News

Give the Gift of Health: Buy $100 in Y Gift Cards, get $20 in Y bucks.

Y bucks can only be used for Y programs. Special ends Dec. 25th. Visit the front desk of Central or West Branch to purchase gift cards.

We're donating 5% of our Black Friday gift card sales to Casa Kendall County!

SAFE01Safe, Active, Fun, Enrichment - SAFE is our before and after school program for students in Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, and Newark school districts. Plano and Yorkville offer AM and PM care. 

Morning care begins at 6:30am. Afternoon care begins immediately after dismissal until 6:00pm. We offer homework assistance, creative enrichment activities, supervised athletic play, and many social opportunities for your child. 

A light, healthy breakfast is served in the morning and a healthy afternoon snack are served. Throughout the year, SAFE students enjoy a variety of themed activities, special holiday parties, and even in-class field trips. Activity Days, Winter Break, and Spring Break camp are included at no additional fee for full-time SAFE students (AM/PM - 5 Days). Plus, all SAFE students will receive a FREE Youth Membership when they enroll (upgrade to a Family Membership for just $44.50/month). Stop by either branch to register your child today.
Click to view Activity Day schedules:

 Visit our Early Learning Academy for birth to age five Child Care and Preschool options.

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Christine Milakis, the new Arts and Humanities Director

A Whole New OUTLook

Christine grew up dancing from ages 4-17 and has been a dance instructor for over 13 years. Her philosophy is to provide a fun, safe and encouraging environment for children interested in dance, music, and theater. "A few of my long-term goals are to grow the art and humanities program in addition to making the arts more accessible to all children," said Christine.

Christine has been focusing her efforts on La Premiere’s Dance Company’s auditions coming up on Oct. 21st. La Premiere’s revamped program is perfect for dancers who are new to the dance world or who have only 1-2 years of experience. “We recognize that kids have school work and need family time, those things come first,” said Christine. “This program is structured in a way that makes it possible for kids to do both and still compete at a higher level.”

Join us in welcoming This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to our team!


WHAT’S NEW

• Updated class names and descriptions

• Additional classes for younger dancers

• Dance classes for students at Early Learning Academy - West Branch in Sandwich

• Plans to add a theatre program including workshops and improv classes

• And a WHOLE NEW LOOK –– stay tuned for the unveiling!


View fall dance classes here. 

SAFE01Safe, Active, Fun, Enrichment - SAFE is our before and after school program for students in Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, and Newark school districts. Plano and Yorkville offer AM and PM care. 

Morning care begins at 6:30am. Afternoon care begins immediately after dismissal until 6:00pm. We offer homework assistance, creative enrichment activities, supervised athletic play, and many social opportunities for your child. 

A light, healthy breakfast is served in the morning and a healthy afternoon snack are served. Throughout the year, SAFE students enjoy a variety of themed activities, special holiday parties, and even in-class field trips. Activity Days, Winter Break, and Spring Break camp are included at no additional fee for full-time SAFE students (AM/PM - 5 Days). Plus, all SAFE students will receive a FREE Youth Membership when they enroll (upgrade to a Family Membership for just $44.50/month). Stop by either branch to register your child today.
Click to view Activity Day schedules:

 Visit our Early Learning Academy for birth to age five Child Care and Preschool options.

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Get to know Amy Peterson, our new School Age Child Care Director, and find out about all the exciting things she has planned for Summer Camp this year!

"My name is Amy Peterson and I’m so excited about my new role as School Age Child Care Director here at the Y – it is a dream job for me!  I am always looking for ways to offer child care that gives parents peace of mind as well as promotes family time. For example, in SAFE, our Before and After School Care program, we focus our afternoons on homework and reading in an effort to free up working families nights so that they are able to enjoy quality time together.

I am bursting with excitement for Summer Camp this year!  This summer, I have assigned 2 main goals to the program; 1. kids are excited to come to camp every day and 2. parents feel included and informed.  In order to achieve these goals, we have been working hard to rethink and build on the current summer camp experience.


This summer, I have assigned 2 main goals to the program; 1. kids are excited to come to camp every day and 2. parents feel included and informed.


One of the ways we plan to do this is by introducing a new camp structure focused on 8 unique experiences throughout each day.  Children will rotate through Sand n' Sun, Water Wonder, Calypso Cabin, GaGa Ball, Reading Nook, Racing Alley, Tournament Time and Relaxation Station, while still swimming and participating in field trips.  We will also include stations at our new West Branch location in Sandwich. Children attending West Branch will swim weekly, go on field trips, spend time at the West Branch Y and visit the Sandwich Library for special activities.

To keep parents informed, we are automatically registering parents for Remind App notifications.  This will be the best way to stay in communication with parents regarding weather, upcoming field trips and so much more.  We are also introducing Express Pick-Up –– if you give us ten minutes notice before your pick up time, we will have your child waiting for you when you arrive! To learn more about both these new features, please mark your calendars for Orientation Night: May 21st at Central at 6:30 pm or May 22nd at West at 6:30 pm.

In addition to all of their rigorous safety training and Early Learning education, our counselors are also in training to learn new ways to problem solve, engage children and get to know them and all their unique traits. Also, by rewarding positive attitudes and actions, counselors will promote our new Good Citizenship program.

Together the staff and I are excited to kick off summer and we look forward to getting to know each and every one of your children!"


Ask Amy!

A few fun facts about Miss Amy

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
If I were a crayon color I would definitely be in the fluorescent crayon box.  I'd be Razzle Dazzle Rose although my Assistant, Emily Grace, says I'd be Screamin' Green. Whatever!!

What is your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is refinishing furniture. 

Three words to describe your personality?
Passionate, excitable, personable

What inspires you?
I am inspired by people who set goals and follow through –– saying and doing are oceans apart!  Those who set goals and create a roadmap to achieve those goals are usually exceptional people.  It takes discipline, perseverance and focus.  All things I strive to improve on!

Who’s your favorite Pokemon?
I don't have a favorite Pokemon, yet! But I am hoping to brush up on it this summer and get back to you in August.


Learn more about all things Summer Day Camp here.

 

We're excited to offer dance classes to Early Learning Academy - West Branch students!

In an effort to provide preschool enrichment programs to children in Sandwich, the Y is now offering dance classes during the preschooler's school day. Teachers conveniently walk your child from ELA West to the West Branch facility for class. Class begins with a circle warm-up where young dancers will engage in sing-a-long songs and rhymes. Students will work on basics such as strong arms, stretching their toes, balance, turning, twirling and jumping. Ballet shoes required. This class is open to boys and girls.


FREE Preview Days - Oct. 17-18th 

Ages 3-5 |  Session I, Oct. 22 - Nov. 23  |  Session II, Nov. 26 - Dec. 21
Wednesdays 2:45-3:45pm or Thursdays 10-10:30am
$28 per session


 Register here or in-person at any Y front desk.

 

Achieve your #summergoals at One Low Price for the Whole Summer

Perfect for college students, teachers on summer break and families looking for a summer full of fun – check-out PART-TIME SUMMER MEMBERSHIPS! Beginning May 15th, pay one low price for the whole summer. Valid until 9/3/2018. Prices are a one-time fee and cover membership for the duration of the summer.

SUMMER MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:

  • Unlimited FREE group exercise classes ranging from Les Mills BodyPump® to Yoga
  • Unlimited use of the Fitness Center including state-of-the-art TechnoGym® equipment, free weights and Cybex machines
  • Free Water Exercise classes
  • Reduced prices on programs, such as swimming, dance, music, gymnastics, sports, and more!
  • Free activities for the entire family
  • Heated, eight-lane indoor pool and full-size gymnasium at Central Branch
  • Use of both Central and West Branches
  • Nationwide Membership
  • Belonging to an organization that cares and gives back to our community

Read more about Y memberships and all of the benefits here.

SUMMER COLLEGE 
(ages 19-24)
$80 NO JOIN FEE
SUMMER ADULT
(ages 25+)
$99 NO JOIN FEE
SUMMER FAMILY $199 NO JOIN FEE

David, Kelly, Eli, Maia and Nevin Thielk

David's family left to right: Nevin, Maia, David, Kelli and Eli

My fitness journey started when I joined the Sandwich Wrestling team at age 13. Wrestling taught me that with hard work and determination I can fight through and overcome anything in life. I graduated high school in 1996 in the best shape of my life, attributed to wrestling. Shortly after high school I got married and started a family with my beautiful wife of 20 years. We have 3 crazy kids. With starting a family came a large responsibility and I thought I had to sacrifice my gym time, which also meant my health, in order to manage it all. For 17 years my attempts at the gym and eating healthy were a yo-yo trick of ups and downs. Once my children entered high school and started working out at the YMCA they became my motivators and the gym became our family time. I/we make time for the gym as a family now. The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family.


 "The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family."


I am journeyman/lineman and my job requires me to travel due to storms and other natural disasters. No matter where my job takes me there is always a YMCA for me to workout at. Over the last 2 years, I have stopped at YMCA's all over Illinois. YMCA's in Galesburg, Plainfield, Morris, Kankakee, Plano, Springfield, Rockford and more, they are all amazing and welcoming but West Branch in Sandwich is my home. My job, like others, can make it difficult to get to the gym. 

Working on powerlines is exciting and very rewarding! I love what I do for a living and it makes me feel proud to be a part of a brotherhood of the strongest. I love the fast pace, intense demands of focus and the adrenaline working my job; journeyman/lineman is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs.

David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania

The rewarding part of this job is when we go out in a storm to help people that have lost power due to a natural disaster. We are usually sent in before these disasters hit and we ride the storms with the first responders or move in shortly after they hit. I have been to many states for storm restoration including Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and most recently, Florida for Hurricane Erma –– all of which participate in the Y's nationwide membership programphoto caption: David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania.


  

"I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me.  This is my Y!"


 

There are no words to describe what it feels like to ride out a hurricane or any other natural disaster, not knowing the devastation that you will see when it is over. Once the storm calms, our job starts, we work 16 plus hours helping to restore power. The conditions are tough and the tasks are not easy. Hurricane Erma left people out of power for three weeks. Those amazing Floridians were so kind; feeding us and bringing us drinks while we worked despite all they had been through.

Thinking back to my high school wrestling days, I loved being a part of a team and Coach Gerrish pushing us to keep going and never give up. I’m older now and those days are still part of my core values and it is probably why I love working hard at my job, my marriage, and being a good dad. Now instead of Coach Gerrish I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me. This is my Y!


Learn more about the Y's Nationwide Membership Program here.

BECOME A MEMBER! Take advantage of NO JOIN FEE on April 21st at Healthy Kids Day.


 

"Souls of the Y's" purpose is to shine a light on our member's stories. Stories that we see and hear about every day. They have touched our hearts and have driven home our mission. Whether inspiring or thought-provoking, these are the stories that lift up our Y.


SUMMER CAMPER: SHUBHAM PATEL

Shubham with his fellow campers on a field trip at Santa's Village.

“I’d like to tell you how much my son Shubham enjoyed summer camp.” expressed Komal Patel. Komal continued, “Shubham is special needs and camp keeps him active, social and happy. He’s been following direction better and is happy every day when I drop him off.”

Not only is camp convenient for the Patel’s, Komal says it's been accommodating, “Shubham is a vegetarian but is very interested and insistent on having the provided lunches the other campers are having. So, staff began to swap out the non-vegetarian item in the lunch with Shubham’s vegetarian option. Shubham immediately felt more included at lunchtime.”


"Camp keeps him active, social and happy. He’s been following direction better and is happy every day when I drop him off.”


Shubham with his camp counselor, Carter Hegseth.

GaGa ball, basketball, and field trips were among Shubham’s favorite actives at the Y said camp counselor, Shayla Heery, “He was an incredible addition to summer camp this year. He was always eager tojoin in on water activities, play games with kids and to try new things – like GaGa ball!”

Shubham has made friends with counselors and campers and intrinsically provided them a chance to learn about special needs. Counselor, Carter Hegseth, “Shubham was a blessing because of the way he brought out the best in the other campers. Seeing other kids help him and include him in games and activities is what camp is all about.”

“It was our goal as staff at summer camp to create an environment that was not only fun but safe and inclusive. I am so proud of the staff and the positivity they emulated as role models to our campers. The residual effect was that campers also displayed those same traits daily. This was evident in their interactions with each other and with Shubham.” This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., School Age Child Care Director. "We look forward to having Shubham at camp next summer!"


 

Family, Challenges, Triumph: The Divin Family

Fall in love with the Divin's and their story of family, challenges, and triumph. To learn more about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy visit: http://www.parentprojectmd.org/.


The Journeyman: David Thielk

David, Kelly, Eli, Maia and Nevin Thielk

David's family left to right: Nevin, Maia, David, Kelli and Eli

My fitness journey started when I joined the Sandwich Wrestling team at age 13. Wrestling taught me that with hard work and determination I can fight through and overcome anything in life. I graduated high school in 1996 in the best shape of my life, attributed to wrestling. Shortly after high school I got married and started a family with my beautiful wife of 20 years. We have 3 crazy kids. With starting a family came a large responsibility and I thought I had to sacrifice my gym time, which also meant my health, in order to manage it all. For 17 years my attempts at the gym and eating healthy were a yo-yo trick of ups and downs. Once my children entered high school and started working out at the YMCA they became my motivators and the gym became our family time. I/we make time for the gym as a family now. The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family.


"The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family."


I am a journeyman/lineman and my job requires me to travel due to storms and other natural disasters. No matter where my job takes me there is always a YMCA for me to workout at. Over the last 2 years, I have stopped at YMCA's all over Illinois. YMCA's in Galesburg, Plainfield, Morris, Kankakee, Plano, Springfield, Rockford and more, they are all amazing and welcoming but West Branch in Sandwich is my home. My job, like others, can make it difficult to get to the gym.

Working on powerlines is exciting and very rewarding! I love what I do for a living and it makes me feel proud to be a part of a brotherhood of the strongest. I love the fast pace, intense demands of focus and the adrenaline working my job; journeyman/lineman is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs.

David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania

The rewarding part of this job is when we go out in a storm to help people that have lost power due to a natural disaster. We are usually sent in before these disasters hit and we ride the storms with the first responders or move in shortly after they hit. I have been to many states for storm restoration including Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and most recently, Florida for Hurricane Erma –– all of which participate in the Y's nationwide membership programphoto caption: David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania.


 

"I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me. This is my Y!"


There are no words to describe what it feels like to ride out a hurricane or any other natural disaster, not knowing the devastation that you will see when it is over. Once the storm calms, our job starts, we work 16 plus hours helping to restore power. The conditions are tough and the tasks are not easy. Hurricane Erma left people out of power for three weeks. Those amazing Floridians were so kind; feeding us and bringing us drinks while we worked despite all they had been through.

Thinking back to my high school wrestling days, I loved being a part of a team and Coach Gerrish pushing us to keep going and never give up. I’m older now and those days are still part of my core values and it is probably why I love working hard at my job, my marriage, and being a good dad. Now instead of Coach Gerrish I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me. This is my Y!

Learn more about the Y's Nationwide Membership Program here.


Special olympic swimmer: Jessica Grammar

 

In this season of giving, Second Chance Cardiac Solutions has generously donated an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the Fox Valley Family YMCA.  The Cardiac Science AED is the second one in service at Fox Valley Family YMCA Central Branch and will be located on the pool deck of the indoor lap and recreational pool.

Use of the pool continues to grow through the Y’s Aquatic Programs including swim lessons, aquatic fitness, special events and Aqua Force Swim Team and this addition will make swimming at the Y even safer. “Having an AED on pool deck increases the safety of the pool – in the event of a cardiac emergency, pool staff will have access to the most effective solution.” Kevin Satler, Aquatics Director.  “We are very grateful for the AED donation from Second Chance.” 

Elizabeth Heriaud, President of Second Chance Cardiac Solutions, stated, “We are thrilled to support our home YMCA with this donation.  Making more AEDs readily available promotes a heart-safe environment for Y members and guests.”  Second Chance Cardiac Solutions, a local AED  supply and safety training company, also provides CPR/AED training for Y staff and community members.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are lightweight, portable devices that deliver an electric shock to a fibrillating heart via electrodes placed on the chest.  AEDs have the potential to restore a normal, effective heart rhythm to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  An AED should be used in combination with CPR whenever available for the victim’s best chance of survival.  Illinois law requires having at least one AED available at all physical fitness facilities serving over 100 individuals and trained staff to be available during every hour of operation. 

Get to know Second Chance Solutions here: https://www.sccsolutions.net/