The new Y will feature an innovative Child Watch/Adventure Gym area.
Westport Weston Family Y staff and volunteer leaders have been meeting recently with groups of parents whose children are served by the Y’s Child Care and Gymnastics programs. These discussions have been productive, and we thank them for their involvement.
The Family Y has been actively searching for suitable alternate sites for its Child Care services and Gymnastics programs for nearly two years, soon after the decision was made to proceed with constructing our new Y facility at Mahackeno in stages.
The first phase is a 54,000 sq. ft. facility with all the features and amenities that will allow us to continue to offer people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to live healthier, more engaged lives.
Ultimately, we intend to enlarge our Y at Mahackeno to the 102,000 sq. ft. facility approved by all local authorities. That expansion is designed to include a separate Child Care wing and Gymnastics Center, which are not part of the first stage of construction.
As we strive to open our modern new Y late next summer, we’re also continuing to explore all options to find suitable temporary locations in our service area – namely Westport and Weston, and possibly parts of Norwalk – for our Child Care and Gymnastics programs, until subsequent construction phases are completed.
The problem has been in finding space that meets our standards, satisfies local and state licensing and zoning requirements, and is affordable. Such a location for our Child Care program simply hasn’t been on the market.
The Y’s After-school programs for School Age children, including Kinderkids, taking place this school year at Saugatuck Elementary School, will continue as currently structured.
We’re very hopeful that a suitable alternate site for our acclaimed Gymnastics program, with its own stringent requirements, can be found.
We’re also hopeful that, somehow, we will be able to find a suitable location for the 35 families currently served by our NYAEC-accredited Child Care program in the time frame we’re working with.
Family Y CEO Rob Reeves, other Y staff and the volunteer leaders who guide our nonprofit charitable organization will also strive to continue to keep all Y members and supporters apprised of the latest developments to our existing programs, as well as the progress being made each day toward completing the first stage of our modern new home at Mahackeno.
For questions or more information, please feel free to contact Rob Reeves at 203-226-8981, ext. 131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drop off and pick up in the Gymnastic Center. Games, craft project, fun gymnastics, free swim and a snack! For ages 5 to 12. Children must be able to swim without flotation device. (And please make sure your little one eats dinner at home.)
Pre-registration is appreciated; the cost is $45 per child for Y Members; $85 for non-members. For more information, please contact Sally Silverstein at email@example.com or by calling 203-226-8981, ext. 118.
Enjoy a night out while your children have fun at the Westport Weston Family Y, 5-9 pm on Friday, Sept. 27.
Offered for kids ages 5 to 12 and held in the Y’s Gymnastic Center, there will be games, a craft project, fun gymnastics, free swim and a snack.
Children must be able to swim without flotation device. Drop off and pick up in the Gymnastic Center, via the entrance from the parking lot off Elm Street. (Please make sure your little one eats dinner at home.)
Our Showtime Exhibition Gymnasts put on quite a show!
Hundreds of Y members and supporters turned out on Wednesday, Sept. 18, to join in the celebration of the Westport Weston Family Y’s 90th Birthday. The festivities on Church Lane included a special performance by the Y’s Showtime Exhibition Gymnastic Team; inflatables and other games for children; balloon sculpturist Danny Diamond; a display of vintage cars, including a 1953 Jaguar XK-120, courtesy of Bill Scheffler and Ann Sheffer, and a rare Cunningham Coupe from the McKinney family.
WWE wrestling legend Mick Foley was on hand to make a special appearance and also help lead the singing of “Happy Birthday, Family Y.” There was birthday cake for all, with Poland Springs water, and snacks and drinks from Healthy Vending Co.
Inside the Y’s Bedford Building, a lovely afternoon tea was held in the Bresslin Room, featuring tea from David’s Tea.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley makes the “Y” in the YMCA song.
In a brief ceremony at 5:30 pm on Church Lane, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff read a proclamation from the Town of Westport: “We honor and celebrate the 90th birthday of a very special Westport institution … our town is fortunate that Westport is home to the Family Y. We are extremely grateful to the hundreds of volunteers and employees of the Westport Weston Family Y for their dedication and devotion to our community and its residents.”
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (foreground) with other speakers and Y leaders.
In personal remarks, Joseloff added, “I have great affection for the Y— it’s been a part of my life and a part of Westporters’ lives for many, many decades,” the First Selectman said, adding, “I look around at all these youngsters here and I hope they will be at the dedication of the new Y so that 90 years from now, they can look back and remember when they were young kids. They can tell their kids about the Y, and the influence and importance it has to Westport and to them.”
State Senator Toni Boucher and State Representative Gail Lavielle delivered a proclamation on behalf of the State of Connecticut General Assembly and their colleagues representing local constituencies, including Representatives John Shaban and Jonathan Steinberg and State Senator John McKinney, a Y Trustee and great great grandson of Family Y founder Edward T. Bedford.
“Be it hereby known to all that: The Connecticut General Assembly hereby offers its sincerest congratulations to the Westport Weston Family Y in recognition of for close to a century the Family Y has served generations of members. A center where the community comes together for fun and activity, members have a safe and wholesome place to enjoy. We thank you for your service, and we wish you a most happy 90th birthday. The entire membership extends its very best wishes on this memorable occasion and expresses the hope for continued success.”
The occasion was made more memorable with the special announcement regarding the Y’s new facility now under construction at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus north of downtown. In recognition of the Bedford family’s continuing support of the local nonprofit charitable organization, “our new building will be named the Bedford Family Center,” announced Pete Wolgast, chair of the Y’s volunteer Board of Trustees.
State Senator and Y Trustee John McKinney and his sister, Libby McKinney Tritschler, who serves on the Y’s Board of Directors.
The Westport Weston Family Y is truly grateful for the support of the Bedford Family, which began with the gift of the Y and adjacent Central Firehouse. It continued with the purchase of its Camp Mahackeno property in the early 1940s, financed with help from Edward’s son Frederick. In the 1980s, Frederick’s daughters Ruth Bedford and Lucie Bedford Cunningham Warren were instrumental in financing the conversion of the Firehouse to the Y’s Fitness Center.
More recently, the Y has received generous support for its new facility from Lucie’s children, Lucie McKinney and Briggs Cunningham III. Attending yesterday’s celebration were three of Lucie McKinney’s children, Stewart; Libby McKinney Tritschler, who serves on the Y’s Board of Directors; and State Senator and Y Trustee John McKinney. Representing a sixth generation of Bedford descendants and Y supporters was Stewart’s son Michael.
To read more about the Bedfords and our Y’s 90th Anniversary:
The Family Y’s new facility at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus, bordered by the Merritt Parkway and the Saugatuck River just north of downtown Westport, will begin as a full-service, family oriented 54,000-sq. ft. building. Construction on this first stage of what ultimately will be a 102,000-sq.-ft. facility began in January 2013. The new Y is scheduled to open in September 2014.
More information about the Y’s “Building What Matters” capital campaign to fully fund the construction of its modern new home may be found at this link.
Another fun summer in the Westport Weston Family Y’s Gymnastics Center is drawing to a close with the last week for our Gymnastics & Swim campers. Held over eight weekly sessions, the afternoon Gymnastic & Swim Camp gives young gymnasts the chance to develop their skills on the Spring Floor along with fun dips and dives in the pool.
Says Sally Silverstein, the Family Y’s Sports & Rec Director: “Thank you to all my wonderful coaches who worked so hard this summer to make our gymnastic camps creative and fun each week by playing games like Ship Wreck, Natural Disasters, Freeze Gymnastics, Wax Museum and Chalk Tag to Fun Fridays for the gymnasts with tattoos and prizes!”
The summer season for our Gymnastics Program wraps up with a Specialty Competitive and Pre Competitive Gymnastics Camp next week, offered for the Y’s competitive gymnastics teams for girls level 3-8. The Family Y is also home to the internationally ranked and gold medal winning Showtime Team.
Toddler Adventure Gym, 9-11 am, is a great place to hang out.
The Fall Session of Gymnastics classes and activities begins Sept. 3 with an array of popular programs, like our Boys Gymnastics, held on Tuesdays from 5-6pm. The class is for boys ages 5-11 for beginner and advanced beginner levels.and some exciting new classes.
The Gymnastic Center is also the setting for three new classes this fall that include gymnastics with either art, swim or games:
Family Art Time (ages 5+) offers a fun drop-in Saturday morning class for parent and child. Only $10 per session!
Held on Fridays only during the summer, our Toddler Adventure Gym returns to its daily morning schedule of 9 to 11 am starting Sept. 3. It’s great fun for little tykes and a cushy gathering spot for Moms and sitters alike. Y Membership is not required, and the fee is $10 per drop-in.
“It will be a wonderful fall in the Gymnastic Center,” says Sally. For more information about Y Gymnastics classes and activities, contact Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-226-8981, ext. 118.
A young gymnast shows off her flexibility on the spring floor of the Family Y’s Gymnastics Center.
Advance registration for the Westport Weston Family Y’s Fall Session of classes and activities is now under way. The Fall Session begins Tuesday, Sept. 3, and continues through the second week of December.
To review the complete schedule of classes, activities and programs — and to find more helpful information about our Family Y — click here for our online brochure. And also please be checking your mailbox for a printed version of this colorful, 32-page brochure. Keep it on hand as you and your family prepare to enjoy all that our Y offers!
Here’s just a brief listing of some of the exciting new programs the Y has to offer this fall:
Young Rembrandts (ages 3-4) and Ready Set Read (ages 2.5-3 with parent) will be held in the Gymnastic Center and combine an art project with physical activity on our preschool gym equipment;
Family Art Time (ages 5+) offers a fun drop-in Saturday morning class for parent and child. Only $10 per session!
Fencing classes are offered for beginners (ages 4-13) with a new “Musketeer” intro class for ages 4-6 taught with fun foam equipment.
Jitterbugs (ages 1-3 with parent) offers creative movement for kids who just gotta move!
Pandemonium for Boys (ages 5-8) is a boys-only Hip Hop class that offers a creative, athletic experience while developing coordination, dance and motor skills, and rhythm as well as building confidence to perform.
Little Mover & Shakers (ages 3-4) is a Creative Dance based class about learning rhythms, coordination, flexibility, self-expression and confidence. It also teaches listening skills and dance class etiquette while introducing the basics of ballet and jazz.
For information about becoming a Y Member, please click here or call Brian Marazzi, Membership & Marketing Director, at 203-226-9881, ext. 161.
Current members ca register for programs online, in person at our Member Services Desk or by calling us at 203-226-8981.
Family Y Level 6 gymnasts, left to right: Emily Prister, Aliza Dodge and Chandler O’Reardon.
Fourteen Family Y gymnasts traveled to Savannah, Georgia, June 26-29 to compete at YMCA Women’s National Gymnastic Championships. Teams from 91 YMCAs participated, with more than 1,900 gymnasts competing.
The Family Y gymnasts, ranging in age from 10 to 15, came home with 4 All Around National Champion titles, placing in the top 10 in their Level. The Y gymnasts won more than 22 individual and All Around medals and trophies at the YMCA National Championships.
Opening ceremonies were held at Forsyth Park, and the competition took place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.
Twelve-year-old Aliza Dodge from Westport won 5th place All Around (33.4) in the Level 6 Junior competition, taking third-place medals on bars and floor, fifth place on balance beam and seventh place on vault. Teammate Chandler O’Reardon from Westport placed 9th All Around (31.2), winning 5th on bars and 4th on Balance Beam. Emily Prister from Weston placed 5th on Balance Beam and 6th on Floor Level 6 grabbing 14th place All Around.
In the Level 5 Division, 12-year-old Sarah McKinnis from Fairfield won 11th place All Around (33.1) winning additional individual medals on both Floor and Beam.
“This was amazing!” explained Director of Sports and Recreation Sally Silverstein. “Sarah broke her pinky finger a few days before Nationals and competed on bars and vault with a broken finger and still placed in the top 12!” Level 5 teammate Kylie Doyle, a 10-year-old from Westport, placed 14th All Around (32.1) and won individual medals on Vault (10th place) and Bars (9th place) for the Family Y.
First year Level 4 competitors Mia Parkes, age 10, from Westport took 10th place All Around (33.4). Shea Baker and Chloe Ashton won 16th and 17th place All Around titles.
Family Y head Coach Stephanie Kinik, is very proud of her champions. “They are very focused and all felt comfortable with their routines.” For many, this was not only their first year of competition but also their first Nationals. The girls all came home proud of their accomplishments.”
Level 4 gymnasts Amelie Beck, Mia Parkes, Chloe Ashton, and Shea Baker.
Under the direction of Sally Silverstein, the Family Y offers gymnastics for all ages and abilities from Toddlers through High School, including competitive teams for girls level 3-8 in addition to the internationally ranked and gold medal winning Showtime Exhibition Team. The Y’s highly experienced and safety certified coaches identify individual strengths and help students excel with emphasis on fun, movement and fundamentals.
Participants work on the mats, balance beam, parallel bars, uneven and vaults, grouped according to ability. For class placement questions, call Sally Silverstein at 226-8981, ext. 118, or email email@example.com.
Family Y membership is required for all gymnastics classes. Toddler Adventure Gym, held during the weekdays from 9 to 11 am, is open to all, with a daily fee of $10.
For more information about Family Y membership and programs, visit www.westporty.org or call 203-226-8981.
Top Row, left to right: Emily Prister, Margaret West, Kelsey Lemke, Sarah McKinnis, Aliza Dodge, Shea Baker Middle Row, Left to right: Lili Kane, Alison Long, Mia Parkes, Kylie Doyle Bottom Row, left to right: Chloe Ashton, Chloe Beck, Blaire Gowrie Missing from picture: Chandler O’Reardon.
If winter in our blessed part of Connecticut is sometimes a cold and slow slog, then summer is a sprint. Lazy days of summer? Not in our parts!
School’s out, and though for many of our Y members and neighbors the summer recess means preparing to decamp to other locales, for our Y the first week of summer means that all of our Summer Session of classes, programs and camps are finally in full swing.
Dance Center instructor Danette Meigel-Cahr and her summer campers take a break to pose for this photo on the stairs of our Bedford Building.
As you can see from the photo gallery above, our Y is bustling with activity. Mornings bring a hundred young Hafaday campers through our doors. Chaperoned by a score of energetic counselors, these 4 to 8 year olds make their way from the pool to the gym to arts & crafts (plus a snack along the way), making new friends and learning water-safety skills that will last a lifetime.
Upstairs in our air-conditioned Gymnastics Center, the mornings begin with Toddler Adventure Gym. Little tykes explore this playland of bouncy floors and things to swing on; come the afternoon, young gymnasts stretch their skills under the tutelage of our fine coaching staff — many of whom grew up taking gymnastic summer camps in the very same space. (With life-changing opportunities like the YMCA National Gymnastics Championships along the way.)
Pick an hour out of the day in our Upper Gym, and you’ll find it the scene of pickup basketball games with the big boys at lunchtime, a mini grand prix of play cars for the Hafaday kids, or the venue for the Y’s Men’s regular table tennis round robins.
“Letting it hang” at one of Perry Moody’s TRX classes.
And this, all the while, as our pools and fitness center and group-exercise studios are filled with Y members of all ages engaged in their own healthful pursuits.
Another marvelous scene from last week: As a group of Y’s Women met for one of their regular get-togethers at the Y last week, in comes a parade of preschoolers in their pink tutus to take part in Princess Dance Camp.
As one longtime Y member said, “All you have to do to see the breadth of what our Y offers our community is to walk through this building…”
Feel free to come by and take that tour; in the meantime, enjoy these summer scenes from our Family Y above, as well as a glimpse of the fun being had at Earthplace-Mahackeno Summer Day Camp, below, with our partners at The Nature Discovery Center.
To join in the summer fun, click on any of the highlighted links above, or visit www.westporty.org. Or just come on down to our beloved Bedford building at 59 Post Road East in downtown Westport!