Botetourt Family YMCA Celebrates One Year Anniversary

January 1, 2020

Since first opening their doors on January 1, 2019, the Botetourt Family YMCA has stayed true to its promise of becoming a place where people can come together to experience life as a community.

“It was not too long ago that we were telling the story of what the Y could be,” said Mark Johnson president and CEO of the YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “Thanks to amazing donors like Karen Waldron, Botetourt County, and so many others, that story is coming true every day. Looking back over this past year, I’m still amazed at how the community has welcomed and embraced the Y.”

In their first month of being open 3,670 members joined, and as of December 30, there were 5,282 Botetourt Family YMCA members. On average, 486 people visit the Botetourt Y each day for health, strength, and community.

Tina Haxton is just one member that says joining the Y has been one of the best things she has ever done for herself. After breaking her back in 2016, she gave up her lifelong passion for riding and showing horses. She was fearful of reinjuring herself by doing physical activity so she started to gain weight and lose muscle mass. In 2017 she decided to regain her health by resuming workouts again, but soon after starting, she tore her posterior meniscus while ice skating. After a long road with physical therapy, the Y had recently opened so she decided to join.

“I modified everything at first and the instructors were so helpful and encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone,” said Haxton. “Each week, the workouts got easier and easier and soon I found myself doing things I never thought I would do again – like running a mile without stopping, doing real pushups, and lifting weights.”

Tina even has her sights set on a sprint triathlon within the next year.

Membership aside, the Botetourt Family YMCA has offered programs both inside and outside of their walls for all ages. They had their first ever summer camp serving close to 50 children weekly, they held soccer, basketball, and t-ball youth sports programs, offered monthly Active Older Adult luncheons, started a swim team, provided a safe place for middle school and elementary students through after school programming, and launched the Y Splash program, which will teach all second graders attending Botetourt County Public Schools how to be safe in and around the water.

As a non-profit committed to strengthening community, the Y also believes that everyone should have access to Y membership and programs. Over the past year, the Botetourt Family YMCA has provided financial assistance to approximately one in five members and to program participants who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The Y’s financial assistance program is made possible because of the generosity of individuals and organizations that donate to the Annual Campaign.

Tricia Reynolds, a regional director for the YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, has been an integral part to the success of the Botetourt Family YMCA over the past year. In the months leading up to their opening, and even to this day, she continues to work with area leaders and organizations to find out how the Y can support the community.

“Connecting people to their potential, purpose and each other is the reason I come to work every morning,” said Reynolds. But it’s our programs, and most importantly our staff, that make the Y such a special place.”