With the success of their 31st Annual Spring Fun Run still fresh in their hearts, South Sound YMCA is geared up and ready to dive into another unforgettable summer season. Swim lessons, summer day camps and youth sports are already in full swing. Students are engaged in amazing programs, like Power Scholars Academy, working hard with YMCA staff and school district personnel to counteract academic loss over the long summer holiday. Community members are on journeys to discover their healthiest selves through group fitness classes, personal training sessions and healthy innovation groups.
Never is there a dull season at the YMCA. For over 100 years they have kept their mission and magic alive. Current South Sound YMCA President and CEO, Kyle Cronk, has been with the organization over 25 years, getting his own start as a member of the summer staff. He credits the YMCA’s success to its ability to connect with community in genuine and lasting ways.
“Whether we’re teaching kids to blow bubbles in the pool or supporting cancer survivorship through our LIVESTRONG program, our focus is on building lasting relationships,” he says. “Everything we do is aimed at discovering new ways to engage individuals of every age and background. We strive to make the YMCA a place where everyone feels welcome and supported, no matter the journey they are on. When we empower individuals and families, we strengthen our community as whole.”
One of the biggest changes we’ve seen from the YMCA in the last year is the opening of their new Plum Street location and their bittersweet farewell to the historic Downtown branch. A transition that Kyle says simply wouldn’t have been possible, or as smooth, without the amazing YMCA staff.
In fact, it is thanks to people like the Y staff, community volunteers, administrative leaders and members themselves, that the YMCA’s positive impact on the community remains so strong after all these years.
One of those amazing people is Laurie Berryman, who recently took on the role of vice chair on the South Sound YMCA’s Board of Trustees.
Laurie’s YMCA story began with her father, who battled polio in his youth. Every day his uncle would bring him to the Downtown YMCA to swim in the pool, and against all odds he one day learned to walk again.
“To be a member of the board gives me such a good feeling,” shares Laurie. “The value the YMCA puts on teaching kids to swim is something that has always warmed my heart. The YMCA gave my dad his health back and I’ve always been grateful for that.”
“This is a such a wonderful time to be part of the South Sound YMCA,” adds Laurie. “The visionary leadership of our board and staff make for exciting times. All you have to do is come visit our new Plum Street location to see this.”
Already been to Plum Street? Then get ready for these exciting updates from the YMCA:
Briggs is Expanding
South Sound YMCA is combining their administration offices into one building. This will leave open space in the Briggs to expand/add programs and services.
Shelton is Raising Funds
When the Shelton Community was approached with the idea of building a YMCA branch in their community, the feedback was immediate and positive.
“So many people in Mason County have been touched by their own personal experiences and encounters with the YMCA,” says Kyle. “The money we’ve received during our initial fundraising efforts are not just donations, but joyous, meaningful gifts. Each one comes with a story and a sense of urgency to meet the needs of a growing community.”
An initial fundraising effort that would normally take well over a year is expected to take only months due to the generosity of donors.
Terry Wilson, volunteer of the year, credits Kyle’s leadership for the YMCA’s visionary growth and echoes Laurie’s enthusiasm for the future. “Kyle has brought so much new energy and vision to the South Sound Y,” says Terry. “I am excited to see the Shelton/Mason County YMCA get all the fundraising done in the year to come and am looking forward to continuing to look for ways to improve programs both at Briggs and the Plum Street location.”
Terry is another one of the YMCA’s amazing people whose time, energy, attitude and selfless devotion allow the YMCA to reach further and deeper into our community to make lasting change. However, he is the first to thank everyone else. “On a personal level, the Y has impacted me as a father and as a coach. Not only did my kids benefit from after school Y care when they were young, but I also had the humbling experience of coaching youth soccer through the Y. I won’t brag about my coaching record,” joked Terry, “but I think the kids had fun and we may have even scored a goal or two!”
“It is always nice to be recognized, but the truth is, there are a LOT of people who put in endless volunteer hours year after year without recognition. They simply do it to help the community and improve the lives of our families.”
Kyle describes the impact of the YMCA as support that you can feel, that wraps around you, that makes you stronger than you knew you could be alone, and more powerful together than we ever imagined.
To stay updated on the YMCA’s growth, explore membership options or discover ways to get involved, check them out anytime online or, in person at:
Briggs Community YMCA
1530 Yelm Highway SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Plum Street YMCA
505 Plum Street SE
Olympia, WA 98501