Y Stories

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

Finding the Right Path

Landing a job is a tremendous milestone for young people. Hannah Davidson is a great example. She was about to finish college and look for a teaching position when she accepted a part-time job at the Roy Blunt YMCA of Bolivar as an after school counselor. She didn't realize that her life was about to change and open up to new possibilities. Hannah says, "The connection that forms with the kids and the positive effects it can have in their lives fills my heart." She has gone on to become a site supervisor of the program. Not every youth development program we offer is for younger children. Youth development is also dipping a toe into the workforce. Steady work fosters the development of time

Volunteer Spotlight: Taylor Hoover

Hollister is proud to introduce Taylor Hoover, gymnastics coach volunteer for the recreational gymnastics program. Taylor comes to the Ozark Family YMCA from Camp Barnabas, a unique ministry providing Christian camping experiences to people with special needs and chronic illnesses. She loves working with kids because she “wants to watch them grow and progress to a higher skill level.” Taylor has previous experience working with children at Sunday School, babysitting her younger cousins and also being a public school teacher’s aide. Taylor has recently been assisting the recreational gymnastics program. She is also an assistant to several of the coaches and aides in making sure the gymnastics

A Night for the Community

You know the challenges in our community today: people of all ages and backgrounds are struggling to reach their full potential. More and more, children face widening learning gaps and lack of safe places to be while their parents work. Families find it difficult to spend quality time together, as playing outside has become rarer, and face time happens through a phone. Instead of seeing the income gap shrink, it seems all we do is watch it grow. But where society falls short, the Y — and donors like you — step in. Together, we make a difference in the lives of thousands of people and a huge impact on each individual we serve. The Ozarks Regional YMCA understands what our community needs to b

Member Spotlight: Pete Staudt

Pete Staudt is employed by Jack Henry & Associates and is another long time Y member. Pete says he began going to the old Armory Building on Euclid Ave. to join in on regular lunch hour basketball games. When the building became the location for the Monett Area YMCA, he decided to get a membership so he could continue to play basketball. Thus, he has been a member since there has been a Y in Monett. When asked what areas of the facility have been most beneficial to him, Pete says that, even though he initially joined to play basketball, he now regularly takes advantage of some of the classes that are offered, such as BODYPUMP, Yoga, Insanity, and TurboKick, and has even been known to “rock”

Talent and Friendship on the Court

In the spring of 2018, the Lebanon Family YMCA introduced a women’s basketball league and it happens to be the only women’s league in the Ozarks area. This new and exciting program features many former Southwest Missouri high school and college standouts, former All American players and current high school coaches. League play began on March 19 and concluded with an end of season tournament on May 7. Some of our players came from Lebanon, Camdenton, Strafford and Conway but others are traveling from as far south as Branson to participate. These ladies hit the hardwood every week with intensity and sportsmanship. This league was really something special to see. The women playing may have been

The Wakonda Experience

In 1914 the Missouri YMCAs founded its summer camp program on the banks of the White River. From its inception, camp had a positive impact on the campers who attended. Between 1952 and 1953 the original property was purchased by the state of Missouri as part of the Table Rock Dam Project and camp moved to its present location on the banks of Goose Creek just southwest of Halltown, MO. Camp Wakonda’s 98 acres of woodlands, fields and streams are home to multitude of wildlife including deer, turkeys, owls, hawks squirrels and woodchucks. A climbing tower, high and low ropes courses, archery and rifle ranges, arts and crafts, nature center and pool offer campers opportunities to try new skills,

Off to New Adventures

The Board of Directors of the Ozarks Regional YMCA has announced the retirement of Steve Gimenez as CEO, effective October 1, 2018. Steve began serving the Ozarks Regional YMCA, July 15, 2013. His Y career spanned more than 35 years beginning in Ft. Worth TX as a part-time referee in youth sports, and progressed through three states including Texas, Florida and Missouri. “Steve has served our organization well and we are so excited for him to take this next step in his lifelong commitment to the Y, we wish him the best in his retirement and thank him for his outstanding service to the Y,” said Shannon Boggs, Ozarks Regional YMCA Board Chair. “The Y has served thousands of families, but I bel

Member Spotlight: Karen Bliss

Karen Bliss started her journey to health with the Pat Jones YMCA in April 2016. Karen changed jobs and had more time to work out. She said “what else would I do with my spare time? I’d either be sitting around or I could spend it working on my health.” Karen chose the Pat Jones Y for multiple reasons. “The Y had a variety of equipment, including a track, gym and pool, which most places do not. Also Kids’ Zone is really good at the Y. I now have a place for my son to go, or I knew I’d never exercise,” Karen said. Karen said, “It will give me a break from chasing my son around all day, even for just an hour, and I love that the Y has a gym for the kids to be active too.”

Teaching Water Safety

At the Y, we have the responsibility as one of the nationwide authorities on water safety to educate children on basic skills that can save their lives and the lives of their friends. Following three successful years in Bolivar, we have expanded our Safety Around Water program to our Dallas County and Cassville YMCAs. In Safety Around Water, kids learned what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly. Children learn fundamental water safety skills that include the concepts of reach, throw, don’t go; CPR and what to look for in a safe place to swim. Jump/Push/Turn/Grab teaches a child to push off the bottom of the pool as they are submerging to get back up to the surface while t

Giving Kids Character, Confidence and Connection

Our goal for your child at the YMCA is to help them learn new skills, build character and make new friends. Summer Day Camp at your local Y is just the way to do that. This summer, we’ve focused our programs to give your child experiences that encourage them to get out of their comfort zone, grow and adventure out – whether it’s canoeing, caving, discovering new things at the Discovery Center, and especially splashing in the pool! The American Camping Association states 74 percent of kids try new things at camp, and 63 percent of parents say their children stick with new skills after leaving camp. This summer at the G. Pearson Ward YMCA, we’ve also started a focus on empowering your child to

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