July News: Thank You For Staying With Us

outdoor exercise


It's time to jump into July! We know it's helpful to have a little push when it comes to fitness. Join our Firecracker Fitness Challenge on our mobile app to stay connected with your health and compete against other members.

For the Firecracker Fitness Challenge simply complete 40 minutes of physical activity each day, July 1-14. Every movement counts! It could be a workout class, running, swimming, hiking, etc. A short burst of energy each day will fire us into July. You can manually log everything on the mobile app or connect your wearable device.

Please watch the video below for how to download the mobile app and reserve your spot in a group exercise class or lap swim. Push yourself to move, move, more every day and feel dynamite!


The news that our full reopening date has been postponed is yet another in a long series of extraordinary challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we await a decision on pending legislation, we are confident that our operational plan will enable us to reopen in a safe, responsible way. As a nonprofit, volunteer-led community benefit organization, the health and safety of our members and the community will always be our highest priority.

While we are eager to open our fitness centers for indoor exercise, we remain grateful for the opportunity to continue offering outdoor exercise and training, pool activities, and day camp. We love seeing our members again and appreciate your understanding as we follow all federal, state and local guidelines. We’ll take every opportunity we get to welcome our members back to the Y, even when socially distant and wearing face masks as the state requires.

We are deeply grateful for those of you who have stayed with us. Your support has made it possible for us to pay our fixed costs and maintain the necessary infrastructure to meet urgent community needs for food, childcare, mental engagement, and physical wellness.

Since the pandemic began, the Y has worked nonstop to feed the hungry, take care of children, reach out to seniors, and connect with our members online. This crisis has proven what we’ve known all along – that the Y is much more than basketball courts and swimming pools. It’s about bringing people together to improve their lives, nurture their families, and strengthen their community.

However, our financial losses mount each day we’re closed. Read more.


We love seeing our members as they enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise and swimming. Several of you have expressed your gratitude for a return to friendship and fitness.

"I am so excited to be back at the Y, to be able to participate in daily water aerobics. This is the best hour of my day, and it’s such a fun and supportive atmosphere to help me reach my health and fitness goals," says Rochelle Broome (pictured at the Black Mountain Y).

Add Beverly Kirkland, "It’s glorious to be outside working out with the best trainers. As a grandmother of 12, I must stay in shape pandemic or not. Thank you YMCA, for providing a safe place for staying healthy."


The YMCA of Western North Carolina’s award-winning summer feeding program is partnering with three local chefs to serve healthy, delicious food at its summer day camps.

The Y’s vending partners are Chef Gene Ettison of the Ettison Investment Group, Chef Aaron Mathews of McDowell Local, and Chef Clarence Robinson of Cooking with Comedy Catering (pictured).

The program, which is funded by the USDA and administered through the state of North Carolina, is expected to serve more than 32,000 meals at five summer day camp sites in Buncombe and McDowell counties.

“Not only is this a huge win for our camp families because of the local food that will be vended, but also for our local economy with our state reimbursement dollars going directly to small businesses in the area,” said Cory Jackson, the Y's executive director of community health.

The chefs say they are glad to work with the Y to feed kids. “The partnership with the YMCA has provided consistent employment for veterans, mothers, and recent high school graduates. We invest in community,” said Ettison.

Find the whole story here.


YMCA staff member and donor Angela Strickland embodies the YMCA spirit to serve the collective good of our local community. As Youth Services program director in McDowell County, Angela helps maintain welcoming and safe childcare programs for eight schools.

“I love serving the community and helping our children and families," Angela says. "I chose to donate because I see firsthand the needs that need to be met. Helping makes my job come full circle. I look at a child's face, and see that smile when they have a healthy snack, friendship, and a place to thrive, and I can't help but want to give. Every time I sit down and speak to a parent that is struggling financially and wonders how they can find safe and caring childcare, and they are not sure if they can afford it, that is where my donation steps in. Without donations we could not make this happen for our families.”

Following the mission of the YMCA of WNC, our staff are compelled to embrace, reflect, and celebrate the richness of diversity within each other and our community. We work to ensure all are given the opportunity to thrive.

“Our YMCA has brought a place for people in McDowell to belong," says Angela. "We see all kinds of people with so many different needs. For a lot of folks we are the only conversations they may have each day. For some, we are feeding their families fresh produce, some we are saving their life by teaching safety around water, and we're even cheering them on when their child scores a goal during their soccer game. I will continue to support the YMCA to help keep this going for our community, and know that I make a difference.”


A regular exercise routine can make you happier and healthier, so why do we sometimes dread working out? When exercise or a trip to the Y becomes another task we have to complete before the day is over, we miss the opportunity to see the value in it.

Instead of looking at exercise as a task, try looking at it as your reward. You feel great when you finish, you've made steps to becoming healthier, and you've carved out important time in your day for self-care. Change your mindset around exercise and you will, in turn, reap even more benefits!

Try workouts you can do from home using our various virtual Y options or sign up for our outdoor classes using our mobile app!