YMCA showcases facilities, programs

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Harrison Family YMCA AFPA Post Rehab Exercise Specialist and Wellness Coordinator Sharon Simons, right, chats with Bill Goodale as she checks his blood pressure Saturday during the open house and health fair at the Harrison Family YMCA.


Staff Writer

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Anyone who didn't make it to the Harrison Family YMCA Open House and Health Fair on Saturday missed out on a lot of fun and useful information.

During the four-hour event, participants had free use of all equipment and facilities, including the ever popular racquetball courts. Samplers of Zumba and other group exercises were demonstrated. Kids and daring adults got a chance to prove themselves on the rock climbing wall.

The second annual event built on previous health fairs held in January, but the facility traditionally hadn't had an open house for several years, dating back to 2011 in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Y, which began in 1911 by the railroad tracks in downtown Rocky Mount.

Saturday was the second time in as many years that the health fair was combined with an open house, said Alyssa Matthews, marketing and development director for the YMCA.

"The purpose is to help make the community aware of everything that is out there for a healthier life in spirit mind and body," Matthews said. "This progressed into an Open House again last year, because we wanted people to not only feel comfortable with coming to learn about their health but to also go ahead and get started."

Matthews said the YMCA is a place for all, and that's evident when someone enters the facility.

"Our staff is there to help and guide and welcome you," she said. "The open house allows all to catch a glimpse of this in hopes that they will join and continue their health journey with us here at the Y."

Matthews said a lot of new members signed up during the event with no fees to join. Within the first week of January last year, there were close to 200 new members. This year looks to maintain that trend.

The event started as a way to give people a free opportunity to get started with their health and to be able to experience what the Y has to offer as a cause-driven organization here to strengthen the community, Matthews said.