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June 14, 2016

Favorite Places in Fergus Falls: 11. YMCA Favorite Places in Fergus Falls: 11. YMCA

Favorite Places in Fergus Falls: 11. YMCA Favorite Places in Fergus Falls: 11. YMCA

Beau Matthys, Summer Day Camp councler, tells the kids to pick a number between 4 and 17 in order to decide who is going to be the dodge ball doctor. Briana Sanchez/ Daily Journal
YMCA stands for Young Men’s Christian Association and was created in 1851 — and it is no longer just a place for young men.

Better known nowadays as, The Y, it is now associated with the three clauses: “for your development, for healthy living, for social responsibility.”

Dennis Lipp, executive director of the Fergus Falls YMCA, said, “YMCAs were thought to be gyms and pools without a charitable cause attached. The Y wanted to rebrand for a greater mission.”

Lipp said he believes The Y reference is more inclusive. People from any faith background, ethnicity, age, gender and income are welcome.

In 1968, the YMCA was started in Fergus Falls. In the beginning the organization utilized churches, the bowling alley and other public areas. Then in 1972 what is now the YMCA building opened. The pool and two more racquetball courts were added in 1980. Lastly, in 2000 the track, gymnasium and cardio fitness area were added.

Financial status is not a factor in becoming a member. There are income-based scholarship programs.

“Dollar bills don’t get in the way. The YMCA is for everyone; money or no money. Up to 30 percent of our members are receiving assistance,” Lipp said.

The YMCA is trying to raise $110,000 in 2016 to continue offering scholarships through the “Give for a better us” campaign. Lipp prefers people call the YMCA for donations so he can talk to them directly. “We love to meet our supporters. I love to recognize our donors. It is important for people to know The Y doesn’t function without a generous community.”

The population of Fergus Falls is a little over 13,000. The YMCA serves roughly 4,000 in the community. Lipp said in a small town there are not as many amenities in comparison to a larger community.

“It plays a pivotal role for a lot of families, seniors and kids. There isn’t a ton of options in Fergus Falls. We are one of two pools. We are a large recreational fitness facility. If we are going to keep the community active, healthy, moving, learning and social, we need a YMCA,” he said.

Summer Day Camp is currently one of the most utilized resources at the YMCA. The camp goes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The camp began June 6 and ends the week before schools starts. The camp is offered so that kids do not have to stay home alone; they can socialize and so that parents can continue to work.

Aquatics classes are also popular this time of the year. “Teaching kids how to swim saves lives. When hundreds of kids learn to swim in our pool, it is kind of a big deal,” said Lipp.

Lipp said youth and family programs, after-school care and fitness classes are important year around. During the summer there are about 44 classes a week with the occasional addition of classes.

“We allow families to function, we allow parents to work, we allow seniors to socialize and stay active. We allow a lot of younger people just to stay fit. I think we are a source of health and happiness,” Lipp said.

Beau Matthys, Summer Day Camp councler, tells the kids to pick a number between 4 and 17 in order to decide who is going to be the dodge ball doctor. Briana Sanchez/ Daily Journal
YMCA stands for Young Men’s Christian Association and was created in 1851 — and it is no longer just a place for young men.

Better known nowadays as, The Y, it is now associated with the three clauses: “for your development, for healthy living, for social responsibility.”

Dennis Lipp, executive director of the Fergus Falls YMCA, said, “YMCAs were thought to be gyms and pools without a charitable cause attached. The Y wanted to rebrand for a greater mission.”

Lipp said he believes The Y reference is more inclusive. People from any faith background, ethnicity, age, gender and income are welcome.

In 1968, the YMCA was started in Fergus Falls. In the beginning the organization utilized churches, the bowling alley and other public areas. Then in 1972 what is now the YMCA building opened. The pool and two more racquetball courts were added in 1980. Lastly, in 2000 the track, gymnasium and cardio fitness area were added.

Financial status is not a factor in becoming a member. There are income-based scholarship programs.

“Dollar bills don’t get in the way. The YMCA is for everyone; money or no money. Up to 30 percent of our members are receiving assistance,” Lipp said.

The YMCA is trying to raise $110,000 in 2016 to continue offering scholarships through the “Give for a better us” campaign. Lipp prefers people call the YMCA for donations so he can talk to them directly. “We love to meet our supporters. I love to recognize our donors. It is important for people to know The Y doesn’t function without a generous community.”

The population of Fergus Falls is a little over 13,000. The YMCA serves roughly 4,000 in the community. Lipp said in a small town there are not as many amenities in comparison to a larger community.

“It plays a pivotal role for a lot of families, seniors and kids. There isn’t a ton of options in Fergus Falls. We are one of two pools. We are a large recreational fitness facility. If we are going to keep the community active, healthy, moving, learning and social, we need a YMCA,” he said.

Summer Day Camp is currently one of the most utilized resources at the YMCA. The camp goes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The camp began June 6 and ends the week before schools starts. The camp is offered so that kids do not have to stay home alone; they can socialize and so that parents can continue to work.

Aquatics classes are also popular this time of the year. “Teaching kids how to swim saves lives. When hundreds of kids learn to swim in our pool, it is kind of a big deal,” said Lipp.

Lipp said youth and family programs, after-school care and fitness classes are important year around. During the summer there are about 44 classes a week with the occasional addition of classes.

“We allow families to function, we allow parents to work, we allow seniors to socialize and stay active. We allow a lot of younger people just to stay fit. I think we are a source of health and happiness,” Lipp said.

Reference From:-https://www.fergusfallsjournal.com