Murray discussed the many programs available at the Family Y, as well as special activities, events and opportunities available through the summer months.
The program director emphasized that the YMCA offers memberships just for the summer, May 26 through Sept. 3, to provide family with opportunities while school is out of session.
These memberships include the Y’s facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, wellness center, basketball-volleyball and racquetball programs, indoor and outdoor track facilities, aerobics and aquatic classes, youth center and teen center, youth gymnasium, cycling, whirlpool, steam and sauna rooms, child care, special fees for swim lessons, speciality classes, camps and youth sports.
These memberships range from $95 for students, $175 for seniors, and $295 for a household. There are also memberships for young adults (age 18-29, $180), adults ($205), senior couples ($255) and single-parent household ($260).
Murray answered a number of questions during his talk, including an inquiry of whether or not YMCA administrators have discussed the possibility, and need, for another facility in the community.
He said the possibility of a satellite location has been approached, but no plans are in the works.
“We don’t expect any expansion in the near future,” he said. “We have just under 12,000 members and feel our facilities can handle these members without any difficulty. We could grow to that point (where we may consider expansion) in the future.”
Murray said the local YMCA enjoys just under 14 percent of participation from the community’s population, while the national average for other YMCAs is closer to 7 percent.
He emphasized that the local Y gets some scholarship funds from United Way, and the local facility gave approximately $200,000 in scholarships last year. “We don’t turn anyone away due to their inability to pay,” he added.
The YMCA also has after-school programs at all Bradley County schools, and at all three middle schools.
Murray, who is sporting an extra-long hairstyle at this point, is assisting his niece in a “Locks of Love” school project. He has been with the YMCA 25 years (since 1987). The program director said the Cleveland Y has grown substantially in recent years, and has many members from outside the area — from Meigs, McMinn, Polk and Hamilton counties. The summer memberships are a big boost for those participants.
There are also a couple of special Family-Night events in the summer. There will be a Luau Party in June, and a Drive-in movie in July. “We also have summer camps for kids from the first grade to the eighth,” he added. “These camps are activational, focusing on our fight against obesity.”
There is also the Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, program which provides competition for children in different weight classes.
Another program provides kids with role model information about people in the world who have been successful in their respective endeavors.
Other opportunities include space for birthday and pool parties, rental fees for using facility space, rental of the Teen Center for the older kids, volunteerism, a multitude of fitness classes (for all ages), cycling events, all types of fitness training and workouts (all genders), and specialty classes for seniors (male and female).