care-related transportation;
  • Employees who ensure essential food, pharmaceutical and supplies access (e.g., grocery, food bank, feeding programs, drug store, hardware store); and
  • Staff and providers of child care and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) for children of other essential personnel.

“We care about all of our families and hope that you are staying well during this unprecedented time. Our hope is to be back serving ALL of our families as soon as possible,” says Stump.

For questions about this program or to register, please contact Jamie Stump, School-Age Childcare Coordinator at

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Rocky Mount, Va. (April 8, 2020) – There is a severe blood shortage across the country due to blood drive cancelations from the COVID-19 outbreak. The American Red Cross has seen approximately 5,000 blood drives canceled nationwide, along with an estimated 170,000 pints of blood being lost because of the cancelations.

A representative from American Red Cross reached out to the YMCA about setting up a blood drive for May of 2020. Once it became apparent that the new virus was going to have a major impact on blood drives and donations Andrea Fansler, Smith Mountain Lake Branch Director, reached out to set up three separate emergency drives. Both emergency drives, the first held March 19th and the second on April 1st, exceeded expectations and even had to turn people away, all of which registered for the April 20th emergency blood drive.

The April 20th blood drive will be held at the Smith Mountain Lake location, 293 Firstwatch Dr., Moneta, VA 24121, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Kevin McAlexander, CEO of the Franklin County YMCA, said, “The Y was prepared and eager to partner with the Red Cross. This is what the Y does in order to help serve communities.”

Most YMCA’s across the country are closed, including Franklin County, but are continuing emergency operations with other organizations such as these.

“We are here in the community doing what we can to assist during the coronavirus crisis. At our April 1st drive, where more than half of the donors were YMCA members, we exceeded our goal of 22 units and managed to collect 44! If you are healthy and able please consider donating blood on April 20th,” said Fansler.

Fansler explained the Red Cross will conduct the blood drive inside the YMCA facility, using the gymnasium to ensure adequate spacing. In a press release from the Red Cross, minimal Red Cross staff will participate in the blood drive and precautions include taking the temperature of staff and donors before entering the drive, spacing beds to follow social distancing and increasing measures for disinfecting surfaces.

“Spread the love, please give blood,” says Teresa Shelton, lake local and March 19th donor.

For more information or to set up an appointment for April 20th call Andrea Fansler at (540)721-9622.


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Posted by on in YMCA News

Dear YMCA Community,

Thank you for all the positive messages of support and encouragement over these last few weeks. We are grateful to have such a strong Y family – supporting each other and our YMCA. We have all done the best we can to navigate the almost daily changes with Covid-19. Given all the uncertainty and the stress that comes with these challenges, it has never been more critical to stay together, even as we follow the guidelines from officials to keep each other and our community healthy. Based on continued recommendations from the CDC, state and local health officials and area health departments, we must extend our temporary suspension of all YMCA facility access and programs.

At the Y, everything we do is guided by our commitment to nurture the potential of children, support your health and well-being, and provide support for our neighbors, participants and members. We’re so much more than a gym. And here, at the Y, you’re much more than just a facility member. At our YMCA, you’re a part of our purpose and you’re a partner in strengthening the foundations of our community.

The Y has been a leader in Franklin County for over 20 years, teaching thousands of children to swim, providing care for thousands more children during after school hours, and providing life changing opportunities for seniors and families in our area. The positive impact of these programs serves to strengthen our county, both now and for generations to come.

As a member of our Y community, I’d ask you to consider what you should be doing during this time, and what it means to be a part of our YMCA. The Y has had to adapt and make difficult decisions like many non-profits during the last few weeks. The choice to shut down operations, though the socially responsible and right thing to do, was a difficult one. Especially for an organization that works every day to bring the community together. It is going to present many challenges in the meantime and when we reopen. But by standing together, those challenges can and will be met.

Stay with Us – Your YMCA Membership Choice
As one YMCA Community, we ask that you stay with us. Your membership helps support our efforts and ensures our Y remains strong and poised to meet the critical needs in our community during this unprecedented time. In the past week, we’ve partnered with organizations to do emergency blood drives, provide advocacy for other non-profits, working with local health care agencies, creating and providing virtual exercise and activities to keep families engaged.

Keep your membership active. Keeping your membership active will help ensure we remain fully focused on our efforts to support our community and adjust quickly when called upon. If you choose to keep your membership active, please know how grateful we are for your willingness and partnership. You don’t need to take any action to retain this status.
Convert your membership to a donation. If you wish to have your membership dues converted to an ongoing, tax-deductible donation during our temporary suspension of facility access and programs, please email us to setup the donation. You’ll continue to be drafted monthly and when we resume normal operations, your donation will end. At that time, we’ll convert you back to regular membership. Again, we are deeply grateful for your willingness and partnership.
If you wish to place your membership on hold during our temporary suspension of services, we understand. Reach out to our membership team to put your membership on hold.

We realize you have to make the best decision for you and your family. On behalf of everyone in the community counting on our Y in the weeks ahead, thank you for your strong consideration to stay with us. Our community needs you.

There is much more work ahead for our Y. Moving forward, we’ll share updates and additional resources with you as well as keep you informed on our efforts to support our community.

As our Y responds to Franklin County’s needs during this unprecedented time, we stand ready to face the challenges. It is with hope and gratitude we continue in service to our community. It is inspiring what we can accomplish when we all come together.

Stay well. Stay Healthy.

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