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Excitement abounds at Regional Family YMCA

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 2:51 a.m.
For The Independent-Observer
YMCA board president Jim Jacquillard addressed the group briefly on the direction the East Huntingdon Township facility is taking during an open house event Sept. 28. Marilyn Forbes | For The Independent-Observer

The Regional Family YMCA held an informational event recently, welcoming area public officials, board members, and community leaders for a tour of the facility and an update on the programs and activities offered at the East Huntingdon facility.

The YMCA's new expansion project is almost complete, and facility staff welcomed the visitors to see what is currently in the plans for its completion and future projects.

“The expansion project has created a lot of excitement,” YMCA board of directors President Jim Jacquillard said. “We are now looking forward to the future.”

The group also listened to remarks made by YMCA members who explained the benefits of the facility, while relating their own personal success stories.

“The YMCA helps you health wise,” Ken Eicher of Mt. Pleasant said. “It's a great place to meet people and a great place to be.”

Eicher said he is a regular member of the facility and has been active with the Silver Sneakers program since its inception in 2004.

When asked where he would be and what he would be doing if he wasn't involved with the YMCA, Eicher responded he would not be as active or as healthy.

“I would be sitting at home watching TV or sitting in front of my computer,” Eicher said.

Jean Maricondia of Mt. Pleasant spoke to the group about the facility and its programs and benefits.

“Physically, mentally and socially, the benefits are endless,” Maricondia said, adding there are programs for everyone at the facility that encourage activities for all ages. “They teach us to do the best that we can.”

YMCA Executive Director Steve Simon spoke about the expansion project, including the expanded fitness room which is to be completed in the Fall, and future plans which include the possible building of a two-story addition.

“We see a lot of growth potential here in this building,” Simon said.

Simon also touched upon the facility's new Strong Kids Campaign project, which will raise funding that will be used for children who are low income who will then be able to utilize the YMCA.

“Our Y and all Ys never deny anybody access to a YMCA due to lack of income,” Simon said, adding the campaign was just launched with a goal set of raising $45,000.

The group was led through the facility to see the present format, while also listening to plans for the future of the facility.

”We did this today for people to learn what we are about,” Simon said. “Many people don't think that we are anything more then a place to come to work out. The politicians here today know a good deal about us, but we hope that they can now go out and tell their constituents about us so they will also learn a little more. We have a lot of offer.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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