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Denise is recognized as someone who goal-setter and achiever! We had the pleasure to sit down with Denise and discuss her recent fitness journey. Denise told us her story:

“I am not a runner, but I decided to challenge myself to a fun run.  I have been on a 2 ½ year health journey. I created a weight loss goal and have increased my physical activity to include walking, yoga, strength training and an occasional run. I have opened my mind and have been trying all kinds of new things. During the summer of 2019, my sister and I signed up for the Disney Half Marathon that was held in Orlando on January 11th. The new goal was set, so I need to get myself ready. I wouldn’t say that I actually “trained” for this run, but I did stick to a regular exercise routine to get my body and mind ready for this distance. Additionally, I decided to run the Hartford Half Marathon in October to see what that distance felt like. I got that under my belt and had my eye on my goal.  Marathon Weekend in Orlando was an exciting time. I joined about 25,000 other runners at the starting line and enjoyed every minute of the course that went from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom and back.  I am so proud that I set a goal for myself and went for it.  I love all of the time that I spend at the Y when I am working or exercising. The support that I find here helps prepare me for everything that I challenge myself to take on.”

Denise started working at the Y about 1 year ago and we're so glad she came on board! She is a class instructor as well as spending sometime at the SMB greeting members, she's emphasizes the Y! She has come an incredibly long way in her fitness journey and we’re glad she has found support through the Y!

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Mitchell has grown up through the Y. He has been at the YMCA as a staff member for about five years now and before that, he was a member in our childcare, camp, and youth sports program throughout his childhood.  

In the Summer of 2013, his Y career began when his family signed him up to be a Counselor-In-Training at YMCA Camp Sloper for the summer where he was able to gain leadership skills, learn how to work with kids and could eventually apply to be a Junior Counselor for the next summer. This program helped Mitchell grow professionally and taught him to become outspoken. “Before starting CITs, I was hesitant on trying it at all because at the time, I was the guy who was way on the shy side. After starting though, I realized it was going to be the best experience I could have had in my life at the time. When you’re around 170+ staff members who are just downright energetic, silly, fun, and thrive by making children’s camp experiences magical, you instantly want to be just like them” said Mitchell.  

The program encouraged him to take on higher roles at camp and since then, he has held roles as a Junior Counselor, a Senior Counselor, Field Games Director, and finally the Extended Care Director during his final summer there in 2018. He reflects on his time spent there, saying that “it was the best five summers I have worked. 

The top benefit of working at the Y that has been integral in this Y story is that you have multiple departments and opportunities to grow in and advance in an environment of people committed to the cause of bettering others' lives. He states that “this job is not one where you go through the motions of clocking in, clocking out, going home, and then that’s that. It’s a job where every moment that you’re here, you are impacting the community. Your work has meaning, a purpose, and you get to see that through everything that you do. I can tell you that the role models I had when I was a child and as a staff member have impacted me in a way, I am so incredibly thankful for.  

After joining Sloper in 2014, Mitchell has advanced through positions in the School Age Childcare Department making his way up to his current role as the Site Coordinator of the Derynoski Morning and Aftercare program. If you’re in high school, college, are a current Para-Professional, Teacher, Retired, or have the interest in working with kids, APPLY! The incredible thing about this program is that you get to be some kid’s superhero at the end of their school day. It's incredible looking back after five school years with this program the fact that I was able to watch these kids grow and thrive because of the time they had with us at the Y. If you’re looking for a movement to join that impacts everyone in our community, you have a place in the Y.  

Along with School Age Childcare, he has held the positions as a Tw-Y-Light staff member, Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Naciwonki Staff Member, Birthday Parties Staff Member, Marketing Intern, and most recently as one of the Lead Youth Sports Instructors at the Y. Whether you’re joining as one position, always remember, there is room to grow for everyone at the Y! 

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Mike Kozlowski is a senior at Cheshire High School preparing for his college career academically and athletically. He is a pitcher for the schools’ baseball team and is passionate about the sport, so much that he would like to play in college. With the focus on doing well in school and in baseball, Mike spends his time wisely on improving his performance in the field.

For the past 2 years, Mike has spent his off-season training at the YMCA Sports Performance Center (SPC) to overcome any of his weaknesses, achieve new goals and get pushed to become a better athlete. One thing that he enjoys about his training is that there’s always something new and challenging. Coach Tommy always comes up with a new workout routine, as part of the training program, that best fits the athlete and pushes them towards their goal. Reflecting on when he started to now, Mike says that “I’m proud of how far I’ve come.. I had a great season last year, I think what I did in here 100% paid off.” When starting, Mike didn’t have much knowledge on the benefits of a well-structured workout program but with Tommy’s assistance he’s realized how important it is to have a workout routine and push yourself to lift weights and gain strength in a healthy manner. “Mike is the ideal athlete. Extremely driven, coachable and loves his sport. He has gone from learning basic lifts to hitting monster strength numbers and power development. The college he chooses to attend will be extremely lucky to have him on their baseball roster.”

With the SPC coaches, Mike always enjoys the workouts because they make it fun and you really get to know the coaches. He particularly enjoys playing spikeball with them at the end of sessions. The SPC has provided Mike with the lessons and routines that he needed to grow. We wish him the best in his upcoming season and to see where he ends up in the future!

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Mitch Messina is a dual-athlete at Southington High School and is attending his Junior year. He is on the soccer and volleyball team for the high school. He wanted to use his off-season as a way to get motivated and make improvements on his athletic ability so he signed up at the YMCA Sports Performance Center (SPC) for training sessions with Coach Tommy.

At the SPC, Mitch has experienced what it’s like to have personalized training experience with Coach Tommy and the other trainers. When Mitch started, he told Tommy that he had an ankle problem which Tommy responded by incorporating ankle mobility exercises into his workouts. Mitch says that “you can talk to Tommy about anything you’re struggling with and he’ll help you.” Mitch is confident that he is prepared for the upcoming season after spending his summer at the SPC. He reflects on his training sessions by saying the “SPC is very personalized and keeps you active all summer. You really get to know the coaches” which is beneficial because they know the improvements their clients need and how to help them achieve each goal.

After spending his summer at the SPC, Mitch has noticed many changes in his athletic ability but one change that he is most particularly proud of is that he is much faster than he was before. Coach Tommy states that “Mitch started training in the winter where he was able to hit a speed of 16 on our self-propelled Woodway treadmills. After the summer he got up 17.3. His hard work combined with smart strength training makes him a very durable and formidable athlete.” He also enjoyed being able to workout with his siblings because they could compete with each other during their training sessions on who was faster.

Outside of his training, Mitch enjoys playing video games and swimming. We’re glad to see the progress Mitch has made this past summer and are eager to see what new goals he’ll achieve in the future, great work, Mitch!

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Rose Unwin who is 72 years old and a longtime YMCA member, has made incredible progress throughout her fitness journey and wanted to share her journey with everyone!

Fitness has been apart of Rose’s life for some time, and she has to really push herself to continue to reach new goals. In 2012, Rose was diagnosed with bladder cancer and went through extensive surgery to get it removed. After finding out the wonderful news that she was a cancer survivor, one of her next steps was to regain her strength and focus on her recovery. This is when she joined the Livestrong at the YMCA program where for 12 weeks she dedicated a lot of time into reaching her fitness goals and recovering.

For the past two years, Rose has been attending Y360 classes and even has a personal trainer, Lisa Fields, at the Y. Luckily for Rose, Lisa is also her Y360 instructor! Rose enjoys being able to have her personal trainer there for her in the classes and one on one sessions. She explains that its very beneficial to her growth because “Lisa pays good attention to me, she’s very encouraging and takes her time with me because she knows my limits.” Overall, Rose has found her own encouragement and motivation from the fitness classes she takes. She says that “everyone in the Y360 classes is really encouraging and they’re a great group of people to workout with.”

Overall, Rose is really impressed with the progress she has made. Before starting her fitness journey, she had poor balance and strength but her workout program has really helped her improved on that and so much more. Everytime she achieves new goals, she becomes very excited and proud of herself for reaching another level and sticking to eating healthy and everyday activities to improve her lifestyle. Lisa Fields says that “Rose has come a long way! I’m proud of her progress and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her!”

Aside from fitness, Rose enjoys quilting, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her family. She is an astounding Y member and we look forward to her progress in the future!

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Emma Tuttle is someone who is self-driven, motivated, and goal achieving. We had the opportunity to learn about the hard work that brought her to competing in the Special Olympics and winning various medals. Emma is a born swimmer, starting when she was 5 years old, she was considered the “best in her lessons.” Later on, Emma joined her school swim team. Aside from swimming, Emma enjoys doing many activities such as weaving, making bags, placemats, and other fun decorative pieces at SoCCA (Southington Community Cultural Arts), singing and being a true community member by working at Beans Company Café, New England Pasta Co., and living by her motto to “be thoughtful!” She also volunteers at the Y as a swim class assistant where she helps set up supplies for the kids, helps and encourages kids to swim in the pool (especially in the deep end), and helps with cleaning up after sessions. Her positive attitude is what makes Emma an incredible and inspiring Y member, she is always looking to do more.

It was only until recently she became a Y member. Emma has spent a lot of time at home between being homeschooled and exercising at home as well. About 4 years ago, Emma’s mom encouraged her to change her lifestyle and improve her health by bringing her to the Y to get her motivated and bring her into a community surrounded by support and positivity. She began training on the treadmill then moved to the elliptical on her training days and of her off days, she would swim. Once she started, she was determined “to do more, look at strength, and start getting healthy again.” Today, she trains at the Y 3-4 days a week and says that her favorite part about training at the Y is working out at the gym on her own schedule and training in the Sports Performance Center with Coach Tommy. Coach Tommy has played a huge role in Emma’s transformation, he says that Emma “embodies the characters of hard work and pushes herself to the best of her ability… she crushes the competition.”

Emma decided to take her training to a new level by competing in the Special Olympics that took place on June 4, 2019. She explains the competition to have been very difficult but she still held a positive attitude. She won a total of 3 medals that day: the 100m silver, gold medal in backstroke, and relay unified silver. She claims that she was “very excited and proud when she heard her name called for the medals, especially because it was so hard” she was also “glad that Coach Tommy was there” and was surrounded by her friends, family, and trainer who supported her the entire way.

Emma continues to find new obstacles to success in her training and looks forward to future opportunities to put her training to the test. We have no doubt that she’ll be able to surpass any challenge thrown her way, especially under the support of her family and friends that she has made here at the Y.

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We welcome YMCA member, Cathy Lee, to hear about her fitness journey throughout the past year and how she balances a busy lifestyle and still makes time to kick it in the gym!

Cathy Lee is a Southington local and work as a teacher. In her spare time, she plays on a softball team with her friends where she enjoys having fun, being active, and spending quality time with them. Along with this, she also enjoys traveling to various vineyards and breweries around the state! Aside from her very active lifestyle, nothing beats a relaxing time of spending time with her dogs outside on her deck.

Over a year ago, Cathy would’ve never pictured herself being able to juggle being a teacher and being as active as she is today. While she is passionate about being a teacher and being active, she found that she was stressed often and decided that she needed an outlet. Before joining the Y, Cathy would work out only when she had time which was about twice a week at different gym that she didn’t feel fulfilled with. She knew this wasn’t enough for her to manage her stress and that she had to make a change. This is when he decided that it was time to make time for fitness and began changing her fitness habits. After being referred to the Y by a friend, she was able to take advantage of a deal happening at the time and take classes for free for a week to get the Y experience. She immediately joined the Y in April 2018 where there were major, life-changing challenges waiting for her.

Upon joining the Y, she started taking classes immediately starting with the Y360 classes. Cathy reminisced on her first class explaining how challenging it was for her and remembers “thinking ‘this is insane’… I didn’t think I would finish” says Cathy “but I remember having Lisa and other people in the class saying ‘you’re doing great! It gets so much easier’ so I just kept pushing myself.” Taking a class for the first time can be nerve-wrecking for beginners, so having that support system pushing her and cheering her on from the beginning was crucial. She discusses how the Y has been a center of support for her by stating that “the Y has been very welcoming.. I started with just working out with my friend and now I always see people that I know from around town and when I went to school here.” Her friends and the class instructor will often text her to ensure she is coming to class which gives her the drive and motivation to go, even on days she’s not feeling up to going, she still finds that push because she can look forward to working out and catching up with people who were classmates that have now become friends who she only sees at the Y.

Along with the Y360 classes, she also receives personal training from YMCA trainer and Y360 class instructor, Lisa Fields. Lisa is proud of “the progress that Cathy has made in the last year is nothing short of inspiring and her confidence has grown exponentially.  She has set her mind to making a lifestyle change and she has achieved it.  She works hard in every session we have and her strength gains show.  I hope this story encourages others to give our personal training and Y360 classes a try.  Cathy is one of many who prove that our programs really work!”

Thanks to her support system, Cathy has gone from rarely going to the gym to going and attending these classes multiple times during the week. She went from finding and squeezing in the time to go to the gym, to making the time which had a huge effect on her increase in attendance. “I kept going and going and by the end of the second month I was like ‘I can do this!’” Cathy said confidently.  Even on days that she isn’t able to attend a class, she still manages to get a work out in on her own time based on what she has learned from the Y.

Looking back on this past year, Cathy says that her top achievement is that she feels better physically and mentally. She explains this by claiming “yes, I look better, but I feel healthier and I have more confidence.” If Cathy had to give out a piece of advice to anyone looking to start “it’s going to be hard at first but it’s worth it, you will see results.” Keep up the good work, Cathy!

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Y Member Places Top In His Age Group In NPC Jay Cutler Classic Body Building Competition

We’re joined by Sal Melluzzo, a longtime YMCA member, as he tells us about his dedication and drives to compete and achieve top placements in a bodybuilding contest.

Sal Melluzzo is a Southington resident who is a regular family guy that enjoys spending quality time with his family. In his professional life, Sal is self-employed in commercial and residential flooring where he is often traveling all over the state of Connecticut to take on jobs. Sal may seem like a regular day-to-day guy but what sets him apart is his drive and dedication to doing what he enjoys in his free time – weight lifting and practicing a healthy lifestyle by focusing on his nutrition.

It’s not common to see men ages 40+ dedicate themselves to advance lifting as Sal does, but this is what makes him one of a kind! His fitness drive started when he wanted to lose weight for his health and his job. When he started seeing all the progress that he was making, there was no stopping. Sal stayed motivated and dedicated throughout the process and is continuing to set new goals for himself. On April 27, 2018, Sal competed in a Body Building Competition where he placed he placed 5th in master and 6th in open. Even with an outstanding placement, he did not settle there because he knew he could improve. For a year, Sal worked harder to achieve new goals and prepared for 2019. This year, on April 27, 2019, he competed in the NPC Jay Cutler Classic Body Building Competition in Boston, MA where he placed 3rd Place in Open and 3rd place in Masters for his age group, improving his placement from the previous competition.

“I’m very ambitious so whatever I tackle, I go all the way with it” says Sal. Sal receives his regimen from his personal trainer who specializes on bodybuilders and knows what is best for him. Aside from time with his trainer, he spends the rest of his time at the YMCA gym training and utilizing the facilities. "The staff here at the Y has been totally wonderful and accommodating" he claims, and it's important to have a strong support system while going through this journey. He became a member of the Y over 15 years ago because it was convenient for him being close to home. Sal says that “the Y has offered a great community” where he has been able to take advantage of some of the programs the Y offers such as a family membership and sending his kids to school when they were young. He also is able to spend time with his friends and work out with them. 

You can also find him being helpful to other members who want to follow in his footsteps or just in need of general advice. He giving them advice on their nutrition or weight lifting based on his knowledge and experience. “I always give advice to any of the members who come up to me and say that I inspire them. I like to hear that people are trying to better their lives and trying to get off medication they don’t need and I always give a guiding hand to whoever needs it” Sal explains, “it’s a great feeling when someone asks me how I got here, I always tell them that dedication is the #1 thing.” Sal has truly been a role model to other members in the community.

We’re so grateful to have Sal and his family as members here at the Y! He has been a positive member and a positive influence around our organization. We're always here to support him in reaching new heights and look forward to what is next in his fitness journey!

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Sandra FriesWe sit down with Y Member, Sandra Fries to learn more about her struggles with COPD and how It Doesn’t Slow Her Down!
In 1997, Sandra retired from teaching High School Earth Science and Health for 25 years in Enfield, CT. After her retirement, she would spend the winters down in Florida with her husband. She found her passion for painting in 2006 when she participated in workshops, taught by internationally known artists, at the Sarasota Art Center. She was inspired by those talented artists, learning intriguing methods and new styles, and worked to develop a style of her own. They gave her the style and confidence that she needed to paint and be happy with the result. She moved on to being accepted into shows all over New England where she won various first and second placements!
After being diagnosed with COPD in 2001, she had to make some adjustments to her lifestyle to cope. Sandra joined the Y in 2006 at the original YMCA Women’s Center and began taking yoga and personal training classes. She soon discovered that she could hang her paintings in the Women’s Center for the community to see and this is where she first began exhibiting. The YMCA has been a center of support for her fitness goals along with helping her gain a reputation for her artistic portfolio. “I’m very grateful to the Y for that exposure because many people notice,” says Sandra. She had to start using oxygen overnight in 2013 and started using it in her yoga and Pilates classes in 2014. However, she doesn’t let that stop her from being active and has managed to find ways to cope with her COPD so that she can still participate in classes.
People may find discomfort in going to fitness & wellness classes when being diagnosed with certain diseases that can limit them. Sandra acts as an ambassador for the community, helping others in similar situations to hers. “The Y has been tremendously helpful to me.. and helpful to other people” says Sandra. Fellow members who have experience with COPD, whether it is their own personal battle or loved ones who are diagnosed with the disease, come up to Sandra and ask her how she is able to still participate in yoga and she is very delighted to give advice on her active lifestyle. She also attends a support group called “Breath Takers” at the Hospital for Special Care once a month and shares her experiences of doing a variety of activities while being on oxygen such as horseback riding and kayaking.
 “The Y has been completely accepting and wonderful… I can’t tell you enough about what the Y has done for me” says Sandra. The Y has been a strong center of support for Sandra’s fitness goals and artistic portfolio. “If I hadn’t had the support, I wouldn’t have been nearly as confident in coming here now.” The trainers at the YMCA have been very supportive of Sandra’s condition and help her achieve her goals through her classes.
Sandra claims that she is defined in the community by her “involvement in the Y and for the success, I’ve had as a painter… I belong to the Southington Arts & Crafts Association. That and the Y has made me recognized as a member of both, a member of SACA, someone who exercises, and a painter.” To this day, Sandra continues to paint and exhibit her paintings. It’s something that she thoroughly enjoys doing in her day-to-day activities along with spending time with her family and teaching her grandchildren biology and art and coming to the YMCA 4 days a week. You can find her paintings on display at the YMCA Women’s Center for the community to view to support Sandra. She has also exhibited at many other venues, including the Hamden, CT Government Build, the Southington Library, The Orchards at Southington, and Paul Gregory’s Bistro in Southington.
Sandra is a wonderful member of the Southington Community YMCA and we’re honored to be able to support her journey as an artist and community ambassador!
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For most people, a single 5K or 10K is tough. A half marathon is daunting. A full marathon? Forget about it! But Southington YMCA Aquatics Coordinator Suzanne Clemente ran all four of those races in just four days.


The Walt Disney Dopey Race consists of a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon through the Disney World parks. The event starts with a 5K on Thursday, and ends with the marathon on Sunday.


“It was exhausting,” Clemente admitted. “But it was worth. It was so much fun. I loved the energy.”


Clemente acknowledged that the Disney aspect made it even more special. Most of the thousands of runners were dressed like Disney characters, including Clemente. She dressed up like Darla from Finding Nemo for the first race, Kevin from Up for the second race, Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. for the third, and Smee from Peter Pan for the finale.


I had so much fun dressing up, and looking at everyone's costumes,” Clemente said.


The racecourses were spread throughout a variety of Disney parks and attractions. The marathon included all four main parks; Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Over the latter half of the race, Animal Kingdom and Epcot were open, with many people walking around.


“It was just a great atmosphere, with all of those people and all of the energy,” Clemente said. “It was freezing and very early in the morning, but you would never know it.”


However, it was not all fun and games. The training leading up to the race was brutal. Over the four months leading up to the race, Clemente took part in an online training specifically designed to prepare participants for the Dopey race.


“The training was harder than the race itself,” Clemente said. “But I was well prepared. It was worth it.”


Clemente’s journey to becoming a high level runner was a strange one. In high school, she hated running. She only ran short distance because she disliked long distance running so much. But in 2012, she picked up running again because she thought it would be an easy way to get exercise. She ended up falling in love. She participated in a half marathon later that year, and ran her first full marathon in 2014.


“I’m not really sure why I even started running again, but I’m glad I did,” Clemente said.


Clemente has worked at the Y since she was a Camp Sloper Counselor 15 years ago. She swam for the YMCA, so she thought it would be a sensible summer job. But it became so much more than that. She loved every single aspect of working for the Y. Over the years, she has worked as a lifeguard, camp counselor and waterfront director. She now works as the YMCA Aquatics Coordinator, where she does lifeguard and CPR training, lifeguarding and “everything and anything needed” at the pool.


Clemente hopes that her experience with the Dopey run will motivate members of the Y community to tackle their own goals.


“People just need to believe in themselves,” she said. “Trust your training. You can do it!”



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On mother’s day weekend the Gymnastics team of the Southington YMCA traveled to beautiful central Maine to compete in the 2018 YMCA Northeast Regional Gymnastics Championships. This competition has a total of 34 YMCA's from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire with over 1,300 gymnasts participating. This was the second year in a row that the full team has qualified for this competition which is a big accomplishment. The northeast region for Gymnastics in the YMCA program is extremely competitive, so much so that it is actually harder to qualify for the regional competition then it is to qualify for the YMCA Gymnastics National Championships.


The athletes have worked so hard this season and it showed this past weekend. We are now once again the Xcel Bronze  Northeast Regional Team Champions. This means that out of all 34 YMCA'S that competed our  Xcel Bronze team is  number one. Along with this honor of first place team we have a total of 16 regional state championship titles with athletes ranging from Xcel Bronze to level 7. This year the Southington YMCA has 30 top 5 placements on individual events. Athlete Kara Loubier also earned the fourth highest all around in the entire competitions with a 37.9.

This competition marked the end of the regular season for the team. 0n June 27TH   13 members of the Southington YMCA gymnasts will be traveling to Toledo, Ohio to compete in the 2018 YMCA National Championships. We wish them good luck, and a big congratulations a phenomenal season.

 Team Try Out

August 18th from 9:30-11:00am

Please register by email Coach Jamie at

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The world is 71% water. Your children are 100% curious. Keep them safe.

Safety Around Water

In the time it takes to answer a phone call, a child can become submerged underwater and lose consciousness. That’s how fast a drowning can happen. Drowning can occur nearly anywhere with standing water: pools, ponds, culverts, bathtubs—even a bucket.


Water is a source of fun and recreation, but it can also be a source of fear. You don’t want your children standing around while their friends play in the water. But you can’t be everywhere every second. Teaching children how to be safe around water is one of the most important life skills parents can help to provide. It not only saves lives, it builds confidence.

As a parent or caregiver, the last thing you want to do is limit your children. Don’t keep them sidelined. Let them be curious. Give them every opportunity to expand their horizons. When children learn how to be safe in and around water, it opens up a vast new world full of opportunities for them to develop self-esteem, discover new ways to stay fit and build relationships that can last a lifetime.

Water safety is a community-wide issue. Help engage the entire community—to keep all children safe around water—by becoming an advocate in your neighborhood. Encourage other families to enroll their children in water safety programs and swim lessons.



You might simply try to keep your children away from water. That is not enough. The earth is 71% water—your children are 100% curious. It’s up to parents and caregivers to help them explore it all safely. Consider the statistics:

  • About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger
  • Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14
  • For every child who drowns, five receive ER care for non-fatal injuries
  • Of all drowning incidents, 61% occur in pools and natural bodies of water. 10% occur in bathtubs and another 9% while boating
  • Minority children are at even greater risk. Drowning is the number one preventable cause of death for African-American boys
  • Risk for ethnic youth drowning in natural bodies of water peaks between 17 and 19 years old and the risk for incidents at swimming pools is highest between 1 and 4 years old. The majority of African-American victims drowned in public pools while the majority of Hispanic victims drowned in neighborhood pools (i.e., apartment complexes)
  • Among urban youth, 69% have low or no swimming skills. African-American urban youth ages 5 to 14 have a drowning rate 3 times higher than their Caucasian counterparts
  • While nearly 80% of drowning deaths are male, African-American males specifically, have the highest risk of drowning


When you sign up your children for Safety Around  Water, you are giving them skills to help keep them safe for a lifetime.

The Safety Around Water curriculum is a proven method for teaching children fundamental water safety skills. This 8-session course teaches children two sets of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give you and your children confidence in and around water. A typical session will include:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
  • Specific safety topics like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help
  • Fun activities that reinforce skills

Each lesson includes a handout for parents and caregivers with additional water safety tips.



You can help keep children safe around water.
Take these steps to ensure they enjoy water-related activities safely.

  • NEVER leave children alone near a pool, spa, bathtub, bucket or any standing water in which a child’s nose or mouth may be submerged
  • ASSIGN an adult “water watcher” who is committed to actively supervising the pool area. This means they may not talk on a cell phone, read a book, or otherwise be distracted. Have them take the Water Watcher Pledge (below)
  • Inexperienced swimmers and non-swimmers should WEAR a Coast Guard-approved life jacket around water
  • Children should STAY AWAY from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • ENROLL children in Safety Around Water and then sign them up for swim lessons
  • LEARN to swim yourself if you don’t know how


As a Water Watcher on duty, I pledge to:

CONSTANTLY WATCH the children in and
near the water

WAIT to socialize and drink alcohol until I
am off duty

DOUBLE CHECK to make sure children are
wearing appropriate personal flotation devices

WEAR an item to identify myself as the
Water Watcher

STAY on duty until officially relieved by
another Water Watcher


To learn more about how to help all children stay safe around water, visit or contact Barbara Glaude, 29 High Street, Southington, CT, 860-426-9553

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He’s at it again! Beginning, Friday, June 1, Southington YMCA’s Executive Director John Myers will run 4 miles a day for 26 consecutive days in memory of Chase Kowalski and to raise money so that the Southington Y can continue to offer the Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon training program. 
The Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon Program, which was created by the Kowalski Family in memory of their son Chase, who was tragically killed at Sandy Hook, is designed to bring to children the same opportunity their son Chase had. He LOVED triathlon and won his first race at the tender age of 6!
The free, six-week program provides kids ages 6-12 with a safe, healthy, non-competitive environment to discover the sport! It brings together kids of all different backgrounds and educates them about how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, coaches them to develop a foundation of athletic skills and inspires them to aim high in sports and in life!
This year, we will receive no funding to run this program – so we are relying 100% on donations. Please consider making a donation in support of John’s effort to raise $15,000 this year. 
Click HERE to make a donation. *Don’t forget to consider that your donation could be doubled! Click here to learn more.
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Bob and I have been Southington residents since 2013. We have been married for 17 years and have a 14 year old son Aidan and 13 year old daughter Morgan. Bob and I are both educators. He is the principal of Hatton Elementary School and I teach second grade in Burlington, CT.

We have been members of the Y for a few years. I enjoy taking a variety of classes such as HIIT, barre and chisel. My daughter recently participated in the youth strength training and my son enjoys going to open gym to play basketball. When we have more free time this summer we are hoping to work out as a family and begin playing racquetball.

Biggest struggle was finding the "right" time to work out. Y360 class in the am works perfectly for my husband and I and the 1/2 hour class is the perfect amount of time to feel like we got a solid workout. I always felt guilty not fitting in a workout at least 4x/week and when I worked out at home I got easily distracted. My husband would workout at home whenever possible, but not on a consistent basis. However, we never worked out together.  Now we enjoy exercising together and encouraging each other to push ourselves. Y360 has helped us to try new exercises to strengthen various muscle groups and with the guidance of skilled trainers push ourselves in a safe, effective way. We also get our heart pumping with a variety of cardio moves we wouldn't normally do such as the sled, ropes, jump boxes, suicide drills, row machine and more.  We aren't saying it's "fun" to get up for a 6:00am class, yet we always laugh while we are there and know that each time we go it will be a worthwhile, motivational exercise session. The instructors create sessions that allow us to challenge ourselves and/or make modifications based on our ability. Thankful that the Y offers this Y360 class every day of the week and at various times if we can't make our normal 6:00am class. 

The Y has so much to offer and we are thankful we are members.

The Garry Family 

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Child Care Registrar for Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs - YMCA Learning Center

30 High Street, Southington, CT 06489 P 860-621-8130 F 860-426-9549 

Provide overall coordination of all documentation relating to child records including health forms and medications.

YMCA Learning Center Staff


• Qualified candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree or in pursuit of a two-year degree from an accredited college and be at least 20 years old

• Have knowledge of child growth and development

• Possess excellent computer, organization, creative and communication skills

• Maintain confidentiality of information

Schedule must be flexible to adjust hours worked during the entire operating day/year

• Have effective written and verbal communication skills

• Within 90 days individual must be certified in CPR, CT Child Care, medication and DCF training Duties and Responsibilities: Under the direction of the Director of Child Development, Child Care Registrar is responsible for the following;

• Follow-up with parents/guardians on all missing documentation prior to a child being admitted into a child care program

• Input data into system including information from current and future child care participants • Use systems to monitor child records including, but not limited to; registration, health forms, ICP’s and medications

• Ensure all necessary paperwork is accurate and up-to-date in master files as well as at each Y off-site through periodic audits at each location

• Monitor tracking tools for coordination of child care registration

• Tour and review registration process with families

• Sales - Understand and be able to explain to parents the benefits of a YMCA membership • Work with Director to provide creativity to coordinate marketing/promotional efforts for Child Care

• Meet with Child Care Directors and staff as needed

• Foster a positive team orientated environment • Attend all meetings/trainings as required

• Follow all Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs policies and procedures SOUTHINGTON-CHESHIRE COMMUNITY YMCAs 30 High Street, Southington, CT 06489 P 860-621-8130 F 860-426-9549


This position carries major accountability of the Child Care program. The effectiveness of this person’s fulfillment of this position shall be measured by:

Well organized registration process of Preschool, Jumpstart, Nursery School, Naciwonki, Y Time and SACC programs

• Administrative paperwork for child care is produced in a timely, thorough and accurate manner

• Excellent customer service received by all families • Maintenance of accurate databases and records assuring proper compliance Salary Information:

• Hours are Monday – Friday 9:30am-6: 00 pm with occasional flexibility during the week and some weekend/night work

• Hourly rate-$13 to $15

• Full Time with medical/dental/vision/12% retirement and full family membership 

To Apply:

Please send electronic resumes and 3 letters of reference to Wendy Stevens at

For questions on the position, please contact Katie Sherman, Director of Child Development at Resumes are being accepted until May 7th.

Important: The YMCA is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants must complete and pass a criminal background check.

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Jump Start is a Pre k program for children eligible for Kindergarten designed to ensure they are ready for Kindergarten!

The Southington YMCA is thrilled to offer a curriculum focused Pre K program to prepare your child for Kindergarten. Children must be eligible to attend kindergarten to enroll. The daily schedule runs much like a Kindergarten classroom with a focus on Connecticut Common Core Standards including Math, Literacy, and Science.  Enrichment opportunities may include swimming and field trips. Please note that full-time enrollment guarantees that your child will be included in all activities, trips and special projects! Full-time enrollment also includes a free family membership to the Y!

There are many benefits from an extra year of preschool.Early Childhood

  • Time to hone social skills such as taking turns, sharing, listening, independent problem solving, playing cooperatively, asking for help when needed, sitting and listening attentively to a story and gaining self-confidence.
  • Opportunities to develop both fine and gross motor skills.

Program Information:

  • Drop Off Begins at 6:30 AM and Pick Up is 5:30 PM
  • Extended care option available at an additional cost
  • Curriculum runs 9:00 AM-2:30 PM
  • Taught by a Senior Teacher Certified in Elementary Education K-6th
  • Program runs September-June
  • Lower ratios for more individualized learning

Find out how YMCA PreK programs set kids on the path to a better tomorrow. Schedule a tour.

Registration Forms:

2018-2019 Child Care Registration Packet

Early Childhood Health Record
Flu Shot Form 

For More Information contact Kari Robarge, Early Childhood Director at 860-426-9542 or


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Join us in giving back
Saturday, May 12th 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
On May 12, 2018, the Southington Post Office is holding its Postal Food Drive. The Post Office is looking for volunteers to drive postal routes from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers will help the mail carriers by picking up bags of food. The Southington Post Office will hand out routes to volunteers between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the Post Office back parking lot. Volunteers will drive the route and pick up bags of food and deliver them to the YMCA Learning Center. This food drive benefits Southington Community Services, Tabernacle Food Bank, and Bread for Life. This is truly a collaborative effort, and this volunteer project will benefit numerous individuals in our community.
Want to Volunteer?
If you can join us, please email Jacquelyn Seeger or call 860-426-9526
Want to Donate?
Drop off non-perishable food items to the Southington Community YMCA between May 1st and May 11th
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Congratulations to John Myers, YMCA Executive Director on being honored last night by United Way of Southington during their annual meeting! 

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Southington, CT- April 18, 2018 – In memory of Benjamin Buckley, who passed away at age 7 due to severe asthma-related health issues, YMCA Camp Sloper and Ben Was Here Inc., will host the 3rd Annual Ben's Fun Run, which will take place on May 19, 2018 at YMCA Camp Sloper. Mark Pooler, Director of Operations at the Southington Community YMCA, comments “The Buckley family has been an inspiration to many in town. The way they have worked to keep Ben’s spirit alive is wonderful. We are happy to support whatever efforts we can so they can continue their generosity and giving back in his name"


The 3rd Annual Ben's Fun Run will feature a one-mile race for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders around Sloper Pond located at, 1000 East Street in Southington. The event is open to Southington residents as well as any other towns this year. The goal is to commemorate the life of Ben Buckley while increasing the health and activity of youth in our town. Sign in will start at 8 AM and the first race will take place at 8:30 AM. Please see below for the race schedule. There is no cost to participate in the run; however, donations will be accepted for future trail improvements at YMCA Camp Sloper. Following the run, the Buckley Family will generously provide refreshments for all runners.


In regard to the importance of the event, Race Director, Bob Lasbury states “I am proud to be a part of the 3rd Annual Ben’s Fun Run. This year’s race will be another great event as we’ve expanded the race to all local communities. Benjamin Buckley’s spirit drives the excitement and passion of the day!”


Run Schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m.– Boys grades 5 and 6
  • 8:45 a.m.– Girls Grades 5 and 6
  • 9:00 a.m.– Boys Grades 3 and 4
  • 9:15 a.m.– Girls Grades 3 and 4


Registration is currently open and ongoing. Interested runners are encouraged to register ASAP so they do not get closed out. Registration is limited to the first 250 runners. For more information and to register, please contact Bob Lasbury, Race director at or visit .  If you would like to volunteer to help with this amazing event, please contact: Kristen Curley at

About Ben Was Here

Ben Was Here was founded following the loss of their son, Benjamin Buckley after he suffered a severe asthma attack.  In memory of Ben, the Buckley family has started a non­ profit charitable organization (a 501(c)3) in his name to raise asthma awareness and give back to the community.  The purpose of Ben Was Here, Inc. is to:  Provide academic scholarships to students interested in furthering their education in the areas of teaching, creative/fine arts, science, engineering or medicine, provide funding to schools for educational materials and supplies, provide funding to community/youth organizations, provide funding for prescription medication coverage for asthma ­related medication and for research and treatment of asthma and other childhood illnesses. To learn more about Ben Was Here visit

About The Southington Community YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across Southington and Cheshire, CT the Y engages men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in our communities, the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs was established in 1928 and has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. YMCA membership, YMCA Camp Sloper, the Learning Center, the gymnastics center and all Y programs and facilities are welcoming, inclusive and open to all regardless of income. For more information, stop by for a tour (29 High St. Southington, CT) or visit







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