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Caroline YMCA numbers growing

Membership at the new Caroline YMCA is growing by 7 percent per month, the new executive director of the branch told the county’s Board of Supervisors at a recent meeting.

About four months after its opening, the Y’s newest branch has 888 membership units, which is more than 2,500 members, said Paul Gehring, the new executive director. He also oversees the Ron Rosner YMCA in Spotsylvania County.

He said the membership so far is 68 percent families, 28 percent individuals and 4 percent students.

Gehring took over as the executive director in Caroline about two months ago.

He has been at the Ron Rosner YMCA since 2003, when it opened, where he has more of an overseer role. In Caroline, he’s more involved in the day-to-day operations.

“I’m a big believer in the Y and the Y mission and all the good it’s done,” he said. “I think we are already a success in Caroline.”

Gehring said over the summer there were 366 children in the Y’s programs at Caroline.

The Y runs before-school and after-care at all three elementary schools as well.

There were 62 children in the Y’s summer camp, and 208 children have taken swim lessons there, he said. Another 38 participated in gymnastics.

“As membership grows, programs will grow and more and more people will be affected,” Gehring said.

The YMCA won’t turn anyone away who can’t pay for a membership. Instead, he noted, they work with them. Gehring said the Caroline Y has given away about $16,000 in financial aid.

About 74 membership units—50 families and 74 single adults—receive financial aid.

The Y has plans to partner with community organizations in Caroline and offer more programs.

The Sting Rays, a year-round swim team, use other Y facilities for practice and will use the Caroline YMCA as well. The swimming facility has also been offered to the high school to use for a swim team.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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