Y Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and happenings from the Ozarks Regional YMCA and its 7 branches.

Dancing Their Way to Fitness

For Nena and David Dockery, Pat Jones YMCA members for over 25 years, what started as a friendly marital bargain turned into a passion and a hobby with the Y at its center. “As long as we’ve been married, Nena had been wanting to learn ballroom dancing,” David says. “I did not.” Nena, though, kept suggesting it, and then after she took karate with David, he finally gave in. “She took karate with me, and I owed her because that was part of the deal,” he says. “He ran out of something to get me for my birthday,” she jokes. David admits he thought he’d buy her ten lessons and just be done with it. David, surprisingly, quickly fell in love with ballroom dancing. “He decided he liked it. It’s g

Counselors In Training Get the Wakonda Experience

Here at YMCA Camp Wakonda developing youth is what we do. Whether it is a first year camper arriving at Camp for a week, a father and son growing closer and developing bonds during our Dads & Lads weekend, a young woman developing confidence as she learns new skills at the Department of Conservations Girls Discover Nature Camp or a student learning how to survive for a year in 1821 Missouri, developing youth is at the core of what we do. Camp also has a unique group of youth that we love to develop. These are our Counselors In Training (CITs). Our CITs consist of young women and men who are entering the 11th & 12th grade, many of whom have been long time campers here at Wakonda. Through a we

We Are Stronger Together

The YMCA was founded in 1844 by George Williams who pictured an organization united together by faith. In 1855, the First World Alliance of YMCA’s held in Paris France reaffirmed a call for unity with the following Bible passage from John 17:21: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The Springfield community has seen many changes since 1855, but the call for unity for all Springfield community members continues to remain great as we struggle against the ongoing community issues of homelessness, hunger, drug addiction, and domestic violence. The YMCA works to bring people toget

The Future Is In Our Hands

In 2016, we submitted an application for tax credits to rehabilitate the Ward Downtown YMCA and add housing to the facility. We have been notified by the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) that our application was not selected for funding during this cycle. Although disappointing, we knew this was possible with our first application. Moving forward, we are committed to another year of supporting this effort. Our next step is to begin the process of better understanding how we can strengthen our application for the next funding cycle. We are greatly encouraged by the interest the MHDC showed throughout this process. The Ward Downtown YMCA will remain open, committed to bringing y

Make Your Resolutions Your Reality

If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution in the past and found that you have not been able to stick with it then don’t be too hard on yourself. Surprisingly, 75% of resolutions will be continued through the entire first week of January, but only 46% make it past six months. How can you make your resolutions a reality? We’re here to help. Here are some tips from the Y to help you reach your wellness goals: 1. Have Fun If you loved riding your bike as a kid then try Spin. Embrace your inner warrior with Bodycombat. Love to dance? Then try Zumba or Mixxfit. Whatever you pick, make it fun! Find your group exercise schedule or download our app. Just search Ozarks Regional YMCA in your app store. 2

Member Spotlight: Skip Stephens

Skip Stephens is a treat. Skip and his wife Beverly Ann became members of the Roy Blunt YMCA of Bolivar two years ago. Except for the time they spend in Hawaii every year, they are at the Y every morning. Skip does his workout, but mostly is seeking someone to help. Need a table moved? Stack some chairs? Skip is your guy!

Our Second Home

I discovered the YMCA when my family lived in Shawnee, Okla. I was a 21-year-old stay-at-home mom to two young daughters, and my husband was working a very demanding job that required long hours and frequent moves. I quickly found my niche at the Y, going to kickboxing classes, Mommy and Me play dates and befriending more experienced moms who offered advice and support. Whenever we moved, which was often, I always found the nearest YMCA and got involved, seeking something familiar, something stable for myself and for the girls. I eventually got my personal training certification and started working at the Pat Jones YMCA 10 years ago shortly after moving to the area. We had a third daughter,

Creating Lasting Connections

Here at Ozark Mountain Family YMCA, we get the opportunity to develop close relationships with members of our Y community. Some people come and stay a while, and some come and go. Our facility is near a unique community that attracts some seasonal Y members that stay for the spring and summer while the bustling city of Branson keeps them entertained. But come winter, they would rather make home to warmer climates. We have a seasonal senior couple in particular that we have come to really love and miss while they are gone. Their names are Bill and Pat Mecke. What makes them really special is that Mr. Bill Mecke has been involved with the YMCA organization since he was 6 years old in 1937. Bil

Building Character One Game at a Time

My four-year-old son Cohen comes to the YMCA during basketball season twice a week to learn how to play the game, learn what it means to be on a team, and to have fun with other kids his age. He has fun, runs around, tries to get the ball and tries to shoot it in the goal. Most importantly, he has fun and looks forward to visiting the Pat Jones YMCA. Recently, we went to a Missouri State Bears game so that he could see what a real basketball game looks like and what it looks like to make a basket and get the rebound. I realized pretty quickly this was a crazy plan. What am I thinking? He is 4 years old! But then something happened right before the game started. The team all bunched together,

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