In the month of November, the Hobart Y is giving our membership the chance to Give Thanks by participating in our Capital Campaign.
We have an exciting opportunity to activate a $100,000 matching grant from the John W. Anderson Foundation, a local philanthropic organization. Any donations pledged to or received by the Y during the month of November will be matched at 50 percent. For every two dollars raised, we will receive another dollar in financial support from the Foundation, up to $100,000!
You can help us reach that goal. By pledging an extra $5, $10, or even $25 a month in addition to your monthly Y membership fee, you would activate the Foundation match for the duration of your pledge. Your contribution will be debited monthly along with your regular dues.
Your generous contribution will help support important upgrades to our facility infrastructure, as well as a new outdoor pavilion for use by Hobart Y youths and the local community. We have already received a generous $25,000 grant toward this project from The Legacy Foundation, and we look forward to beginning this project in 2020 with your help.
This year, we’re asking our Y membership to Give Thanks for the many benefits the Hobart Family YMCA brings to our families, our neighbors and our communities every day of the year.
To donate, please click the link below, or just stop at our front desk and mention that you want to Give Thanks this November. Our registration staff can update your account accordingly.
Thank you for your support!
Hobart Family YMCA
Why the Y? Our Community.
Meet Ed and Jean Knox
Ed and Jean Knox have been residents of the Hobart area for more than 50 years, and they
have been patrons of the Hobart Family YMCA since it opened in the 1970s.
Now in their 80s, Jean and Ed credit the YMCA with helping them to remain active, healthy and engaged with their fellow community members.
“There’s no doubt about it,” says Ed, 84, who retired from Bethlehem Steel in 1998. “I can exercise and keep up with any young person who comes here in the morning. Hard physical exercise will prolong your life. My heart is good, my lungs are good. I haven’t deteriorated mentally.”
Jean’s Hobart YMCA experience began with swimming lessons in the 1970s. She had never learned to swim as a child, but taking lessons at the Y as an adult helped her to achieve her longtime goal. Today, Jean participates in weekly water classes at the Hobart Y.
“That’s always been my thing, the water classes, even though I don’t swim in deep water,” Jean says.
Friday nights were Hobart Y nights for Ed and Jean’s children. Jean brought their oldest son for swimming lessons at the Y, and he also participated in the summer program. Today, she says, he is a Y member in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In addition to the Hobart YMCA’s swimming pool, workout center and many fun classes, Jean and Ed say they value their personal relationships with other Y members. The Hobart Y is not just a place to exercise, they say; it is a community.
“If you lose the Y, you’re losing something important,” Ed concludes. “I would like to see everybody be active in the Y. I think they’ll live longer if they are.”
Meet the Gonzalez Family
Hobart resident Mariana Gonzalez, 33, began bringing her family to the Hobart Family YMCA four years ago so her twin daughters, Alondra and Crystal Hernandez, 15, and her son, Dominic Clough, 6, could learn how to swim. It was a life-changing decision for all of them.
“Before we started here, our afternoons would be spent at home doing pretty much nothing,” Mariana says. “These kids would be fighting
all day and then watching TV. So we started taking more and more classes. We enjoy it.”
Mariana and her children participate in a wide variety of classes and sports. Her youngest daughter, Briana Clough, 3, likes basketball and swimming, and her brother Dominic, enjoys those activities, youth soccer, and karate. Mariana’s goddaughter, Bailey Sinka, 9, joins the family at the Y on weekends, and her husband, Chris Clough, coached youth soccer last year.
Mariana enjoys the aquatics classes, including Water Pilates and Aqua Jog, and she recently began taking Aerobic Drumming.
“It’s good that they have a day care, otherwise I couldn’t come,” Mariana says. “And Dominic and Briana, enjoy the day care.”
Alondra and Crystal Hernandez, age 15, also swim and join their mother for some of her fitness classes. Crystal plays basketball.
Both girls are members of ROTC at Hobart High School, so they volunteer at the Hobart Y as part of their community service initiative.
Mariana appreciates how her family’s participation at the Hobart Family YMCA helps to support a local organization that serves as a vital community resource for many other families like hers.
“When they have the Swimming with Santa and other programs here, I know they do those to raise money for things here at the Y, so I always try to sign the kids up for it,” she says. “The Y gives us something to do.”
Meet the Hendricks Family
Hobart residents Jon and Becca Hendricks are devoted parents and busy professionals, and their family loves the Hobart Family YMCA.
The Hendricks’ daughters – Adelaide, or Addy, 9, and Rachel, 7 – participate in the after-school program and attend summer camp three days each week. They also take swimming lessons, and Rachel is a student in the Y’s youth karate class. Although Addy now plays Hobart club soccer, she got her start in the sport at the Hobart Y.
”There’s a lot for parents to juggle, and the Y helps us juggle. They’re an extra hand in the juggling,” laughs Becca. “It definitely would be more difficult for us without the Y because we’d have to go to several different places to get everything we can get here. The Y just brings it all together. As two full-time working parents, I don’t know how we would do it without the Y.”
Rachel and Addy say they enjoy their after-school and summer activities, which include homework, snacks, gym time, art projects, reading, and spending time with their friends. And Jon says he appreciates the positive core values that are integral to student learning at the YMCA.
“Caring, responsibility, honesty and respect,” Addy says when asked about the Y’s core values. Her sister, Rachel, says that classes and activities at the Hobart Y “help you to be nice to other people.”
Jon and Becca occasionally find time to pursue their own fitness goals at the Hobart Y, and Becca said the atmosphere in the fitness center and in her classes has always been friendly and supportive.
“I really like going to the Y because I don’t feel like I’m being judged,” Becca says. “It’s a safe place. It’s the same with the classes. Everyone here is so nice and friendly. I love it, I’m a huge fan.”
Jon says the Hobart Family YMCA has exceeded his family’s expectations.
“I think it’s a snowball effect,” he says. “We saw one thing, child care, and thought it would be really useful. Then we found some other things at the Y that are super-helpful and super-awesome that we love doing here. I don’t think we’d do a lot of those things if we didn’t have the Hobart Y.”
Meet Robert Yanez
Robert Yanez, 44, weighed 296.6 pounds when
he and his wife, Veronica, began a two-month weight-loss challenge at the Hobart Family YMCA last year. One year later, Robert has lost almost 90 pounds, and he doesn’t plan to stop there.
“On March 11, 2019, I’m hoping to be at 200,” he says. “I’ll push it a little bit. If I’m not quite there, I’m not going to be disappointed, because I’ve come a long way. My main goal is to get to 170.”
Robert, a Lake Station Edison graduate and U.S. military veteran, lives in his hometown with his wife and children. He went back to school as an adult, earning engineering degree from Purdue Northwest. Now his job takes him into steel mills where improved physical fitness helps Robert to function efficiently in a challenging environment.
“My wife kept telling me we needed to get a membership at the Hobart Y. I had another fitness club membership, but I basically just paid them because I didn’t go. The way it was set up, maybe it didn’t make me feel as comfortable. I like the Y because it’s family-oriented. It’s always been comfortable here for me.”
Robert, who works out first thing in the morning before work, eased into his weight-loss journey with lower-impact routines on elliptical machines and stationary bikes. Now he is logging between 45 minutes and one hour on the treadmill.
“I am trying to complete a 10K in an hour. I am getting close,” he explains.
Robert and Veronica are new grandparents, and he says the arrival of their first grandchild helped motivate him to improve his health and physical fitness. The friendly, inviting community at the Hobart Family YMCA has made it easier to stick with that commitment, he says.
“I enjoy it here, I really do. It’s a warm place to be,” he says. “It’s a place where you don’t have to worry about people judging you. You can just come here and be you.”
Meet Joe, Stevie & Omar
Joe Bannister and his friends Stevie Hull and
Omar Khayree Muhammed exemplify what the
Hobart Family YMCA means to the young people in our local community. The trio met on the Y’s basketball courts less than two years ago, and the young men quickly became teammates, workout partners and great friends.
Now they say the Hobart Family YMCA has transformed their lives in significant ways.
“I was at a hard point in my life,” says Joe, 22, of Merrillville. “I came to the Y just to clear my mind. My mom was sick at the time. I was going to college at IU South Bend, and then I had to come home and take care of her. Coming to the Y was really like an escape; shooting the ball, working out, it just got my mind away from everything going on with my home life.”
Omar’s Hobart Y membership began with his love of basketball. Once he began training with Joe and Stevie, Omar began working on his overall fitness and his mental approach, both on the court and in life.
“When I met Joe and Stevie, it helped push me to start thinking more on the court, and start thinking more about what’s after high school,” says Omar, 19.
“I love the fact that I came here. I just love basketball so much, and I love that I met these guys.”
Stevie, 20, shares Omar’s love of the game and says the Hobart YMCA gives him the opportunity to play year round against friendly competition. Stevie, Joe and Omar play in the Hobart Y’s recently established Sunday men’s leagues.
“I’m glad the Y is here, and I’m glad that it’s close to my house,” says Stevie, 20, of Gary. “I can come here and work out, do all the things I like to do, interact with people and play basketball.”
Joe found employment at a local insurance agency after meeting his future boss, a YMCA board member, while playing basketball. Omar, who joined the Y at 290 pounds, has dropped 70 pounds in recent months and is working toward his goal weight of 195. Stevie, who is studying physical therapy at Ivy Tech Community College, says coming to the Y balances his days and helps him focus on his other priorities.
In turn, this trio of young men is trying to pay those advantages forward by positively influencing younger YMCA members.
“The younger kids in high school, they come to us to help them with their basketball game,” Joe says. ”We try to keep them coming to the Y, so that as soon as they get out of school they are here training and having fun and in a good environment.”
“That’s what you need, a circle of influence around you that motivates you to do better in life and chase your dreams, that’s what we’ve got right here.”