Latest News (18)
Longtime Y supporters, David and Liz Kennedy,are true community heroes. They were honored as such by the Tampa Bay Lightning during its February 8th game. The Kennedys, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation’s Community Heroes program, donated the money to various charities, including $10,000 to the South Tampa Y’s capital campaign.
We are truly blessed to be one of the Kennedy’s charities of choice. For more than 40 years, the Kennedy family has consistently shown an undying commitment to give back to their community with their generous support, leadership and involvement with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. David is a longtime Governance Board member, former board chair and has been heavily involved in our capital campaign efforts for nearly thirty years; including helping build the South Tampa Y. “Actually David grew up in the Tampa Y. He learned how to swim here and has always been involved and loyal to the Y,” says wife, Liz, who helped build the Y’s Neighborhood of Promise in Sulphur Springs, which led to the Community Learning Center at Sulphur Springs Elementary and Layla’s House, an early childhood learning center. “Her work over the last 30-40 years has been directed toward children and making the community a better place for all of them, especially those who are not as fortunate as us,” shares son Jay, who along with his sisters, follows in his parents’ footsteps as a leading philanthropist and volunteer in the community. Jay is currently working to secure funding for the South Tampa Y’s new family aquatics complex.
Again, many thanks to the Kennedys for so generously giving their time, energy and financial support to the Y!
From L to R:Y champions, David and Liz Kennedy, Tampa Y COO Adam Klutts, South Tampa Y Capital Campaign Chair Jay Kennedy.
Earlier this month, the Tampa Y and University of South Florida Athletics came together to host the second annual Naismith Award Banquet. At the event, eight of the Y’s finest volunteer basketball coaches were honored for their commitment to the skill and character development of youth. This year, the Association honored its first female Naismith Award recipient, Carmyn Samuel from the New Tampa Y.
“As we grow our basketball program through instructional, recreational and competitive divisions, we will continue to impact and change lives,” says Director of Basketball Operations Gary Brokaw. “Our challenge to better the lives of the children and families we serve is greatly enhanced and made possible through the generous support of our volunteer coaches.”
The Tampa Y would like to congratulate the following 2014 award recipients:
· Coach Marcus Parker from the Bob Sierra Y
· Coach Corey Hoch from the North Brandon Y
· Coach Brian Pollock from the Campo Y
· Coach Kevin Barrett from the East Pasco Y
· Coach Andrew Shein from the South Tampa Y
· Coach Carmyn Samuel from the New Tampa Y
· Coach Dave Kuczer from the Northwest Hillsborough Y
· Coach Angel Baez from the Plant City Y
As a Charity Navigator 4-star charity, the Tampa YMCA relies heavily on the support of volunteers to help coach sports teams, plan events, raise funds, and handle hundreds of other key responsibilities. If you’re interested in giving back in a significant way to your community, go to www.tampaymca.org and check out our volunteer tab.
Cutline: The 2014 Naismith Award Banquet recognized Tampa Y’s finest basketball coaches on February 8th.
What an exciting start to the New Year for the Tampa Y! Late last month, we broke ground for phase one of the outdoor amenities for The Family Y at Big Bend Road. Nearly 100 guests, including county commissioners, state representatives and other community leaders, attended the groundbreaking ceremony inside Vance Vogel Park in Gibsonton.
“It's exciting to see an organization like the Y come into our community. Having raised my children in youth sports programs, I know the importance of kids having the opportunities to be involved in character-building programs and learning life skills. This will be a huge asset to our entire community,” said Tony DiMare, co-chair of the Y’s SouthShore Leadership Council.
Under a joint-use lease agreement between Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa YMCA, phase one of the project includes five multi-purpose athletic fields, a covered basketball court, playground and picnic pavilion. “We especially want to thank Hillsborough County and its Honorable Board of County Commissioners for making this phase one groundbreaking possible through their generosity and commitment to the residents of Southern Hillsborough County,” said Tampa Y Governance Board Chair Brett Couch. “We sincerely appreciate the county’s contribution of land and funds to make this project happen.”
The Tampa Y anticipates phase one of The Family Y at Big Bend Road to be completed by the end of this year, offering youth and adult sports and summer day camp. Future phases include a water park and 30,000-square-foot starter family facility. The entire facility is expected to be complete in the next three to five years, depending upon capital fundraising efforts.
Cutline: Hillsborough County Commissioners, SouthShore Leadership Council members and Tampa Y Governance Board members joined Y leaders in turning the dirt for The Family Y at Big Bend Road.
Dozens of kids spent a December weekend improving their basketball skills and knowledge during a special holiday basketball clinic at the Campo Family YMCA. “The clinic gives the players the opportunity to receive more in-depth training and practice on their skills,” says Sports Director Kaliegh Hincman. “We plan to host a clinic in between each season.”
DriveTime Auto generously sponsored the event for 25 kids ranging in ages 9 to 14. Not only did DriveTime sponsor new shirts, drinks and food for the event, their team also volunteered to coach the kids along with Y volunteer basketball coaches. "DriveTime is an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles for our employees and those around us,” says General Manager Kristopher Lucas. “We believe in supporting our community. With the YMCA sharing these values, it was an easy choice to support the YMCA and their holiday basketball clinic."
DriveTime Auto also purchased nearly 150 new basketballs for the entire Tampa Y Association and presented the Association with a $6,000 check. Many thanks to DriveTime for supporting the Tampa Y and our youth sports programs.
Cutline:DriveTime Auto sponsored a special holiday basketball clinic at the Campo Family YMCA.
22-year-old Sammie Fudge has called Sulphur Springs home for almost a decade. His younger cousin, De'Sean, means the world to him. They do everything together -- from bike riding to basketball and homework. When De'Sean was in 1st grade, his mother asked Sammie to help keep him safe on his walk to and from Sulphur Springs Elementary. One day, during their walk to school, a staff person from a Sulphur Springs Y 2013 mini-grant recipient, University of South Florida-Center for Urban Transportation Research (USF-CUTR), handed him a flier about becoming a Walking School Bus leader.
Sammie didn’t think much of it until the following day. That’s when a 3rd grader from De’Sean’s school was hit and killed by a car nearby. As the entire community mourned, Sammie sprung into action to help other children, including his cousin, avoid a similar fate. He signed up to receive training with USF-CUTR to lead a Walking School Bus.
Today, come rain or shine, Sammie leads a daily Walking School Bus with more than ten kids. Inspired by his leadership, thirteen other Sulphur Springs residents have stepped up to operate their own Walking School Buses covering eight different routes. The participating kids jog and speed walk at intervals. In addition, they learn about traffic, sidewalk and stop sign safety.
After volunteering his time with the Walking School Bus, Sammie starts his shift as a Y Success Afterschool counselor where he also spreads the message about safety and health. Sammie says, “This has made me a better person who is more aware of the community and has allowed me to take baby steps toward making Sulphur Springs a better place to live.”
“Sulphur Springs feels like a community that is brighter in some way. It’s a good upside from previous years when kids would get into fights on their way home. It’s safer and healthier,” says Sammie. “People want to be here and stay here. Being with the Y has allowed me to help create a healthier Sulphur Springs for all of us.”
The Y realizes safe and accessible communities are essential to the reduction and prevention of childhood obesity. Through our Creating A Healthier Sulphur Springs for Kids initiative, funded by The Florida Blue Foundation, we’re able to promote healthier lifestyles. This is accomplished through the Sulphur Springs Y’s coordination of a team who provides direct services to the community, focusing food and nutrition, community outreach, safety/access/community pride, healthy living and childcare. This entire network works to promote healthy living, a cornerstone of the Y in Sulphur Springs.
The Sulphur Springs Y is extremely proud of USF-CUTR and all of its mini-grant recipients for the work they’re doing to make Sulphur Springs healthier and safer. The Sulphur Springs Y will announce its 2014 mini-grant recipients this Saturday, January 18th so stay tuned for updates on even more great work happening in Sulphur Springs!
Cutline:Y counselor Sammie Fudge (far left) is the driver of a Walking School Bus in Sulphur Springs
Many adults can relate to Robert Cobb. With two young kids and a full-time job, sometimes it's easy to forget about your health. "I went to the doctor and I had high blood pressure. I had to make a change with my life so about three years ago, I had to join the Y,” shares Robert. To meet the doctor-prescribed lifestyle changes, Robert takes group exercise classes at the Campo Family YMCA up to five times a week.“Within the first month I started seeing a difference. I’ve been off the medication for awhile and my blood pressure’s normal,” says Robert, who has lost nearly 60 pounds so far.
Robert also has increased energy, more self-confidence and says “I’ve gotten stronger than I used to be. That is a great benefit as well; and the camaraderie. Emotionally, too…knowing that I am able to overcome some of these things.”
While Robert works on himself, his 10- and 7-year-old kids also enjoy the Y with the Kid Zone Learning & Play Center, youth sports and more. “It’s been great. I’ve met a lot of really good people here. It’s something I look forward to. We make it part of our routine,” claims Robert.
The Tampa Y provides the right equipment, programs and people to help community members like Robert be healthy, be strong and belong. For the entire month of January, we’re waiving the enrollment fee for all new members to help them get started right away. Help spread the word and help us make your community healthier, one member at a time!
Cutline:Robert feels welcome at the Campo Y, where he’s getting healthier and changing his life.
We, here at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, are thrilled to work with the Sarasota Family YMCA to host the 2014 YMCA Gymnastics National Championships. It’s a huge honor to lead such a spectacular event that celebrates not only the sport of gymnastics but the positive, supportive environment the Y provides children and teens so they can strengthen their skills, confidence and relationships. An event of this magnitude will not only help spread the word about the Y helping kids discover their potential through youth sports; it also means economic impact for the greater Tampa Bay area.
See you at the Y!
President & CEO
Important Dates to Remember
August 1, 2013
Qualifying scores begin for score verification for the 2014 YMCA National Gymnastics Championships.
December 6, 2013
January 6, 2014
Intent to Compete Deadline - must be postmarked by 1/6/2014
February 3, 2014
Entry forms, rules & policies will be mailed out to all teams who submitted an Intent to Compete.
February 24, 2014
Registration Begins! Registration portion of the website will be open to begin registration process.
March 24, 2013
Registration Deadline. All registrations must be received by this date.
April 25, 2014
Deadline for program ads including team and individual photos. Senior information and photos for program are also due on this date.
May 12, 2014
Last day for ordering All-Access Passes, Opening Ceremony Tickets, 3-Day Meet passes, and Senior Reception tickets
Graduating Senior Scholarship applications due
Financial Travel Assistance Application due
Proof of USAG Safety Certification for coaches must be received by this date.
Deadline for verification of qualifying scores for athletes
July 1, 2014
Early Team Registration 4:00pm - 6:00pm (coaches pick up all pre-ordered tickets)
Senior Reception held - location TBA
July 2, 2014
Morning Team Registration 9:00am - 11:00am (coaches pick up all pre-ordered tickets)
Bar Sets and scheduled workout for Excel Platinum & Diamond, Men's Level 8 & Up and Women's level 7 & up
Mandatory Coaches meeting - time TBD
Opening Ceremonies - time TBD
Note: This is the age determination date for all gymnasts.
July 3 - 4, 2014
All levels compete
July 4, 2014
Championship Division Semi Finals
July 5, 2014
L8 All-Around Finals - Team and Individual Awards immediately following
Championship Event Finals
Closing Ceremonies will immediately follow the Championship Finals.
It's a milestone for the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA. The branch celebrated its 10-year anniversary late last month and staff and volunteers sure have a lot to celebrate! The branch started out with close to 1,400 members and today it’s enhancing the lives of more than 2,200 members in the Town ‘n Country area.
“We have seen a lot of growth in the past ten years. Our membership has grown tremendously which, in turn, allows us to serve more children and families in our community. We now have 125 children in our licensed afterschool program, serve over 1,000 kids in our basketball program and, just in the past two years, have expanded our programs and activities for teens; not to mention our very active and growing senior population,” says Executive Director Ashley Sorensen. “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve this community and look forward to another fabulous 10 years."
Ashley and the rest of her hard-working team celebrated their special birthday with a big party open to the entire community on September 21st. Guests got to enjoy free cake, bounce houses, face painting, arts & crafts, rock climbing and Zumba & Yoga classes. More importantly, they got to see first-hand all the quality programs the Y offers for kids, families and adults. Happy anniversary Northwest Y, we’re proud of all your accomplishments and look forward to sharing your future successes!
Cutline: The NW Hillsborough Y celebrated their 10th anniversary with a free community party. Courtesy: Light Ray Photography.
Lucie Bass has been bringing her three daughters to the New Tampa Family YMCA for more than eight years. "My kids are involved in team sports and they love it,” shares Lucie. From volleyball to swimming and summer camp, 14-year-old Regine, 11-year-old Rozana and 6-year-old Rianna have tried several different youth programs. “The YMCA affords me the opportunities to let my children be involved. My kids and I have made great friendships with staff members as well as other families over the years,” says Lucie. The sisters learn more than just sports skills at the Y. They develop character values and teamwork skills. Youth sports also play a huge role in boosting self-esteem — a critical element in any young girl’s development.
When Lucie brings her daughters to the Y, she’s confident they’re engaged in an inviting atmosphere with positive adult role models. “The staff is always courteous and very welcoming and pleasant to us,” says Lucie. While her girls are keeping fit on the courts, Lucie is free to focus on her healthy living goals on the wellness floor and in group exercise classes. “There is something for everyone in the family to do,” she claims.
Youth programs at the Tampa Y give children and teens the opportunity to explore their unique talents and interests and help them realize their potential. This makes for confident kids today and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow. To learn more about the Y’s youth development programs, contact your local Y.
Cutline: Sisters Rozana and Regine have participated in volleyball, swimming and summer camp at the New Tampa Y.
As a registered nurse, Gill Green has seen a lot of women with breast cancer. But she never thought she would become one of those patients at age 46. “It was utter panic. When you are a young person, you think you’re immortal,” shares Gill. “You’re suddenly left with thinking, ‘What’s going to happen to my children? What’s going to happen to the house? What’s going to happen to my job?’ It really is life-changing.” After learning she had stage three breast cancer, Gill went through eight rounds of chemotherapy, 35 radiation treatments, a double mastectomy and several reconstructive surgeries. “I got through the treatments. I was surviving but I just didn’t feel like me. I was just tired. It almost sucks your soul as well as everything else in your body.”
Fatigue and unhappiness with herself brought Gill to the East Pasco Family YMCA for the free 12-week LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program. “We might have cured the cancer but I needed to get me back and that’s what LIVESTRONG did,” recalls Gill. Twice a week, she worked with a certified trainer to regain her muscle mass and increase her endurance. “The more I went, the more energy I felt. I started getting back to myself again,” says Gill who is now a proud member of the Y. She’s there four times a week, trying new classes and she’s even training for her first 5K. She hopes all the hard work will pay off when she faces the rest of her reconstructive surgeries later this year. “I am going in there completely healthy, feeling good and feeling strong. I am ready. It put a new fire back in me.” And her loved ones are taking notice. “My friends tell me that since I’ve been doing the LIVESTRONG program that I have a twinkle back in my eye,” says Gill.
The Tampa Y helps cancer survivors, like Gill, heal by providing them with a safe, supportive environment to get better and improve their well-being. “When I’m there, I don’t feel like I’m a cancer survivor. I feel like I’m a normal person,” testifies Gill. If you or someone you know is a cancer survivor or caregiver, contact your nearest Y Welcome Center and ask about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.
Cutline: Gill Green is a LIVESTRONG member at the East Pasco Y.