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Greensburg YMCA programs drawing more participants from Unity, Latrobe

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, 10:48 p.m.
Children take part in a youth soccer game recently as part of a Unity Township program operated by the Greensburg YMCA.
Children take part in a youth soccer game recently as part of a Unity Township program operated by the Greensburg YMCA.

The Greensburg YMCA registered a third more Latrobe and Unity residents in its programs last year compared to 2016, and now the organization is looking to expand its group exercise sessions at the Unity municipal building.

Registered participants in YMCA programs from the township or Latrobe grew from 176 in 2016 to 233 last year, Shawn Rause, sports director for the Greensburg Y, told Unity’s supervisors on Thursday. Midway through 2018, the annual registration figure has reached 116, half of last year’s total.

The Y is about three years into a five-year agreement to provide recreational programs for Unity at an annual cost of $50,000.

A summer camp the Y offers on park grounds and a small lake adjacent to the township building has grown in popularity among schoolkids who have completed grades K-8. Participation grew from 25 children in 2016 to 39 last year and is holding at 36 this summer, Rause reported.

The camp, which offers an extended-day enrollment option, wraps up Aug. 17. Activities include kayaking, fishing, games, crafts and field trips.

“Your programs are obviously doing well,” supervisors Chairman John Mylant told Rause. “It is nice to see kids on the lake.”

The township pulled out of a previous recreational partnership with Latrobe and the Greater Latrobe School District that had cost Unity about $162,000 per year. But, under the terms of Unity’s new recreational agreement, the Y is offering free youth memberships to any Greater Latrobe resident age 18 or younger — including those who live in Unity, Latrobe or Youngstown.

Y members pay fees for gymnastics programs and swim lessons that are about half what non-members are charged, Rause noted. A number of Latrobe and Unity residents have taken advantage of the reduced fee to sign up for the Y’s gymnastics program, with enrollment of 38 in 2016, 61 in 2017 and 37 so far this year.

Unity and Latrobe participants in Y aquatics grew from 27 to 33 during the same period.

The Y’s youth soccer programs — including a Tots program at the township property, drew 54 Unity and Latrobe participants last year, up from 41 in 2016; 45 have signed up so far this year.

“We typically get 15 to 30 kids in our sessions,” Rause said, noting the program includes winter practice sessions.

Unity exercise sessions, which mostly appeal to senior citizens, are held 10 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in the supervisors’ meeting room. With participation increasing from just two in 2016 to 15 so far this year, the Y plans to add Friday sessions in September and could add a fourth day next year, said Dave Paul, aquatics and wellness director.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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