Wheeling YMCA Launches Fundraising Campaign

Michael Angalich, therapist with Mountain River Physical, presents a program during the YMCA “Y Donate?” campaign Thursday. (Photo by Heather Ziegler)

WHEELING — The Wheeling YMCA has remained a fixture in the Elm Grove neighborhood for decades, growing along with the community, and providing families with the opportunity to live healthy, active lives in a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment.

Keeping up with the wants and needs of its patrons is a challenge the YMCA faces daily. In an effort to upgrade its facilities and add new equipment, the YMCA on Thursday launched its annual campaign titled “Y Donate?”

The Wheeling YMCA has deemed the campaign “Y Donate?” and will be promoting the many reasons to give back throughout the facility, on its Facebook page and via email. The campaign will run through Feb. 28. Donations can be made online through the Wheeling YMCA’s website, in person at the Y or through the mail.

“The meaning behind the ‘Y Donate?’ campaign is to share the many programs that the Wheeling YMCA offers and how support from donors can help continue the programs for future generations,” said Executive Director Adam Shinsky. “There are a number of top-notch programs, events and activities that both members and non-members participate in daily, including youth sports, youth development, day camp, Miracle League, aquatics and more. The support from our community is always greatly appreciated and will ensure these programs will continue to flourish for years to come.”

YMCA board members and employees are quick to note that through the generosity of donors, the Wheeling YMCA never turns anyone away for the inability to pay. The funds raised from the campaign also will aid in adding new equipment and additional upgrades to the facility.

“The Wheeling YMCA was founded in 1859, with the Elm Grove facility opening in 1970, and serves over 13,000 community members today,” said Wheeling YMCA Board President Jamie Bordas. “It is amazing to see how the YMCA has influenced generations throughout the Ohio Valley. Donating to the Annual Campaign promises a stronger future for the Wheeling YMCA and generations to come.”

On Thursday, Shinsky hosted an informal luncheon in the back gym where friends and supporters of the Y stopped in for a quick bite to eat and a presentation from Michael Angalich, therapist with Mountain River Physical Therapy. Mountain River located a facility inside the YMCA nearly one year ago. Angalich said the location has been a perfect fit for the staff and for clients seeking physical therapy services. Shinsky added that it has been a win-win for both the Y and Mountain River.

Angalich gave a short talk on the importance of preventive measures to avoid an injury and to deal with pain. He outlined four basic exercises that encourage a healthy body for people of all ages.

“Do not ignore pain. It’s your brain’s signal that something is not right,” Angalich said.

He recommends four moves to improve mobility and stability which help prevent injuries and falls. They include:

∫ get down on all fours, and slowly move your body forward to stretch out and then return to the original position;

∫ perform the farmer’s carry to improve grip strength and posture; carry a kettlebell or other weights (even a bag of canned goods) in each hand and walk across the room several times.

∫ do a dead lift; stand with feet apart and lift a kettlebell with both hands at least waist high or higher; repeat several times.

∫ hang a stretch band overhead, such as from a door or weight bar and hold onto it while doing a full squat; the band will help ease you into the squat, a move to strengthen the body.

Angalich invites anyone seeking information about improving his or her mobility, stability and overall well-being to stop in Mountain River at the Y to learn more about preventive measures.

The Wheeling YMCA has more than 3,800 members and offers programs that emphasize four key values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Through swim lessons, youth sports, child care programs and other activities, the organization works to impart not just skills, but to increase self-esteem and interpersonal relationship skills. For more information, visit wheelingymca.org or call Adam Shinsky at 304-242-8086.