A program that helps low-income families afford memberships in the Union County YMCA got a boost with a donation from the Union Rotary Club.
Rotary Club President Frank Hart presented a check for $500 to fellow Rotarian and Union County YMCA Director Scott Sandor during last Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting at Covenant Baptist Church. Hart said the donation is part of the club’s ongoing efforts to support the YMCA and the recreational and other programs it provides to the community. He said the club raises the money through a variety of ongoing and special projects.
“This is a continuing project of the Rotary Club, to assist the Y in providing programs for the community, particularly the youth,” Hart said. “The funds come from our aluminum sales that we have on Saturday, plus any funds we make on the different projects we have.”
Sandor thanked the club for its support of the YMCA and said the money will be used to help make membership in the YMCA and participation in its programs affordable for low-income families.
“Any of those monies go into our Financial Assistance Program,” Sandor said. “Each year through that Financial Assistance Program we give out around $60,000 in assistance to people in the community in the form of reduced fees for programs and memberships.”
Sandor said low-income families and individuals interested in joining the YMCA and/or participating in particular programs can apply for the Financial Assistance Program.
“Eligibility is based on the number of people in the household and household income,” Sandor said. “Based on those numbers, if they quality, they receive a percentage off our regular fees for programs and memberships.
“A single parent family membership is $36 per month,” he said. “If somebody qualifies for financial assistance, and we have many who qualify for the maximum, they can get 75 percent off and pay only $9 a month.”
Sandor added that a majority of the children participating in the YMCA’s Afterschool Program do so through the Financial Assistance Program.
Applications for the Financial Assistance Program can be picked up at the YMCA, which is located at 106 Lakeside Drive, Union.
The YMCA operates out of what was once the gymnasium of the old Union High School. The building is owned by the City of Union which leases it to the YMCA in exchange for the organization providing community recreational services on the city’s behalf.
One of those services is the municipal swimming pool which will open for the summer on May 29. For YMCA members, the pool will be open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30-5 p.m. Sunday. Non-members may swim during the public swim hours as long as they have a pool pass. A daily pool pass costs $4 for children under 15 and $5 for adults, but a seasonal pool pass which allows non-members to swim anytime there’s a public swim can be purchased for just $20.
In order to swim at the YMCA, a children 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. Children 12-15 years of ages must be registered by a parent in order to swim without an adult. Those 16 years and older must present photo identification in order to be admitted to the pool.
The YMCA also offers swimming lessons for children ages four and up. The programs consists of eight lessons taught on Mondays and Thursdays over a two-week period. The session dates are 10:45-11:30 a.m. and 5:15-6 p.m. June 4-14, 10:45-11:30 a.m. and 5:15-6 p.m. June 18-28, and 10:45-11:30 a.m. July 9-19. For members, the cost of the lessons is $36 and for potential members $46.
Summer at the YMCA also includes the Y’s Barracuda Swim Team for boys and girls ages 5-14. The Barracudas learn the fundamentals of competitive swimming and train for meets with the teams of other area YMCAs. To join the team, a child under the age of seven must be able to swim the length of the pool (25 yards) without stopping. Those over the age of seven must be able to swim the length of the pool freestyle and then an additional 25 yards doing the backstroke without stopping.
Practices and tryouts begin this week and the costs are $50 for members and $60 for potential members. The fee covers swim cap and swimsuit.
Sandor said swimming lessons and membership on the Barracuda Swim Team are also covered under the Financial Assistance Program for the children of qualified families.
Also opening on May 29 will be the YMCA’s annual Summer Day Camp which will be held Monday-Friday for children ages 5-12. The camp, which will run through Aug. 17, will include activities such as games, crafts, devotionals, field trips, gardening, sports, Y-walking, canoeing, archery, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, character development, and target shooting.
Children may be dropped off at the YMCA from 7-9 a.m. each day for the duration of the Summer Day Camp. Camp hours will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and parents can pick their children up between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Enrollment in the Summer Day Camp costs $75 for members and $85 for non-members. Sandor said this too is covered under the Financial Assistance program for children whose families qualify for the assistance.
For more information about the YMCA’s Financial Assistance Program, swimming classes and Barracudas Swim Team, and its Summer Day Camp, call 427-0668.