Tag Archives: YMCA

Summer camps downtown at the YMCA

Story and photos by Sarah Crookall

Aquatics campers are filmed while dancing in a circle.

Summer is in full swing at the YMCA. Dancing, games and laughter radiated throughout the Mary Street building last Thursday during the organization’s Summer Camps.

Camp kicked-off July 3 with a range of activities for children to participate in. From sports and aquatics, variety to dance, drama and other creative arts, children aged five to 15 are actively engaged from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. throughout the week.

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Swim safe this summer

A dip in the water is an excellent way to beat the heat. But, whether you take to the swimming pool or the lake, every luxury comes with a set of precautions and responsibility.

Before you take a swim, take the appropriate safety precautions.

The Lifesaving Society’s 2011 National Drowning Report says drowning from recreational activities, mostly swimming, was the third most common way to die by drowning, followed by power boating and fishing. Ontario has the highest amount of reported drowning in Canada, with people aged 18 to 34 years old were the highest percentage. There was an increase in drownings from 2009 to 2010 in regards to children under five.

The majority of toddler’s deaths by drowning happen when they are alone. The Lifesaving Society warns that a drowning is often silent and can happen within ten seconds. It is suggested children always be within arms length around water.

“Generally speaking, the BIG reminders from DRPS are to never swim alone, swim in designated areas and always wear a personal flotation device when boating/windsurfing/jet skiing or whenever you might be on the water,” said Sargent Nancy van Rooy from the Durham Regional Police Services. “Also, drinking while operating a boat is illegal. And know the water you are in, such as conditions and currents and tides.”

Canadian Red Cross echos the advice of DRPS and offers more tips:
• Never consume alcohol or drugs near water.
• When boating always wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD).
• Always have necessary safety equipment (in good condition) and a first aid kit.
• When children are swimming in pools, they must be fenced in with a self-closing, self-latching gate and always ensure an adult is supervising.
• When swimming, know the depth of the water, and know your own limits.

The YMCA offers swimming lessons for both children and adults. Adult lessons are offered twice weekly to members and non-members have the option of purchasing a day pass. For children, the YMCA has a program called Swim to Survive emphasizing the importance of knowing how to swim. More lessons are offered after this program is complete to build upon these skills. The Durham branch can be found in downtown Oshawa at the corner of William Street East and Mary Street North.

Canadian Red Cross offers CPR and First Aid training click here to find a location near you.

Story and image by Hillary Di Menna

When you wish upon a star…

The countdown begins as the YWCA Durham’s 8th Annual Starry Nights fundraiser approaches. On June 10, the YWCA will host their yearly four-course dinner, dance and auction beginning at 6 p.m. at the Jubilee Pavilion in Oshawa.

The evening helps to support their 15-bed emergency Y’s WISH Shelter as well as the many services they offer to women and children escaping domestic violence. The YWCA is eager for a night of celebration in support of a great cause.

“The energy around this event is so much fun,” says Lisa Kouri, manager of communications and fund development for the YWCA Durham. Kouri is a new addition to the YWCA family, having just stepped into her position this past year. So far loving her role and the ability to challenge herself and help in the advocacy of women’s rights, she is eager for her first year of Starry Nights.

Kouri adds that Starry Nights favourites like the Balloon Poll as well as the silent and live auctions will be returning. The popular balloon poll allows guests to purchase a balloon for ten dollars and receive a fun gift like a gift basket to take home. The silent and live auctions offer higher value items, $50 and up, with some items worth around the $1000 mark.

With 400 prizes available for the evening, Kouri hopes the public will get involved to help the YWCA continue their support of women and children. Kouri says that anyone still wishing to get involved or purchase tickets to the event can still do so but adds a friendly reminder that time is running out.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the evening, call 905-576-6356 or e-mail Lisa Kouri at lk@ywcadurham.org.

Story by Kimberly Moreau

Megathon to raise funds for strong kids

Four in 10 low-income GTA residents used YMCA services last year and the company offered assistance to over 41,000 people in their communities. Across the GTA, over 2,500 families received financial assistance for a YMCA child care program. To support the many families in need, the YMCA relies on the Strong Kid program.

“We have set an overall YMCA Strong Kids target of $3.75 million. Last year, YMCA donors showed a generous spirit by donating over $3 million to the Strong Kids Campaign,” says Laura Graham-Prentice, vice president of communications and marketing.

To raise funds for the Strong Kids campaign, the YMCA’s in the GTA are hosting a Megathon, starting Friday April 1.

Participants can choose from dozens of fun activities and times, says Graham-Prentice. Some chances to fund-raise include a Dance-a-thon, where the whole family can choose from different instructors and styles of dance, a Swim-a-thon, where teams of four can register to swim at any time during the 24-hour period to see how many laps they can complete and a Cardio-a-thon, where relay teams of 4-8 people will keep a piece of cardio equipment moving for a minimum of four hours. Check out the schedule of events at the Durham Family YMCA, located at 99 Mary St. N., for full details and times.

Graham-Prentice says the event is open to anyone who would like to register and participate raising funds for YMCA Strong Kids. People can register in advance online or drop into their local YMCA this weekend.

“They can go to our front desk at each location and sign in – as participants they have a guest pass and can access the facility for the day,” she says. “This is a terrific way to allow family and friends to come together.”

Story and images: Amanda Allison