News

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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Jennifer Willett Named YMCA Employee of the Year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February 24, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast proudly names Jennifer Willett as the 2016 recipient of the Carl & Rita Cannon Employee of the Year Award. Willett received the award at the 6th Annual Y-Bash held at the Florida Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 23. This award acknowledges her commitment to the Y’s mission and service to the community. Every day, Willett leads her work at the Y with passion and innovation. Due to her leadership skills, the Y’s annual I Heart Art drive successfully collected more than 210,000 art supplies with an estimated value of $350,000. The supplies are used in Y education programs and also donated to local schools. Willett also helped organize the Y’s first ever Thingamajig conference that provided science, technology, engineering and math education for summer campers. She was also instrumental in the expansion of the Y’s summer enrichment camp program to three counties, which…

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Jacksonville Sports Council Named YMCA Community Partner of the Year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February 24, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce Jacksonville Sports Council as the 2016 recipient of the E. William Nash, Jr. Legend Award for the Community Partner of the Year. Presented at the 6th Annual Y-Bash held at the Florida Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 23, the award acknowledges Jacksonville Sports Council for its 15-year partnership with the Y aimed at creating a better First Coast. The partnership between the Jacksonville Sports Council and the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has led to the success of two local events and the launch of an innovative program, all of which are designed to encourage Northeast Florida youth to be active and reach their full potential: Healthy Kids Day. With the help from Jacksonville Sport Council affiliate, Gator Bowl Charities, the Y successfully celebrated Healthy Kids Day on May 2, 2015, inspiring kids to keep their minds and bodies…

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First Coast Wins Treadmill Tuesday Challenge

– More than 3,400 Floridians log 7,449 miles in event to encourage healthier lifestyles –  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce its win in the Treadmill Tuesday Challenge, a competition with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. Nearly 1,750 First Coast residents completed 3,813 miles during the 12-hour event, surpassing the Tampa Bay by 177 miles. For the Tampa Bay area, 1,686 residents logged 3,636 miles. Together, the First Coast YMCA and Tampa YMCA leveraged a friendly competition to inspire community members to become more physically active and adopt healthier lifestyles. “Treadmill Tuesday is another way for us to promote the importance of getting 30 minutes of activity or exercise each day, it’s about building a healthy community,” said Eric Mann, president and CEO of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “This year’s competition with our friends in Tampa made the event even more exciting…

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