Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Facebook; the good the bad and the ugly.

Over the past 2 weeks I have been both amazed and disappointed with the connectivity that Facebook creates.

AMAZED:  One of our wonderful YMCA Front Desk staff members had a wedding band turned in to our lost and found, and after waiting a short amount of time to see if anyone asked about it we decided to send out a Facebook post about it.  BINGO, less than 12 hours later the ring was reunited with a very grateful groom.  I'm not sure how the message traveled from one user to another, but I know that it was amazing.

DISAPPOINTED:  Like many others I have lost real contact with some of my old friends...sure I see their vacation photos and support their kids walks and other fundraisers, but it's a veil of a real relationship, it's like being nostalgic about things that are happening right now.  So, I thought of asking one of my pals to get together, have dinner and actually get to know his family and talk about old times.   Before I could make the call he posted a long and one sided argument about gun control.  The fact that we disagree about this issue wasn't what was disappointing... it was that we disagreed about why we are on this social media platform in the first place.  Maybe he is right and Facebook is the place to air your political, social and religious agendas...but not for me.

SO: Our YMCA Facebook pages are expanding and they are great places for you to get information, hopefully feel inspired and see all of the wonderful ways that your Y is impacting the community.  It's not a soap box for us...it's a kitchen near the end of a party...everyone is welcome and everyone is sharing a good time. 

Check out these great Y Facebook pages:
Middlesex YMCA
YMCA Camp Ingersoll
Middlesex YMCA Kids' Korner
Middlesex YMCA Triathlon Club

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Community Support Campaign Special Events Schedule

Join Us!

When you participate in any of the following events, you are contributing to the Community Support Campaign. The fees collected for participation in these events ensure that all Y members have access to our programs regardless of their ability to pay. 

Swim-a-thon: February 11th-22nd: This is open to all Y swimmers. Get sponsors, keep track of your laps and have fun! Pledge forms are available at the front desk, fitness plus lounge or at the table between the two pools. Pledge forms and pledges must be returned to the front desk by March 10th. For more information please contact Sue Dionne at 860-343-6222 or sdionne@midymca.org.

Spin-a-thon: February 24th from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm: Spin all 5 hours or a minimum of at least 2. A minimum 2 hour block of time and at least $20 worth of donation is required (but we challenge anyone to get more)! Come spin with Y Health and Fitness Director Kristin Champagne. Pledge sheets are available upon request by contacting Kristin. Please RSVP to Kristin at 860-343-6204 or kchampagne@midymca.org.

Bench Press Competition: April 13th beginning at 1:00 pm: A $20 donation gives you three attempts at your highest bench press.There will be two groups (Male/Female) and two weight classes (Lightweight/Heavyweight). For more information please contact Sarah Frey at 860-343-6240 or sfrey@midymca.org.

Dodge Ball Tourney: March 17th at 1:30 pm: Do you have the luck o’ the Irish? Join us for the 3rd Annual YMCA Dodge ball Tourney. Get a group of friends or coworkers (ages 16 and up) together and join the action. Teams of 6-10 players ($20 per person). For more info and registration paperwork please contact Kevin Cassesse at 860-343-6211 or kcassesse@midymca.org.

Hip Hop Party: March 21st: This is not your ordinary Hip Hop Fitness class. A DJ will provide live music while fitness staff Josh Ramos gets you moving and sweating. Bring a friend (or two)! This event is $10 and will be held in the gymnasium. Please RSVP to Kristin at 860-343-6204 or kchampagne@midymca.org.

AOA BINGO Bonanza: March 28th at 12:30 pm: Calling all Active Older Adults! Bring a bagged lunch, your friends and join us for an afternoon of BINGO fun….all for just a $10 donation! For more info please contact Sue Dionne at 860-343-6222.

Give to the Y, Impact Your Community

It's Community Support Campaign time! At the Middlesex Y, we count on the generosity of our donors to make a meaningful impact on our community. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our youth, our neighbors, our health and well being. For decades, the Y’s high quality programming and services have been made available to everyone in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. Financial assistance is a critical component to our goal that everyone has an opportunity to receive the support, guidance and resources to learn, grow and thrive. This vital funding is made possible by community supporting community.

We are proud of the fact that the Y has been able to continuously offer financial assistance in an effort to make quality programs available to all members of our community. Your participation and contribution to this campaign helps to ensure that Summer Camp Scholarships are available to children, our Opening Doors to a Healthy Community  Program will support those who are interested in improving their health and our Swimming for Life Programs are available to all.

Feeling inspired to help? Here are a few of the many ways you (yes, YOU!) can help make a difference:
  • Become a donor! No amount is too small; many smaller gifts can add up quickly. Your gift is tax deductible and 100% of your gift goes directly to families in need of financial assistance.
  • Become a volunteer!  We are always looking for people to help with the campaign and speak about our work.
  • Ask others to become involved! Do you know someone who can donate to our campaign or does the company you work for donate to charitable causes? Let us know if we can make a connection in the community. 
  • Participate in one or more of our special events like our dodge ball tournament, hip hop party, spin-a-thon or swim-a-thon! When you participate in any of these events, you are contributing to the Community Support Campaign. The fees collected for  participation in these events ensure that all Y members have access to our programs regardless of their ability to pay.  

    For more information about our campaign or to make a donation, please contact Jessica Carso at 860-343-6232 or jcarso@midymca.org.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Keigwin Middle School Scholars in Action Program

Often when people think of the term “child care”, their minds are automatically conditioned to envision preschool childcare centers or occasionally before and after school programs for elementary school children. We seldom recognize that this term also encompasses an often overlooked, but incredibly crucial, age group. On any given afternoon, there are 3.7 million unsupervised middle school children, left to their own devices after the school day ends. 

Fortunately, here in Middletown, the benefits of quality afterschool programming are felt by this key age group. At Keigwin Middle School, home of Middletown’s 6th graders, “The Scholars in Action Program” provides after school academic support, recreational and environmental science enrichment related activities, field trips and group projects. Thanks in large part to 21st Century Community Learning Center grant funding, Keigwin School partners with the Northern Middlesex YMCA, Middletown High School, and other choice enrichment groups to “foster within students an understanding of the relationships between human beings, the natural world, energy and the impacts of change on these systems” (Scholars in Action Mission Statement). Each week, the Y provides partner enrichment, including recreational and environmental science activities to program participants.  

The ability of “Scholars in Action” to help fill the void in structured after school activities is essential in the continued personal growth of its participants. The vital benefits provided to the middle school children enrolled in the program make us proud to be a partner and to continuously expand our child care programming, reaching the maximum number of youth we can. If you would like more information about the Scholars in Action program provided at Keigwin Middle School, please contact Maegan Musanti at mmusanti@midymca.org or (860) 343-6247.

Check out some pictures below from the Scholars in Action recent Y Egg Drop Challenge! Six teams worked together using paper plates, straws, and tape to engineer structures that would hopefully prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from three different heights!

Some of the members of The Purple Ninjas work together on their Egg Holder!
Team Purple Ninjas!

Team Holla Backk hard at work!
Team Doggies with their final product!

Team Purple shows off their flying saucer egg holder!

Will the egg survive the initial drop?

 The second round!
Ceiling height!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Middlesex YMCA Kids' Korner CATCH Kids

Our Kids' Korner Before and After School Programs are committed to providing children with opportunities to participate in an active, healthy lifestyle. The main way that we do this is through implementation of our CATCH program.The message of our CATCH program is that it is fun to be fit, to play hard, to run and jump and move your body. In 2006 the YMCA Kids’ Korner after school programs introduced the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum in our eleven after school programs. This wellness curriculum is comprised of fun physical fitness games, activities and nutritional resources. Y staff facilitates a daily active game and integrates the nutrition materials into cooking clubs, group discussion and science clubs.

This school year we have begun to recognize children in our programs as "CATCH Kids of the Week". Within our programs, hundreds of children participate in our CATCH program each week. CATCH Kids of the Week are  chosen because they show great enthusiasm during CATCH games, participate daily in our CATCH activities and have great attitudes about daily physical activity.


RT is in 2nd grade. In addition to making silly faces, he enjoys playing basketball in the gym. His favorite CATCH activity is the lame dog walk. Jai'lyn is in 4th grade and her favorite CATCH games are any aerobic games. She enjoys playing Fishy Fish in he gym.

Ally is in 4th grade and loves basketball. Her favorite CATCH game is Scatterball. Osiah is in 5th grade and loves basketball. His favorite CATCH game is also Scatterball. You can catch him in the gym any day working up a sweat. Jenna is in 1st grade and her favorite sport is soccer. Her favorite CATCH game is Dino Ball.

 Nicholas is in fourth grade and loves soccer. His favorite CATCH game is Frisbee Tag. Cole is in second grade and he loves baseball. His favorite CATCH games are Rolling Coconuts and Warlords. 

Patrick is in third grade. His favorite sport is lacrosse and his favorite CATCH game is Foxes, Squirrels and Trees. Ava is in first grade. Her favorite CATCH game is Everybody's It and her favorite sport is basketball.  

Stephen is in 5th grade. His favorite activity at Kids' Korner is "anything in the gym". Amelia is in 3rd grade. She loves running CATCH games and she taught the other kids "hoop challenges". Her favorite thing to do at Kids' Korner is playing in the gym and arts and crafts.

Kristen and Raymond are both 8 years old and are best friends. Kristen's favorite sport is basketball and her favorite CATCH game is team bowling. Raymond's favorite sport is baseball and his favorite CATCH game is Fishy Fishy. 

We are proud and excited to celebrate these kids for their hard work. We cannot wait to add more kids to this list for recognition! For more information about CATCH Programs please visit the CATCH Info website by clicking here. For more information about what's happening at our Kids' Korner programs please visit our Facebook Page.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Community Supporting Community

At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Take Ali Carter for example.  Ali, 4, is in her second year of preschool at the Y and has found a true passion and talent for swimming.  Ali's dad proudly explains, "Ali enjoys swim day the most! Since she started swimming she’s excelled, and already swims without 'floaties.' Ali wears her blue goggles everywhere--to the store, out to eat, around the house. It's funny, but also a true testament to how much she loves swim class. Bath time is now swim time for her too. She has me watch as she holds her breath under water for as long as she can. She is very proud of what she can do; her confidence in the water has grown by leaps and bounds."

Ali’s ability to participate in the Y’s preschool swim class is made possible by the generosity of our donors. I hope you will consider joining us in supporting the Middlesex Y’s 2013 Community Support Campaign. Your contribution will directly impact Ali, her classmates and children like them.  Your gift not only introduces them to the water, possibly sparking a passion and natural talent, but also provides a vital, life-saving skill. 

Your gift will make a meaningful and enduring impact supporting our fellow community members, providing them with valuable and vital opportunities that would otherwise not be possible without donors like you.
If you would like to donate, visit our secure online donation site: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=06-0646981.

Want to learn more about our Community Support Campaign and meet some of the recipients of your generosity?  Join us on Thursday, February 7th from 6-8pm at Middlesex Community College's Chapman Hall for our kick-off event.  Food, kids activities, testimonials, music, a raffle basket and "Buy a Y" opportunities. RSVP to Jessica Carso at jcarso@midymca.org or (860) 343-6232.  Ali will be there and we hope you will be too!