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Wayman Palmer YMCA Expanding Programs and Membership

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

Eric Williams, director of the Wayman Palmer YMCA is entering his sixth year at the helm of the inner-city Y and he is as optimistic as ever about the organization’s future. Critically important programs are either growing in participation or, in some cases, being restructured; membership is growing and a capital campaign is being planned to renovate the facilities.

Williams is especially proud of the ongoing day care program that currently has an enrollment of more than 80 school-aged kids and about a dozen and a half pre-schoolers. The Wayman Palmer building has recently been modified, he noted, to provide more security and prevent non-participants from intruding. A separate entrance and a walled of section of the building have been implemented.

“Sports are coming back,” said Williams of the increased interest and participation in the Y’s athletic programs. As many as 100 youngsters are often playing weekend basketball and soon, as spring approaches, t-ball, soccer and flag football will also be part of offering. Williams is working with the other Y branches in the area to set up year-round competition in the various sports.

Several programs, of different sizes, are on the schedule.

Silver Sneakers – low impact exercises – already has about 50-60 participants; a high impact program featuring stepping and aerobics is also underway. Other programs include a Mercy-St. Vincent’s workshop on nutrition; family night once a month; the annual Christmas party; Angel Tree – during the holidays; a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway and a trunk or treat at Halloween.

The Wayman Palmer building is a bit of a hodgepodge – seemingly built at different times blending offices, classrooms and a basketball gym. A renovation, which is in the planning stage, would enhance the appearance and the usefulness of the space.

The success of such a fundraising campaign, however, will depend largely on the perception that individuals and organizations, especially organizations with funds to donate, have of the operation.

“We have to get the word out and let people know what we’re doing and what people can take advantage of,” said Williams.

That word is certainly out amongst potential members. Over the last year alone, membership has doubled at the Wayman Palmer. The membership rates are indeed appealing, as low as $25 for a family – children included – for those residents who are in the Wayman Palmer’s residential eligibility zip codes – 43604, 43606, 43607, 43608, 43610, 43620.

The Wayman Palmer is also committed to an extensive involvement in the community it serves. “We will continue to open up to the community,” said Williams describing how the facilitiy’s space is open to organizations like “fire, police, neighborhood block watch meetings … and anyone trying to do the right thing.”



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/13/20 09:08:22 -0500.

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