Kerry Jantz preferred the hoops du jour.
That was his standard request at the Macomb Family YMCA on North River Road in Mount Clemens.
“When I was 12 or 13, I convinced my dad we should get a membership to the YMCA. A friend of mine was always at the Y. I played basketball all of the time,” said Jantz, who is now the Branch Chair at the Macomb Family YMCA.
“I grew up at the YMCA,” continued Jantz.
That included lots of time logged in the gym. It included countless family hours. There was the swimming pool. There were numerous programs. There was a two-week canoeing trip in Minnesota.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is how much the YMCA has to offer,” Jantz said. “It is much more than just a gym. Its uses are endless. For example; it’s a community center for seniors. It provides a safe place for seniors to gather and socialize.”
That’s just the start of the menu at the YMCA.
The YMCA has three primary focuses; Health and Wellness, Child and Youth Development, as well as Family and Community.
Health and Wellness deals with the overall health of members. It includes programs on both exercise and eating well. The YMCA actually provides food to families in need with children, seniors and those with special needs.
The bottom line for Child and Youth Development is that kids deserve positive experiences to help develop their potential. Those range from Child Care and the Great Start Readiness Program to numerous opportunities in sports.
Family and Community embraces the concept that healthy communities are safe, inclusive and welcoming. Everyone should have an opportunity to contribute to improving their community.
Latitia McCree is a senior vice president of marketing and communications for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
Beginning Monday, the Macomb Family YMCA in Mount Clemens will be open for business. It will be the first time since mid-March that the doors will be unlocked.
The first week, the YMCA will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m, Monday through Friday.
Everything will be open in phases, starting with the Wellness Center. More programs and extended hours will follow.
The YMCA and most other businesses were shut down last spring per orders of Governor Whitmer in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
McCree also utilized the YMCA when she was just a young girl.
“I was seven when I took swimming lessons at the downtown Y. My mom liked keeping us busy. I took swim, ballet and tap lessons. I am still not the best swimmer. I’m a much better dancer than I am a swimmer,” said McCree, laughing.
Years later, she worked in the YMCA’s Achiever program designed to help young men and women prepare for college and careers. McCree was a mentor.
“There is no better gift than being about to provide a child with a springboard,” she said.
A springboard to a stable future will be launched for the Macomb Family YMCA soon. The facility has been operating at a financial loss for years. The pandemic only made things much, much worse.
“In the past, we were always able to cover the shortfall,” McCree said.
The goal is to raise $3 million.
The Macomb Family YMCA is located at 10 North River Road in Mount Clemens. The phone number is 586-468-1411.
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