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The YMCA of Greater Westfield

Developing the Whole Person – Mind, Body, and Spirit

Ask Andrea Allard about the YMCA of Greater Westfield and the first thing she declares is: “We’re more than a gym, we’re a cause." A cause that takes seriously the words represented in the inverted triangle that shines as the symbol for the YMCA - spirit, mind, and body.

“People come in as individuals, but stay because of the community they find here. They make connections and find a sense of belonging while achieving their goals. We develop the whole person in spirit, mind, and body,” she said.

Many people are introduced to the Y as kids and become lifelong members. One
member, Jean, will turn 101 years on May 20! She joined the YMCA of Greater Westfield 23 years ago. Once you are a member and turn 90, your membership is free.

Andrea recalls experiencing the YMCA through Camp Shepard at age 7, and then at 15 while working for summer camp. Post-college she worked for a YMCA, and later in her career, she was Branch Director for the YMCA of Greater Hartford. Now she’s back in her hometown at the Y where everything began. “Now I get to lead the organization that made me who I am,” she smiles.

Andrea noted that many of the Y’s Board members have their own history at the Y as youth. “The Y made such an impact in their lives – they wanted to come back to move
the organization forward.” As CEO of an organization that serves adults, families, and children, Andrea and the YMCA team are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. “The adaptability of the organization is how we have thrived and have been a vital part of the community for 135 years,” she asserts. “We’re committed to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” Andrea said, noting the wide variety of programs offered by the YMCA.

Children can begin their Y experience with licensed childcare and before-and after-school programs, then attend 105-acre Camp Shepard, just five miles from the YMCA, where its 8-week summer day camp offers what Andrea calls “an incredible outdoor experience, not too far from home.” Campers leave their electronics at home and get back to nature. “They come to camp nice and clean, and they go home dirty,” Andrea said. Many kids start at camp at age 4 and then become staff as teens.

Registration for camp 2023 season is open now. Another program for children is the 7-week Safety Around Water Program, offered free to second graders at Franklin Avenue School in Westfield, a program the Y is hoping to expand to other elementary schools. The Y has two swimming pools – one warm water pool and a six-lane, 25-yard pool. The Teen Leadership Program creates friendships and a sense of belonging among a group of teens who meet weekly to discuss how they can serve the community. They volunteer at community events and at the Y.

Living a healthy life by maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body is at the core of the programs offered at the Y. This is the gym where members can work with personal
trainers, participate in group exercise classes, health and wellness programs like Livestrong, which is a 12-week exercise program for cancer survivors who are currently in (or have completed) treatment. Designed by Stanford University, this program has proven to help survivors regain strength, overcome fatigue, and enhance their functional ability to do everyday tasks. Active Older Adult Programs are offered for the growing segment of adults aged 55+ who want to remain active. These classes teach members to build muscle strength, endurance, and increase mobility. The Y also offers a program for those with Parkinson’s Disease called Fight PD - named with a boxing component in mind. The program is free for members; nonmembers can
participate by paying a $5 drop-in fee.


The YMCA of Greater Westfield also offered $175,000 in assistance to 1,000 families last year. This year, they will hold a fundraiser, Comedy for a Cause, featuring Michael Winslow on May 19 at 6PM at Tekoa Country Club. Tickets are available online at westfieldymca.org.


YMCA of Greater Westfield
67 Court St, Westfield
(413) 568-8631
westfieldymca.org

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