YMCA of Florida Emerald Coast
FORT WALTON FAMILY YMCA
Meet a Fort Walton Family YMCA 100 Mile Swim Club Member…
Gerald Loudermilk was born with several birth defects. Through a dedicated family and medical attention he was able to overcome most of his medical challenges. However, Gerald did have a medical condition that caused him to lose his eyesight during his senior year in high school. He went on to graduate from high school and now lives independently in our community.
Gerald’s one wish was to learn how to swim at the YMCA. With the help of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, Gerald qualified for financial assistance that allowed him to take swim lessons. He was also able to take personal training sessions to build his strength and endurance to be able to swim effectively.
That was two years ago. Now, not only can Gerald swim, in October 2009 he joined the 100 Mile Club at the Fort Walton Family YMCA. “I am having my best time swimming” Gerald states every Monday morning at the YMCA when he swims his laps. Gerald has become a regular at the YMCA and even performs musical entertainment at the YMCA’s Annual Christmas Party.
DESTIN YMCA AQUATIC CENTER
I Love the Destin YMCA Pool…
My name is Rosemarie Rudzki. I’ve been a member of the Destin Family YMCA for over 18 years. I have Multiple Sclerosis and was diagnosed over 35 years ago. I honestly can say if it wasn’t for Sue Goetz (YMCA Instructor ) and her low-impact water aerobics class I would not be as mobile as I am today. I need a shadow water work-out for my legs. I was able to use the competition pool some in the warm months because of the convenient chair lift. My greatest disappointment is that we can not use our local pool year round. I guess half a loaf is better then none. Thank you Destin YMCA for providing these programs.
YMCA CHILD CARE
My name is Michael Fritz and my daughter’s name is Amanda Fritz. She has been enrolled in the Y since the second grade. Ms Joanne King was her counselor and a great one at that. Last year was a tough one for Amanda and me. Just a brief status of what has gone on without complaining, goes as this: last November my company went out of business, in December I had to have a total knee replacement, in January I began a 13 month chemo treatment and in July, I lost my little brother due to suicide. Being a single parent, it has been hard.
I want to say there is not a nicer lady than Mrs. Tonya Blake who I trust my daughter with 100% and never have to worry about her well being. Amanda loves her so much and hugs her neck as much as she does mine. I would also like everyone to know that I applied for the Financial Assistance program and was treated with kindness and understanding in a timely manner. I met with Mrs. Coretta Johnson personally and she was gracious and kind and I could tell she was a lady who cared.
In short, with all that has happened this year Ms. Joanne, Mrs. Tonya, and Mrs. Coretta have been a blessing and had made a huge difference in our lives, without ever knowing how big a difference they’ve made it. We look forward to the Y and want you just to know you are much, much more than a “child sitter”. You teach manners, prayers, respect for
others and are really a blessing – we really need you. Thank you for all you do and may God Bless each of you.
NICEVILLE FAMILY YMCA
Let me share my success story with you….
I am a 70 year old senior citizen member of the Niceville YMCA. Last May 2009, I suffered a stroke that left the left side of my body paralyzed. I successfully completed physical therapy but reinjured my left shoulder. After my injury, I joined the Niceville YMCA in October 2009. I started with a three times a week routine and have challenged myself to increase my routine to four to five times a week. I am able to use most of the weight equipment. I get around the fitness center using a cane and I keep challenging myself to continue improving. This rapid improvement is from being around positive and helpful people found at the Niceville YMCA.
Thank you YMCA!
YMCA CHILD CARE
My daughter attends the Mary Esther Before and After School site. Words will never express the gratitude I have for the YMCA Scholarship Program. Due to domestic violence my two children and I are at a shelter. We’ve been struggling to get back onto our feet. I have been trying o keep things as stable as possible for the girls, but with my only income being unemployment it has been hard to afford anything more or less for daycare. Your program has helped me with getting my daughter in a program that I can actually afford.
This enables me to have the time to look for a job. My daughter is very shy and had been through a lot, but I have seen a dramatic change in her since starting in your program. She loves being there and odes not stop talking about all the activities she participates in. She is a different little girl. I would like to truly thank you for your program. Without your scholarship program she wouldn’t be able to attend.
Let me say thank you to you and your staff for the wonderful work you do. My daughter (Talia Stein) looks forward to the Before School Program you have at her school (Mary Esther Elementary) daily!. She enjoys the activities she does there and making new friends.
I notice how happy she is when she comes there and I truly believe it starts her day off on a positive note and her teacher always says how happy Talia is when she arrives to class in the morning.
The YMCA has not only been beneficial to Talia, but it has been beneficial to me as well. The scholarship program not only allows me to save money on child care, but it provides Talia with an opportunity to meet different people from all walks of life and makes her well rounded. The 10 hours of volunteer work I perform monthly, provides a meaningful, positive impact on my community and myself. It also provides me a sense of achievement and motivation. Volunteering has provided an escape to my everyday routine and helps to create a balance in my life.
When I tell friends, family and my military peers that my daughter attends the YMCA and all the benefits we both have received from it, it quickly turns into a 30 minute conversation and them wanting to know more about the YMCA. Continue to keep up the good job you and your staff do and thanks for providing a wonderful service to the community.
Akima N. Charles
CRESTVIEW FAMILY YMCA
Can a sign change your life? A sign for the “Smallest Winner” changed mine…
My name is Nancy Cantrell and about a year ago, a gym I was working out in closed its doors. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but had made small progress of being able to remove 20 lbs. I have always worked out on my own and really didn’t think I would like group classes. I checked out another club in town, but really didn’t want to sign a contract. Then someone told me the YMCA had a gym. I had no idea it had a gym or where it was. It was in a fairly obscure location. When I pulled up…there was the sign….”The Smallest Winner Sign-up”. I went into sign up for that, but also signed up for a family membership.
The day came for us to start the competition. At stake was $100 Gift card and a free one year YMCA membership! Boy, I could use that with 12 children! We got to pick which team we wanted to be on, and I picked Kimberly Webb’s team because she had worked at the gym that had closed down.
I came to find out that there were all kinds of classes including spin, body sculpt, zumba, step, yoga, active older adults, child care if needed, and the people are so friendly. The YMCA didn’t care if you were 75 lbs overweight or not. The instructors are so encouraging in the classes and the people that workout there are the best. I have made many good friends just being a member and having entered the competition.
The rest of the story for this 51 year old mother of 12, is that I went on to win the competition and am continuing on my weight removal journey. To date I went from 200 lbs to 154 lbs and feel great! I still have a little ways to go, but everyone at the YMCA is so encouraging, you can’t help but succeed! Thank you YMCA for being there for me.