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, and the Fargo-Moorhead community as a whole. Below are just a few stories of the great things that happen when we come together as a YMCA community.
The Sitzer Family
“Both my son and daughter attend YMCA child care programming. When the uncertainty of COVID-19 began to grip our community, the YMCA stepped up. The board, coordinators, and staff worked together to give those who are serving our community a safe place for our children to go.”
When Tera Vanyo picked up her son, Tyson, from Camp Cormorant last August, she thought he would be ready to come home after a week of bug spray, bunk beds, and early morning polar plunges. She was wrong. Tyson, a 10-year old sports fan and middle brother of three, wanted camp to last forever.
Dan Armbrust, a devoted volunteer at the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, was awarded the 2019 Charles Bailly Award at this year’s YMCA Heritage Dinner. The Charles Bailly Award is given annually to someone who leads with courage and who is always exploring better ways of doing things.
Lauren Burkhartsmeier signed up for the Y’s Babysitting Training, because wanted to expand her knowledge and also start her own business out of babysitting so she could start saving money for college. She learned how to be a safe, professional and reliable babysitter, and also how to recognize and handle emergency situations.
Theresa Johnk hit the ‘mom slump.’ With a full-time job and two young kiddos, she was continuously putting everyone else before her. In the midst of her busyness, a friend invited her to join a fitness challenge – and she was hooked! Theresa wanted to help others discover a love of fitness too, so she started training to be a personal trainer.
When Earl was in his mid-20s back in 1956, he was invited by a friend to attend a Y’s Men’s Service Club Meeting, which was located at the YMCA in Fargo. His friend encouraged him to bring some tennis shoes and socks along to the meeting so that they could stay after and shoot some baskets. Earl immediately fell in love with the YMCA, and has been a member ever since.
Zoe & Arin Wuraola
Last year, Arin Wuraola was about to start a new job, but first needed to find affordable care for her growing family. By receiving financial assistance through our Annual Campaign, her daughter Zoe was able to attend YMCA child care. Now, Zoe is receiving a quality foundational education that gives her the tools she’ll need to succeed in school.
What did Bill do when his corporate job wasn’t fulfilling anymore? He pursued his passion for running and started a business. SoleMOTION Race Management hosts races across the region – including the Y’s Burn the Bird Thanksgiving Day Race – and is a great example of the family-focused heart that the YMCA strives to foster in our community.
Hannah’s experience with the Y started in KinderKamp Preschool and Busy Beaver Camp, before eventually attending Swim School and 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 Y community.
The Wilson Family
Sofiya, Ashlynn and McKenzie attend the Y’s School Age Learning Center at Jefferson Elementary. They receive financial assistance through the Y’s Annual Campaign, which has allowed the Wilsons to get back on their feet. “The opportunity to be part of this scholarship program has meant so much. The YMCA feels like a second home to us.”
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.
Anna Johnson & 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.
Katie King & 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.
Has the YMCA impacted your life, or the life of a loved one? Share your YMCA Story with us!