News

YMCA of Florida’s First Coast Named the 2016 “Best Of” Winner in After-School Program, Swimming Instruction and General Activity Camp

Annual award presented by Jax4Kids recognizes Northeast Florida’s top youth-friendly activities and programs JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – November 29, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce its recognition by Jax4Kids—an online publication dedicated to providing resources for Northeast Florida’s youth—as one of the 2016 “Best Of” winners. Voted by local parents, the Y is among the best providers for after-school programs, swimming instruction and general activity camps on the First Coast. This annual list recognizes exceptional activities and programs that businesses and nonprofits offer to help parents discover fun and beneficial opportunities for their children. Competing categories include entertainment, dining, health and education. The full list was released in the Jax4Kids’ December newspaper. “We are honored to be one of Jax4Kids ‘Best Of’ winners, along with other outstanding organizations on the First Coast. We believe it is our responsibility to provide the resources needed for all children to reach their full…

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The Rotary Club of West Jacksonville Raises $33,000 to Support First Coast YMCA’s Safety Around Water Program

Grant to offer free youth swim lessons to more than 250 students  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Rotary Club of West Jacksonville donated $33,000 to the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast in support of its drowning prevention effort by providing free swim lessons to more than 250 local students. As a leader in water safety and swim instruction, the Y’s Safety Around Water curriculum is designed to teach children how to reach the water’s surface if submerged, safely reach the edge of a pool, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations. With initial funding of $25,000 from the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville and an $8,000 grant from Rotary International, this donation will bring water safety education to eligible students at Holy Rosary Catholic School, St. Pius Catholic School, Pickett Elementary School and Reynolds Lane Elementary School. All swim lessons will take place at the new Winston Family YMCA, which features a…

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Winston Family YMCA Kicks Off Grand Opening Weekend with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

500 First Coast residents witnessed today’s reveal of new Riverside flagship Y JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – August 26, 2016 – Joined by Mayor Lenny Curry and nearly 500 First Coast residents, the new Winston Family YMCA opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony today at 10 a.m. The new flagship branch replaces the Yates Family YMCA, which served the community for more than six decades. The new Winston Family YMCA will continue to bolster neighborhood connections, create new opportunities, and provide the encouragement and support that will positively change the lives of area residents. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend as the Winston Family YMCA offers free facility tours, fitness classes, biometric screenings and more festivities to all visitors. In addition, the Y’s 10th annual First Coast Games will host its closing ceremony and 5K event at the new facility Saturday morning. “We would not be standing here without the generous contributions from each…

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This is Yours – New Riverside YMCA Invites First Coast Residents to Celebrate August Grand Opening

Flagship branch aims to serve the most diverse community in Jacksonville  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July 25, 2016 – After serving Jacksonville’s downtown and riverside communities for more than six decades, the Yates Family YMCA will pass its torch to the new Winston Family YMCA, which is named after local civic leader and philanthropist James H. Winston. Located on the same property on Riverside Avenue, the upcoming flagship branch will host a ribbon cutting event on Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m., followed by the official grand opening with festivities taking place throughout the weekend. Coinciding with the grand opening, the Y’s 10th annual First Coast Games will also host its closing ceremony and 5K event at the new facility on Saturday morning, Aug. 27. “We are incredibly excited for all First Coast residents to experience the new Winston Family YMCA and witness the unwavering commitment the Y has for our community,” said YMCA of Florida’s…

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Winston Family YMCA’s Community Giving Campaign Approaches Finish Line with Goal to Raise Final Ten Percent

Highly anticipated new Riverside Y remains on schedule to open late summer JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July 14, 2016 – Mirroring the construction progress of the new Winston Family YMCA located on Riverside Avenue, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce that its community fundraising campaign has less than $2 million to raise on a goal of $21 million. As a result of the generosity of community partners, the Y has received $770,000 in donations since May this year and $33,410 from the recently- launched brick paver recognition campaign, combining for a total of $19 million. “Financial gifts to the Winston YMCA will help advance services that support the steady growth of downtown Jacksonville and have a direct impact on residents right here on the First Coast,” said Nekita Nesmith, senior vice president and chief development officer at YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. The following companies and individuals are among those who have…

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Healthy Kids Day® Presented by JAXSPORTS Charities Aims to Bring Out the Wow! Factor in Local Kids

First Coast YMCA’s annual event helps kids stay active and keep learning all summer long JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 21, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast will celebrate Healthy Kids Day® presented by JAXSPORTS Charities on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Brooks Family YMCA located on Southside. The free community event will inspire kids to keep their minds and bodies active while providing them with activities and resources to achieve their potential all year long. “A child’s development is never on vacation, and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in mind, body and spirit all summer long,” said Eric Mann, president and CEO of YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “The Y believes in the potential of all children, and community partners like JAXSPORTS Charities are instrumental in the successful outreach and impact of our youth programs.” YMCA’s Healthy…

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First Coast YMCA Serves as Extension Campus of University of North Florida’s Personal Enrichment Classes

New partnership brings personal enrichment classes to five neighborhood Ys JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 19, 2016 – A recent partnership between the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and the University of North Florida (UNF) Division of Continuing Education provides local residents the opportunity to access LEARN Jacksonville—the non-credit, personal enrichment offerings at UNF—through their neighborhood Ys this summer. From foreign language classes to kayaking lessons, five local Y branches, including Arlington Family YMCA, Brooks Family YMCA, Flagler Center Family YMCA, Williams Family YMCA and Yates Family YMCA, will offer 17 unique classes beginning Tuesday, May 3. “The Y never stops exploring new ways to partner within the community and cultivate a healthy, active First Coast,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric Mann. “We are pleased to join forces with the University of North Florida to provide area residents with extensive educational resources that improve individual well-being.” Starting at $25 per class,…

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Community Giving Campaign Encourages First Coast Residents to Take Part in Building a Healthier Future

YMCA bolsters commitment to growing neighborhood with new Winston Y  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 1, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce new community giving opportunities, part of a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $500,000 for the new Winston Family YMCA located on Riverside Avenue. These giving programs, including founding membership, brick paver, digital and facility recognition, expand opportunities for more community members to play a role in bringing this neighborhood Y to life. Founding members are individuals or existing Yates/First Coast YMCA members who join the Winston YMCA or renew their membership before May 30 and make a gift at any amount in supporting the overall Winston campaign. Anyone who donates $250 and above will be honored with a paver to solidify his or her place in the historic opening of the new flagship facility. “It’s not about the size of the gift, it’s the sense of belonging…

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Dozens of Northeast Florida Companies to Compete in 10th Annual First Coast Games While Encouraging Workplace Wellness

Friendly challenge focuses on team building and employee health JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – March 30, 2016 – Nearly 2,600 employees from 32 local companies are ready to compete with one another in the YMCA’s 10th Annual First Coast Games—a corporate health and wellness challenge beginning April 2. Presented by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the four-month long challenge introduces fun, healthy activities into the workplace while promoting company pride, morale and camaraderie among co-workers outside of the office. The First Coast Games opening ceremony will be held at Metropolitan Park on Saturday, April 2, featuring family-friendly activities such as spirit contests and field day activities, including hula-hoop relays, water balloon toss and tug-of-war. The team events will follow with challenges that are “to win” and “to play.” Click here for the event schedule. Additionally, every participating company will gain access to a three-month virtual healthy living challenge from April to June. Each month, registered participants will receive different…

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Josh Harrison Named YMCA Volunteer of the Year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February 24, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast honored volunteer Josh Harrison for his service and contribution to youth development and social responsibility by naming him Volunteer of the Year. Harrison received the award at the 6th Annual Y-Bash held at the Florida Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 23. As a child, Harrison was involved in an incident in which he nearly drowned. This has encouraged him to become an advocate for water safety education. As the co-chair of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville, Harrison is committed to creating an after-school water safety program in partnership with the Y to prevent childhood drowning. The program is designed to provide lifesaving swim safety skills to 300 underserved Duval County students in grades K-8. Harrison, a former member of the Y’s Duval Regional Board, now leads the Brooks Family YMCA’s advisory board. Recently, the Brooks board helped raise more than $50,000 to…

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