By Elizabeth Keys
Stillwater News Press
Dan Carman is the executive director of the Stillwater Family YMCA, 204 S. Duck Street.
1. What is the Y’s mission in Stillwater?
The Stillwater Family YMCA provides programs based upon Christian values which promote the health and well being of youth, families and senior citizens regardless of their economic ability. The Y is "community-centered" where members, volunteers and staff work together to foster the development of spirit, mind and body of individuals and families. The Y started working with OSU students in 1900, beginning citywide programs in 1958, and in 1968, a new facility was built. The aquatic center opened in 1979. In 2013, the Stillwater Family YMCA served more than 3,000 members and 6,000 participants. With more than 55 years of scheduled programming, the YMCA is measured by the lives we touch, help and change.
2. What are your membership policies?
We serve everyone regardless of race, creed, ability, social status or age. Approximately 25 percent are on scholarships which subsidize memberships, programs and sports fees. The YMCA has a policy of not denying anyone because of financial hardship.
3. What are some of your programs?
The community defines the YMCA many ways. Some see the Y as fitness, while others view it as after school care or swimming lessons. We do all that and more.
The YMCA programs are classified under one of the following areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We offer a wide variety of programs including group fitness classes, aquatics, swim party rentals, summer camps, youth sports, child care, Silver Sneakers for active older adults and home school physical education. The largest program is the child care program serving more than 300 children in after school child care and summer day camp. Some new programs are the youth outreach basketball program and youth rugby. We invite the community to use our indoor pool and diving board and we have an excellent swimming program. The YMCA Shockers have won the state championship six years in a row.
4. How are your programs funded?
The YMCA is funded by donations from the Stillwater Area United Way, area businesses and organizations, families and individuals. Revenue is generated from programming fees, membership fees and fundraisers.
5. What are the Y’s greatest needs now?
We recently updated the cardio room and women's locker room downstairs thanks to our wonderful volunteers. A new playground and pool resurfacing have also added to the facility in recent years. Current programming and limited gym space have stalled program growth and curtailed program development. We realize the need to develop and implement a plan for a new YMCA facility. We invite the community to contact the Y if they are interested in providing a service or volunteering their time. Contributing as a volunteer or with donations can help with continued improvements in operations, finances and membership. Call 405-372-5833 for information or stop by 204 S. Duck to find out more.