Stories & Spotlights

We know that when we work together, we move individuals, families and communities forward.

But a strong community doesn’t just happen, it’s the the result of steady leadership, teamwork and stewardship. We strive to cultivate a community that has a strong impact on our members, our staff, our neighborhoods, and the Fargo-Moorhead community as a whole. Below are just a few stories of the amazing things that can happen when we come together as a YMCA community.

Hannah Kearns

For Hannah, the YMCA is a community that she’s grown up with. Her first experiences with the Y started in KinderKamp Preschool and Busy Beaver Camp, before eventually taking swimming lessons and attending Camp Cormorant. Though she’s an avid swimmer and workout warrior, Hannah believes the Y is much more than a pool or a gym. Christian principles and strong friendships keep her coming back to her YMCA community. 

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Mina Zaudtke

Mina comes to the Fercho YMCA early every weekday morning to organize the tables, chairs and coffee items in the Social Center. She starts the coffee pots and tidily places out cups and napkins in preparation for when her friends make their way upstairs after their workouts. Mina brings such a positive presence through our doors every day – and makes sure that the coffee pot is always on!

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The Wilson Family

Sofiya, Ashlynn and McKenzie Wilson are a part of the YMCA’s School Age Program at Jefferson Elementary. They receive financial assistance through the Y’s Partner of Youth Annual Campaign, which has allowed the Wilson family to get back on their feet. “To have the opportunity to be a part of this scholarship program has meant so much to my whole family. The YMCA feels like a second home to us.”

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Toni Froysland

Toni Froysland, a spunky, 23-year-old Fargo-native, simply lives and breathes YMCA Camp Cormorant, the YMCA’s summer resident camp near Lake Park, MN. A recent elementary education graduate from Bemidji State University, Toni attributes her passion for youth development to her 14 years at Camp Cormorant, both as a camper and staff.

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Ann Overby

After she completed treatment for colon cancer, Ann Overby was exhausted and weak. She also struggled with neuropathy, eventually needing surgery after a particularly bad fall. After surgery, she signed up for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA®, hoping it would help her regain the ability to participate in the activities she once enjoyed so thoroughly.

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The Lindeman Family

Lisa Lindeman’s arms are full – literally. She is a single mother who not only works full time, but takes care of her two youngest twin daughters, Maci and MaKenna, and her grandson, Carter, who all attend the Schlossman YMCA’s child care program. MaKenna is just five years old and has cerebral palsy. 

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Samantha Martinson

Growing up in a family who regularly struggled with finances, relied heavily on programs like WIC, and who many times was evicted from their home, Samantha wanted to share her passion and empathy with others going through the same trials she experienced as a child. Samantha heard about our Reach & Rise Mentoring Program while in class at MSUM, and soon became a mentor to four middle school girls.

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Anna Johnson and Kirsten Douglas

Kirsten and Anna met in a YMCA BODYPUMP class in 2016, when Kirsten had just moved the Fargo-Moorhead area. They became fast friends, and now meet at the Y a few times a week to take a break, work out, or just spend time together. They describe the YMCA as their sanctuary, their community, and their home.

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Eric Rogne

Eric Rogne, a longtime member of the YMCA, has found a way to make the Y part of every chapter of his life. Whether it’s through racquetball, group fitness, or donating to our Partner of Youth Campaign, Eric has found a “sanctuary” in our YMCA community.

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Katie King and Isaac Kreft

Katie, a contagiously bubbly 21-year-old, started her first day of work in 2013. As she slid into the water in her brand new ‘swim instructor’ uniform and arms full of kick-boards and sign-in forms, she was trying not to let anyone see how nervous she was.

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Mathias Dollinger

Mathias Dollinger was a recipient of a scholarship to Camp Cormorant. While at camp, Mathias was challenged to step outside his comfort zone, take initiative and build communication skills. Mathias’s mother said her son came home from camp a different person, and expressed her gratitude to the donors who make camp scholarships possible.

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Has the YMCA impacted your life, or the life of a loved one? Share your YMCA Story with us!