The Northern York County branch of the YMCA is open year-round at 3 Pomerleau St. in Biddeford. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

The Northern York County branch of the YMCA is open year-round at 3 Pomerleau St. in Biddeford. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD—Lasting personal and social change can be achieved when everyone works together and for the staff at the Northern York County Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine, their goal each day is to make the community it serves stronger.

Working side-by-side with area residents, the YMCA’s mission is to empower everyone, regardless of age, income or background, to deliver positive and meaningful change in York County.

According to Kate Noonan, Northern York County Branch executive for the YMCA of Southern Maine, the Biddeford facility’s strength is the local community.

“Here at the YMCA, we nurture potential,” Noonan said. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.”

She cited specifc programs offered at the branch that are geared toward bringing people together through healthy activities.

One of those events is a New Year’s Eve 50-mile indoor bike ride running from 7 a.m. to noon this Saturday at the YMCA at 3 Pomerleau St. in Biddeford.

“End 2016 on a high note and start a day early on your 2017 New Year’s resolutions by going on a 50-mile indoor ride,” Noonan said. “Choose between a bike or a trainer to ride 50 miles on. There will be a pot luck lunch at noon, so bring your favorite dish to share.”

The cost to participate is $25 for YMCA members and $35 for non-members. 

“We have about 20 people signed up to participate right now and it should be a really fun morning and a great way to end 2016,” Noonan said.

In January, the Northern York County YMCA branch is launching a new Adaptive Services program.

“Adaptive Services isn’t only about the physical or psychological benefits, it’s also an encouraging network of support within the Y. We are committed to empowering people to lead fuller lives,” Noonan said. “Adaptive Services helps participants with mental and physical challenges improve or regain quality of life by developing their bodies through specialized exercise and their self-esteem through personal relationships with peers, friends, and support staff.”

Noonan said that the YMCA of Southern Maine has been providing Adaptive Services at the Casco Bay branch in Freeport for years and is adding this popular service at its other locations in Portland, New Gloucester and Biddeford in 2017. 

More information about Biddeford’s Adaptive Services program may be obtained from Northern York County YMCA Wellness Director Nathan Priest at 283-0100 or by visiting  http://www.ymcaofsouthernmaine.org/main/adaptive-services/.

Also in January, the Northern York County YMCA is offering Fit-to-Win,  a four-week program aimed at improving the health and well-being of children, as well as promoting diabetes education.

Noonan said that the Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial have partnered with the YMCA to provide the program which is timed to coincide with NBA Fit Week and expand from select YMCAs of Greater Boston to include YMCAs in Southern Maine.

“Throughout the program, children in grades 3 to 6 participate in daily workouts and are encouraged to maintain a nutritious diet and make healthy lifestyle choices, such as limiting TV or other screen time,” Noonan said. “With exciting Celtics-themed events and prizes, and involvement from Celtics players, the kids track their fitness and health activities while having fun and celebrating their accomplishments.”

Fit-to-Win starts during the week of Jan. 18 and runs through the week of March 25, with the top 10 percent of participants invited to a special celebration at the Celtics Practice Center.

“Here in Biddeford, the YMCA’s Fit-to-Win program will be held from 6:15 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays at Biddeford Primary School, right after our School Age Childcare programming concludes at 6 p.m.,” Noonan said.

Registration for Fit-to-Win is now open at http://www.ymcaofsouthernmaine.org/main/fit-to-win/.

The YMCA is currently offering a special membership promotion and new member who joins between now and Jan. 7 will receive $50 in free Y-Bucks. 

“Y-Bucks can be used like cash towards any of our program fees such as personal training, childcare, summer camp, swim lessons, splash parties, merchandise, etc.,” Noonan said. “The only thing it cannot go towards is the membership itself.  This is a great way to start the new year and make progress on those New Year’s resolutions.

She said that the YMCA offers financial assistance for all membership and program fees using a sliding scale based on income and household size which allows YMCA services to be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

The Northern York County YMCA branch also is in the midst of its Annual Support Campaign.

“In an effort to support our mission of building strong kids, individuals, families and communities through programs and services that promote a healthy spirit, mind and body for all, regardless of ability to pay, we are raising money to support our financial assistance fund,” Noonan said. 

“Last year alone, we awarded more than $2.1 million in financial assistance and program support which reached more than 10,000 people across all walks of life in Southern Maine,” she said. “All 100 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to financial assistance, ensuring that all can learn, grow and thrive at the Y, regardless of ability to pay.”

Interested donors can call or stop by the branch, or donate directly on its website at http://asoft20132.accrisoft.com/ysmaine/main/giving/.


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