Media Coverage


Fort Campbell Armed Services YMCA Plays Santa for Troops

Posted with permission from Leaf-Chronicle

Fort Campbell Armed Services YMCA Plays Santa for Troops

With help from generous donors, organization gives in many ways

By Philip Grey, Leaf-Chronicle

December 18, 2012

Courtesy of Philip Grey/Leaf-Chronicle
Courtesy of Philip Grey/Leaf-Chronicle

FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — When it comes to soldier and family support on Fort Campbell, the Armed Services YMCA may not come immediately to mind, but it should.

There are few organizations dedicated to helping the troops that do so much in such a variety of ways, year-round. However, at Christmas, they go above and beyond to ensure lower-ranking enlisted soldiers and their families have a happy holiday.

At their Reed Avenue location, just past the shopette at Reed and Bastogne Avenues, the YMCA building has been filled to overflowing – literally – with high-quality books, games and toys, to include a large selection of bicycles. All of it is destined for 400 military children of families identified by Fort Campbell units as perhaps needing a little help this year.

Much of what is on hand was donated through the generosity of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, where the families of students gave generously to make this year’s Christmas Assistance program, which runs until Dec. 21, one of the best ever, according to ASYMCA director Shirley West.

“Our mission is to support the soldiers,” said West, “and what better time than Christmas-time?”

Help from friends

West also credited a few other “angels” who contribute greatly to her mission to enhance the lives of Fort Campbell military families.

“The 101st Airborne Association is a huge supporter of ours,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open.

“They help us out with our summer camps and also fund a lot of our programs throughout the year. We also get United Way funds, which helps greatly since we’re not government-supported except for the fact that they give us our building to operate in.”

The ASYMCA also has the generous support of volunteers – mostly soldiers and spouses – who donate time to help West and her staff run the youth summer camps and the many programs at the main building, as well as at the Backdoor Boutique.

Eight volunteers spent an entire day helping to unload the two truckloads of Christmas donations from Christ Presbyterian Academy, and volunteers from the Officer and Enlisted Spouses Clubs helped to set everything up.

“If it wasn’t for the volunteers,” said West, “we couldn’t do this.”

Enhancing military life

Beyond the summer camps and Christmas Assistance, the ASYMCA has play groups for children every day, a Bible study once a week, dinners and breakfasts once a month, an after-school mentoring program for all six of Fort Campbell’s elementary schools and a part-day daycare for children of enlisted soldiers.

“Also,” said West, “we try to help out people who have financial needs that can’t get help from Army Emergency Relief.”

Then there’s ASYMCA’s Backdoor Boutique, where soldiers in the ranks of E-5 and below can come once a week to shop for canned and boxed food items and baby supplies.

“They get to take anything that we have in the store,” said West, “and they get a carry-out item and a big bag once a week to take home to their family.

“We also have a room in the same facility where we loan out gowns and suits for formal occasions. All we ask is that they dry-clean the items before returning them.”

The ASYMCA also buys a gift for each and every baby born at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, which averages 200 births per month.

For a complete listing of all programs and services, visit the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Campbell Facebook page.

To donate or to volunteer, contact the ASYMCA by writing to P.O. Box 629, Fort Campbell, Ky., 42223 or call Shirley West at 270-798-3077.

December 18, 2012


Local Teens Will Serve in Senegal through YMCA

Four high school students from Charlotte are selected for a nine-day trip to West Africa through the YMCA of Greater Charlotte's Global Service Learning Project.

WFAE.org

November 21, 2012

Four teens sitting on a panel
Tasnim Shamma/WFAE.org


YMCA Allard Center Members Step Up to Support Marines with Care Packages

A Goffstown native whose Marine Corps battalion was the last to be sent into Afghanistan, is providing the inspiration for a community service project launched by a group of students from the YMCA's Leaders Club in his hometown. UnionLeader.com

November 14, 2012


The Y Joins Public Media to Spread Awareness on High School Dropout Crisis

Recently, YMCA of the USA joined other nonprofits and education advocates in "American Graduate Day", a national public television broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis and to discuss the Y’s commitment to education and how its youth programs help teens succeed in school. Click here to watch the segment with PBS’s Ray Suarez, and learn more about the Y’s education programs for children and teens.

learn more

October 08, 2012

Hands throwing graduation caps into the air
Digital Vision


Children's Center Celebrates Clifford

Children in Freeport, Illinois, join in the fun and enjoy reading activities as the Y teams with Scholastic to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Clifford the Big Red Dog®.

The Journal-Standard

October 04, 2012

Girl and boy playing with Clifford the big red dog stuffed animal
Joe Tamborello/The Journal-Standard


YMCA Afterschool Programs About More Than Fun

With curriculum ranging from diet and healthy living to bullying and gang prevention, the YMCA of Northern Utah is working to ensure that the learning doesn't stop with the end of the school day. The Salt Lake Tribune

September 17, 2012


Volunteers Pick Produce in Dartmouth for Local Food Pantries

About 100 volunteers harvested and cleaned produce at the community farm at the YMCA in Dartmouth, picking food that will make its way to 25 food pantries as part of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance event.

The Herald News

September 11, 2012

Three people gathering produce from a garden
Jo C. Goode/Herald News


YMCA Sponsors Soccer Camp in Haiti

Community leaders from the Ridgewood YMCA recently hosted a two-week soccer camp for teenagers in Haiti to inspire the young Haitians to reach their potential.

NorthJersey.com

September 07, 2012

Man standing with boy in soccer jersey
Jim Delia/NorthJersey.com


Sometimes When School is Out, So is the Food

The Silicon Valley YMCA is addressing child hunger in the community by working to increase the number of children who receive meals through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program.

KQED News

September 02, 2012

People lined up at mobile food truck
Patrice Chamberlain/KQED News


Collaboration and Partnerships: The Path to Ending Child Hunger

Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA, discusses ways organizations can work together to address child hunger in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity's summer long series, "Ending Childhood Hunger in America". Spotlight on Poverty

August 29, 2012


YMCA Book Fair Helps Write Bright Futures

The YMCA in St. Louis is holding its annual used book fair, which helps pay for literacy programs to help youth succeed in school.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 17, 2012

People filling boxes with books
J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Summer Camp Means Keeping the Brain Busy

The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina's Camp High Hopes tutoring program is teaching kids math, reading, character development, arts and crafts, health and wellness, and other subjects to help prevent summer slide.

Winston-Salem Journal

July 26, 2012

Kids playing with toys on the floor
Winston-Salem Journal


Fighting Summer Slide: School, YMCA Partnership Keeps Young Minds Active

The YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo is partnering with its school district to offer summer programs that enable kids to take part in arts and crafts, physical activity and literacy. The Toledo Blade

July 20, 2012


YMCA of Greater Houston Kicks Off Biggest Ever Back-To-School Drive

In preparation for the 8th Annual YMCA Operation Backpack, Houston's largest school supply drive, the YMCA of Greater Houston is mobilizing 35 YMCAs, local companies, civic organizations and dozens of churches to help collect thousands of backpacks and school supplies for more than 45,000 children who might otherwise head back to school unprepared.

The Paper Magazine

July 19, 2012


Hundreds of Military Families Celebrate Christmas in June

More than 650 members of families that had military members on deployment last December recently gathered at the San Diego Armed Services YMCA for the sixth annual "Christmas You Missed", giving service members a second chance to celebrate the holiday with loved ones. CBS 8/KFMB-TV

June 28, 2012


Program Keeps Students Learning

The Ozark Mountain Family YMCA in Hollister, Missouri, is partnering with the local school district to offer a program designed to curb summertime regression and keep students learning even when school isn't in session. Branson Tri-Lakes News

June 15, 2012


Nearing 90 and Still in the Swim

A volunteer swim instructor at the Roseburg YMCA has taught generations of children how to swim during the last 42 years, with no signs of slowing down

The News-Review

June 11, 2012

Elderly woman in pool with toddler teaching him to swim
MICHAELSULLIVAN / The News-Review


Nearing 90 and Still in the Swim - Courtesy of the News Review

Nearing 90 and Still in the Swim

Written by INKA BAJANDAS, The News-Review (Republished Courtesy of The News-Review)

© Courtesy of MICHAEL SULLIVAN / The News-Review
photo: Courtesy of MICHAEL SULLIVAN/The News-Review

Eight babies in bathing suits lined up along the pool wall kicked the water with help from mothers and grandmothers and the enthusiastic encouragement of swim instructor Peggy Konzack.

“Kick, kick, kick,” she prompted the young ones. “Good splashes.”

After they churned up the chlorinated water, Konzack gave each baby a ride around the shallow end of the warm pool at the Central Douglas County Family YMCA.

“Are you a happy girl?” she asked a toddler before guiding the girl on her belly through the water.

The infant swim class is one of many Konzack has led. In 42 years as a volunteer swim instructor at the Roseburg YMCA, she’s taught generations of children how to swim.

On Sunday, Konzack will celebrate her 90th birthday. She says she has no plans to quit teaching anytime soon, and that swimming six days a week keeps her healthy and fit.

Konzack, who over the years has given swim lessons to infants through adults, now exclusively teaches the youngest of swimmers. Twice a week, she spends her mornings getting babies and 3-year-olds comfortable in water. She’s taught so many children that these days it’s not uncommon for second generations to pass through her classes, Konzack said.

“They’re all dear to me. I get attached to them,” she said. “I have lots of pictures, lots of scribbly notes, thank-yous that kids have given to me.”

When she’s not teaching, Konzack, a regular swimmer since high school, can still be found at the YMCA swimming laps. While she swims, her husband of 69 years, Clayton, works out in another part of the Y.

“I’m here every day,” Konzack said. “This is my second home, and I really appreciate being able to do this for the Y. There are so many lovely people. I have some dear friends.

“I’m so old I’m a mother to most of these people here.” As a volunteer swim instructor, it’s especially worthwhile teaching children water safety, Konzack said.

“At some time or another (everybody) will have to encounter water,” she said. “That’s what I like the best. I’m helping them to maybe save their lives.”

Recently, one of her students, a 2-year-old, fell into a reservoir, Konzack said. Thanks to swim lessons, he calmly paddled his way out, she said.

“It didn’t bother him,” Konzack said. “He didn’t panic because he was used to the water.” Konzack has been volunteering at the YMCA for so long that when an employee tried to look up her file recently she didn’t have one.

“They said, ‘You don’t have a file,’” Konzack said. “I said, ‘No, I never filled out an application.’ ”

Konzack started volunteering after she went to the tot swim class with a friend who had a baby. A mother of two adopted daughters, Konzack was looking for something to fill her time after they left home.

Konzack recalls the instructor was so impressed with her she asked Konzack to teach the class when she couldn’t anymore. A note from that swim instructor asking Konzack to take over more than 40 years ago was the closest she came to filling out an application.

“I still have that note,” Konzack said. “It’s in my file.”

The YMCA has changed a lot since she started volunteering there, Konzack said.

“I’ve seen the Y grow from a family to a big business,” she said. The Y only had one pool when she started, Konzack said. She remembers when the roof collapsed into that pool sometime in the 1980s.

“It pushed the water right out the front door,” she said. “I’m thankful it was at 10 o’clock at night and not at 10 o’clock in the morning. I wouldn’t be here.”

On the YMCA pool deck, Konzack is a recognizable face.

“I want to be like you when I’m 90,” a woman climbing the ladder out of the lap pool said to Konzack.

Konzack said she’s gotten used to such remarks. “I’ve had more people that come up to me and say, ‘You’re my role model,’ ” she said.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet keep her young, Konzack said.

“I’m vegetarian, I don’t smoke — I don’t even drink colas,” she said. Swimming at the Y also often washes away her worries, Konzack said.

“This has been my outlet,” she said. “Sometimes I come in here stressed out and the minute I dunk my head under the water, it’s just great.”

Denise Dammann of Roseburg has had a kid in one of Konzack’s classes for the past five years. Recently she brought her 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, to Konzack’s infant class. Dammann said she appreciates that Konzack teaches such young children water safety and how to go underwater.

“She’s got a real way of teaching babies to do that,” Dammann said. “She’s really wonderful with them. A real blessing to have.”

YMCA aquatic instructor coordinator Jeanette Dever said Konzack has just the right touch when it comes to teaching children to swim.

“She’s patient, but makes sure that they do what they’re capable of doing,” she said. “Boy, I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

The YMCA plans to host a birthday party for Konzack at 10 a.m. Tuesday and to honor her for volunteering for 42 years, Dever said.

“We have to make sure she knows this is not a going-away party,” she said. The children are what keep her coming back, Konzack said.

“I can’t keep from kissing them. I kiss their feet, I kiss their hands and then put them in the pool,” she said.

After more than 40 years, she said she can’t see herself leaving that behind anytime soon.

“I’d like to go to 50 or 100. That would be unheard of,” Konzack said, laughing. As long as her health cooperates, she sees herself as a regular fixture at the YMCA.

“I’m going to keep going until I can’t make it,” she said. “I always say, ‘You can wheel me over in a wheelchair and dump me in the water, and I’ll teach those babies.’ ”

June 11, 2012


YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Fleet Feet Sports Savannah Tackle Childhood Obesity by Getting Kids Moving

Children in the Y Kids Run program learn to become more physically active and reach their health goals while completing a one mile fun run.

Savannah Morning News

June 08, 2012

People running a race
Savannah Morning News


YMCA Offering Summer F.U.E.L. for Elementary Students in G.I.

To keep kids' minds and bodies active while school is out, the YMCA in Grand Island, Nebraska, will offer an extension of its after-school program during the summer. The Fun, Unbeatable, Educational, Learning (F.U.E.L.) program will be open to 60 second- through fifth-grade students.

The Grand Island Independent

May 24, 2012

Girl drawing at a desk
Matt Dixon/The Grand Island Independent


Filling the Healthcare Void and Trying to Prevent the Conversion to Type 2 Diabetes

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is helping Americans with prediabetes make lifestyle changes to help reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The program is on the cutting edge of how healthcare will be delivered in the future. DiabetesCare.net

May 24, 2012


Local Teens to Visit Japan through YMCA Exchange Program

Eight American teens will visit Japan this summer as part of the YMCA Big Hearts cultural exchange, where they will experience a different culture and learn more about serving one's community. Forest Park Review

May 14, 2012


Greenwood, S.C., Wins the YMCA's Fresh Page Project

Greenwood, S.C., is the winner of the National YMCA's Fresh Page Project, which sought out innovative ideas on how to improve a local community. Greenwood will use the grant to create a garden in the courtyard of the New Veteran's Affairs Building to serve the needs of local families. Greenwood Today

May 14, 2012


The Fit Latino

The Longmont YMCA works to help the Latino community live healthier through supportive relationships and resources. The Daily Camera

May 13, 2012


White Plains Y Keeps Kids Active, Raises Funds

At the White Plains YMCA's Healthy Kids Day® on April 28, children played Frisbee and rode tricycles while adults participated in the White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge sponsored Drive and Ride Event, helping to raise funding for YMCA summer camp, early child care and after school programs.

The Daily White Plains

May 01, 2012

Kids holding baloons
White Plains YMCA


Healthy Kids Day® Aims to Get Youngsters Moving this Summer

At the Black Hawk County YMCA in Waterloo, Iowa, kids enjoy a Saturday afternoon filled with face painting, games, martial arts demonstrations and healthy snacks, all meant to get kids' bodies and minds moving in time for summer to keep them healthy.

WCFCourier.com

May 01, 2012

Rick Chase/ Courier StaffPhotographer


Healthy Kids Day at the Northshore YMCA Saturday

The Y in Bothell, Wash., is joining more than 1,900 Ys across the country in celebrating YMCA's Healthy Kids Day® on April 28, with giveaways and fun family activities to improve their health and well-being. Woodinville Patch

April 27, 2012


For Getting Fit, They Fit Well

A program at the Hanover YMCA pairs volunteer coaches with disabled workout partners to help them reach their fitness goals. Boston Globe

April 23, 2012


The Y Takes On Diabetes

A new health program being rolled out at YMCAs across the country shows the potential for a community-based organization to deliver a nationwide health-care intervention. Wall Street Journal

April 23, 2012


West Broad Street YMCA Adds Books, Reading Opportunities for Kids

As part of its commitment to help kids enhance their reading skills, the West Broad Street YMCA in Savannah, Ga., holds a book drive to provide more resources at its onsite library.

Savannah Morning News

April 10, 2012

Kids holding up drawings
West Broad Street YMCA


YMCA Teaches Kids Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Children attending Spring Break Camp at the Fowler YMCA learn the importance of developing healthy eating habits. Peachtree Corners Patch

April 09, 2012


Kids Keep it Cooking at the Rye YMCA

In Rye, N.Y., elementary school children in the Rye YMCA's afterschool cooking class learn the importance of nutrition and how cooking meals can be both fun and healthy.

Port Chester Daily Voice

April 03, 2012

Kids preparing food at a large table
Luke Lavoie


Neighbors Helping Neighbors

From giving youth the opportunity to thrive to teaching people how to make positive lifestyle changes, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas is helping improve the lives of kids, adults and families by working alongside and receiving support from members of the community. Blue Ribbon News

March 09, 2012


Lauderhill Kids Fighting to Be the Voice Of Change

A group of students in Lauderhill, Florida, has taken matters into its own hands to stop the violence and bullying they have experienced on their way to school, with help from the Lauderhill Community YMCA. CBS Miami

March 01, 2012


The Way of the Y

In Northwest North Carolina, there is something unique and special about the Y that appeals to children, adults and seniors, whether it's the abundance of programs and amenities or just the sense of belonging to a community.

Winston-Salem Monthly

February 21, 2012

Two people scaling an indoor climbing wall
Winston-Salem Monthly


Stoughton YMCA Bicyclists Go Into Spin Cycle for Campers

When Mark Leppo was a kid, he wanted nothing more than to go to camp, but his family couldn't afford it. Today, he's spearheading an event at the Old Colony YMCA to ensure that kids in need can get the childhood experiences he couldn't.

Stoughton Journal

February 17, 2012

Group of kids holding up a banner (illegible)
Stoughton Journal


The First Lady Talks Healthy Families at the Homestead YMCA Family Center

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of Lets Move!, first lady Michelle Obama joined a panel of experts, including the Y's National Director for Health and Well-being Jim Kauffmann, for the WebMD Town Hall: Simple Tips for Healthy Families at the Homestead YMCA Family Center in Homestead, Fla. Click here to watch the panel discuss ways of helping families live healthier.

WebMD

February 14, 2012

Panel on state with Y logo and WebMD logo
Bob Soto Stills


Raritan Bay Area YMCA to Open Doors to 7th-Graders on Weekends

In an effort to help shape seventh-grade students' lifestyle habits early on, area students will have unlimited access to the facilities at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA in New Jersey for free as part of a statewide YMCA program. MyCentralJersey.com

February 06, 2012


YMCA Continues to Help Haiti

A longtime arm of support in Haiti before the devastating earthquake of January 2010, the Ridgewood YMCA and its World Service Committee expands its presence in the island nation for the indefinite future, starting with a clothing drive.

The Ridgewood News

February 06, 2012

Colorful new Y building in Haiti
Ridgewood YMCA


YMCA Summer Camp Keeps Children Active After Dad Loses Job

The Staten Island Family YMCA provides support to help a family who's struggling to make ends meet put their kids through YMCA camp. Staten Island Advance

January 23, 2012


Mentor Program Thrives at YMCA

It's the latter part of January but there is still time for residents to do their part for National Mentoring Month. But even past January, YMCA employees and volunteers say any time is a good time to become a mentor to an at-risk youth.

Ahwatukee Foothills News

January 23, 2012

Woman and female teen in front of a rock climbing wall
AhwatukeeFoothills News


Experiencing Government First-Hand

Students from the Southeast Area YMCA Youth in Government group gain valuable knowledge as they re-enact the world of government and politics at the state Capitol. Woodbury Bulletin

January 05, 2012


YMCA of Broward County Hosts Inspirational Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

The YMCA of Broward County will host its "Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspirational Breakfast," which will feature keynote speaker J.R. Martinez, Iraq war veteran, inspirational speaker and winner of "Dancing with the Stars." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 05, 2012


Past Media Coverage: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Bookmark and Share