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YMCA hires first program manager, sets ‘Healthy Kids Day’ for Saturday

YMCA hires first program manager, sets ‘Healthy Kids Day’ for Saturday
YMCA hires first program manager, sets ‘Healthy Kids Day’ for Saturday
The YMCA of Harrison County officially "kicked off" its Capital Campaign Friday with some fun and games on the Corydon square. Angela Ripperdan, shown bouncing a soccer ball on her knee, won two of three contests. (Photo by Randy West)

The YMCA of Harrison County has hired a program manager and has scheduled an event to show children that getting healthy can be fun.
Lisa Fisher of Corydon has almost four years experience with the YMCA, having worked as program manager for the Barren County YMCA when it opened in Glasgow, Ky.
“Lisa will be a huge asset to our organization,” said Catherine Turcotte, executive director of the YMCA of Harrison County. “She loves the YMCA, is organized and enthusiastic!
“We had several talented applicants for this position, but were amazed when we found one living in our community who had already done this very job,” Turcotte said.
Fisher is the YMCA of Harrison County’s second employee and will be responsible for starting YMCA programs throughout the county. She will oversee YMCA office operations, from volunteer coordination to assisting with bookkeeping and grant writing.
Fisher said she was impressed with what the YMCA has already accomplished.
“The Y has done a great job of researching what the community wants and needs,” she said. “Their program needs assessment survey has provided me with lots of great ideas for programs. Now I just need to get them going!”
She said her goal is to start programs “in the north, south, east and west parts of the county in the next few months.”
The YMCA has already started a bereavement support group and has teamed with the Harrison County Youth Soccer Association to offer youth soccer as part of the Y’s programming. (The kick-off celebration for spring soccer was held Saturday.)
The YMCA Healthy Kids Day, sponsored by Tropicana, takes place Saturday. This is the 11th year that YMCA has highlighted how to have fun and be healthy.
Harrison County YMCA volunteers will host the celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Keller Soccer Fields, behind Limeberry Lumber in Corydon. The event is designed to showcase the wide range of fun and character-building fitness activities that will be available to youth at the YMCA of Harrison County and to offer them some healthy alternatives to the snacks they may be choosing now.
“Television and the Internet are here to stay and bring tremendous benefits to our kids and their education,” said Ken Gladish, Ph.D., the national executive director of YMCA of the USA. “But watching too much TV or sitting at the computer for hours while playing in the virtual world has created a youth fitness crisis in the real world.”
The North American Association for the Study of Obesity says there is a relationship between television watching and obesity among children. Watching too much television not only prevents physical activity — it also promotes unhealthy snacking and consumption of less nutritious food.
The most recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control says obesity rates in children have doubled the past decade. Today, 14 percent of children and 12 percent of teens are obese.
“One of the goals of YMCA Healthy Kids Day is to show kids that adopting healthy habits can be fun,” said Mike Spezzano, health and fitness specialty consultant, YMCA of the USA.
“YMCAs are dedicated year-round to helping children develop into healthy, strong, moral adults. But YMCA Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on how physical activities like sports leagues, games and aquatics programs can be fun for grade school kids, teens and families alike.
“Kids sometimes view exercise as drudgery,” he said. “But when families work out together, it becomes a way for them to spend quality time together, work toward a common goal, and reconnect with each other, perhaps on a new level. And kids tend to pattern their behavior after their parents. So if a parent practices healthy habits, it’s likely his or her kids will, too.”

Plans call for groundbreaking in September for the YMCA of Harrison County’s facility, if the required funds are obtained. YMCA directors have pledged $50,000 to the Capital Campaign, bringing the total in pledges to $2.61 million toward a goal of $5.5 million.
A public kick-off to the campaign was held Friday on the town square in Corydon. The Y’s Capital Campaign Cabinet, which will assist the Y’s board of directors during the campaign, was introduced. The cabinet is chaired by Pam Bennett Martin. Cabinet members include: Edsel and Betty Byrd, Fred Cammack, Sam and Becky Eckart, Jim Hodge, John and Trish Hodges, David Limeberry, Christine Pendleton, Jane Reiman, Gary and Laura Roberson, Monty and Linda Schneider, Steve and Jeni Smith, Bill and Joy Taylor, Robert and Margaret Hays Walker and David Whittington.
The Y facility, which will be built on 15 acres — valued at $525,000 — donated by Dennis and Kathy Jenkins and family, will include an Olympic-size competition swimming pool that will be available for high school swim teams to use, a heated therapy pool with separate locker rooms from the women’s and men’s locker rooms, two basketball courts that can also serve as volleyball courts, fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, walking/running track, classrooms, and a babysitting area.
For more information about the YMCA of Harrison County, log onto the Internet at www.ymcaharrison.org or call 734-0770.

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