Community Welcomed at YMCA Open House

These Zumba class participants were masked and ready to go.
Photos by Lori BODNAR

By Lori BODNAR   

The three local YMCA facilities held welcoming open house events on Saturday – perfect timing for those who made New Year’s resolutions to have a more active and healthier lifestyle. The public was invited to tour the YMCA facilities, try out various programs, meet the trainers/instructors and enter to win giveaways.

YMCA programs showcased at the open house included youth basketball, gymnastics, preschool tours and story time, youth pickleball, indoor soccer, swim lessons, small group training, fall prevention for seniors, Pilates reformer, and the new Les Mills workout classes. The Les Mills program, which is named after the New Zealand Olympian who began the fitness regimen, is a program that combines body pump and body combat. Body pump is a strength training and cardio class. Body combat is a full body training class that employs moves inspired by the martial arts.

The Crescenta-Cañada Y offers outdoor exercise areas.

Lori Durbin, the director of the YMCA of the Foothills, said, “YMCA benefits the community by offering a place where everyone is welcome – families, adults, kids.”

The YMCA of the Foothills has a ChildWatch area so parents can work out assured their kids are safe. The facility also offers a cardio room, basketball gym, free weight training, strength training, small group training, gymnastics, Zumba, a pool, and a hot tub. There are one to two lifeguards on duty at a time. The YMCA of the Foothills also has the largest pool of the three local YMCA facilities.

The YMCA open house attracted many people from the foothill communities.

“I came here to the open house to see the facilities,” said Dessen Roberts. “I am looking into yoga and Pilates. My husband will be doing basketball. I like that the YMCA is family oriented and I can bring my son. I know YMCA [has] activities for kids and I was looking for activities for my son. I am glad that we can do physical activities and work out as a family. We are signing up to become YMCA members [during] the open house.”

Many YMCA members were also on-site during the open house. Kris Greblo said, “I come here weekly. I am glad YMCA is doing the open house. It brings more attention to the programs YMCA offers. I enjoy yoga, Les Mills and Pilates. YMCA has so many opportunities for the community – for adults and kids. YMCA is such a great resource. It is clean here and well run. The instructors are so fabulous and they work really hard. I am so lucky to have every single one of them. The training is superb.”

Many of those at the open house shared their longtime support of the Y.

“I do the body pump, body combat, and small group training. I have been a member of the YMCA since the late ’80s,” said Slyvia Blynn-Avanosian. “I used to live in Santa Monica, then Glendale, then here. I used to go to all three of the facilities since I had favorite instructors and classes all over, but now, with the pandemic, it is limited. I like the family atmosphere of YMCA.”

Newer members outlined the benefits of regularly attending Y classes and training.

“I have been here for six months and I love it,” said Irene Verduzco. “I have lost so much weight from exercising at YMCA. I love the groups, Les Mills, body conditioning and Stairmaster. The instructors are great. I started working out on my own at the beginning of the pandemic then I heard the gym opened up again and signed up to be a member.”

Even younger members had positive experiences at the Y.

“I have been a YMCA member since I was 6, so I have been a member of the YMCA for about six years,” said Kyle Song. “I like the basketball gym and I am glad it has air conditioning.”

The three local YMCA facilities boast an estimated 20,000 members … a number that increased by 86 on the day of the open house as new members signed up. It was apparent that the public enjoyed attending the YMCA open house and exploring the different programs the YMCA offers.