In The News


VA Medical Center joins Pike Schools in Partnership for New YMCA

Press Release, 8/25/2015

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis announced today a new partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center resulting in one-of-a-kind Veteran-focused programming at the new Pike YMCA. These pioneering services will be provided alongside more traditional full-service YMCA offerings to provide a center that serves the broader community, as well as all Veterans in the community.

Using innovative methods and partnerships to increase the opportunity for Veterans to enjoy healthcare in their neighborhood is a mission publicly endorsed by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald during his July visit to the Indianapolis VA Medical Center. Secretary McDonald praised this pioneer venture between the Pike Y and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

Pike YMCA and the VA will form a partnership to connect traditional clinical VA healthcare to the full menu of YMCA programs.

Fundraising is underway for a new $10 million YMCA to be built on 12 acres in the 5400 block of Lafayette Road. The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township donated the land, so the YMCA could move into a larger facility and serve more members. Demand has overwhelmed the current YMCA in Pike Township, where space is limited and traditional Y services, such as a pool and gymnasium, are unavailable.

Eric Ellsworth, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, said, “To our knowledge, there are no other YMCA-VA Medical Center partnerships in the U.S., so this is groundbreaking. We expect this to be a national model.”

The new center and its programs are being developed to provide services that enhance the lives of Veterans and address their specific needs. Their dedicated service has left many Veterans with injuries, conditions and illnesses that make it difficult for them to maintain their health and well-being. For example, Veterans across the nation face the challenges of obesity, many suffer from clinical depression, and some must deal with lost limbs, lost eyesight and other debilitating injuries.

Dr. Ginny L. Creasman, Acting Medical Center Director of the Roudebush VA Medical Center shares Mr. Ellsworth’s enthusiasm for the joint venture.

Dr. Creasman said, “This concept and partnership is both unique and appropriate. VA’s mission to extend the reach of health care services beyond traditional medical center settings, coupled with the broad range of new and exciting services available only at the YMCA is a tremendous boost for veteran health care in Indiana. We extend our sincere appreciation to the community and the foresight of YMCA to join forces with VA for Veterans and the community.”

The new Y will serve all residents of Pike. VA clinical staff will work side by side with Y staff to provide service to Veterans. Some of the services expected at the new Y follow. 

  • Gym with full access and special therapy for people with disabilities
  • Pool with full access and special therapy for people with disabilities
  • Rooms for individual and family counseling sessions
  • Computer lab for access to job opportunities
  • VA services such as outpatient physical therapy, aquatic therapy and recreational therapy
  • Complementary and alternative therapies, such as Tai Chi, yoga and creative art classes, which can be useful for fitness, as well as for addressing pain and helping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Warrior to Soulmate workshops, which help Veterans and their significant others renew and reconnect relationships affected by military service

Read more…

Helping Others Meet their Fitness Goals

Indy Star, 8/8/2015

Maria Romaine, Group Exercise Instructor for the Downtown Ys, spoke to the Indy Star about her love of helping others meet their fitness goals.

Avondale Meadows Y Participates in Marion County Health Department’s Annual School Supply Drive

WRTV Ch. 6 News, 8/1/2015

The Avondale Meadows YMCA partnered with the Marion County Health Department for their annual school supply drive. Hundreds of people came out for the event.

Avondale Meadows Y Receives Joan Wolfe Legancy Grant

Indianapolis Recorder, 7/23/2015

The Avondale Meadows YMCA received $2,500 from The Indiana Members Foundation Joan Wolfe Legacy Grants. The center received the award on July 25th during a special program, which included an appearance by Indiana Pacers player, George Hill

YMCA & Franciscan St. Francis Partner for Stay Healthy as a Family Program

Johnson County Daily Journal, 7/13/2015

Earlier this summer, Franciscan St. Francis launched its Stay Healthy as a Family program. The program was free and included a variety of activities for families to participate in along with a two week membership to the Baxter YMCA.

First Merchants Charitable Foundation Supports Baxter YMCA

Johnson County Daily Journal, 7/10/2015

The Baxter YMCA recently received $2,000 from First Merchants Charitable Foundation to help support their youth programs.

Bike-in Breakfast

The Indy Star, 7/10/2015

The Indy Bike Hub YMCA has been hosting its Bike-in Breakfast all summer. This program is held on the third Friday of each month and has been a great incentive to encourage individuals to bike to work. Those who participate in the program receive free breakfast, bicycle parking and a nice shower before work.

Father’s Day – A Tradition Started at the YMCA

Press Release, 6/17/2015

More than a century ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd aspired to create a holiday to honor fathers. Dodd, the daughter of a single father and Civil War veteran, was inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon and wondered why there was no holiday for fathers. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Wash., her idea came to fruition with the first Father’s Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910.

On Sunday, June 21, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis joins the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the impact fathers and adult male role models make in children’s lives. Nationally, one out of three children lives in a home without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect fathers’ ability to seek support in strengthening their parenting skills and more fully engaging in the lives of their children. A leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, the Y remains dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.  

“Father’s Day is about celebrating dad, but also recognizing the importance of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers and adult male role models,” said Eric Ellsworth, President/CEO, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “Father’s Day reminds us why it’s important to provide fathers with the support they need to be the best parents and caregivers they can be.”

Studies show that children with close relationships with their fathers and other adult male role models have more self-confidence and exhibit less depression, perform better academically and engage in significantly less drug and alcohol use. 

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis offers a variety of programs that foster understanding and companionship between children and their caregivers such as:

  • Family Nights – held once a month at all YMCAs to encourage families to spend time together. Activities may include family group exercise sessions, game nights, swimming, movies, crafts and more.
  • Parent/Child Swim Lessons – Parents are given guidance on how to develop their children’s abilities and how to protect their children from harm in, on, and around the water; children are given the chance to explore a new environment and to build skills that add to their self-confidence. Both benefit from taking part in an experience that lets them learn and have fun together in the water.
  • Healthy Kids Day – held annually and provides fun and educational resources to help families maintain a healthier lifestyle.
  • Youth Sports – provides children with the basic skills and education for a variety of sports. Coaches are usually parents who volunteer their time for the entire season.
  • Family Camps – These camps are held annually at Flat Rock River YMCA in St. Paul, Indiana. They are a perfect opportunity for your entire family to get away and have fun together! Your family will stay together in a cabin, share great meals, join in activities or relax on your own. Our Family Camps are extremely popular, have been featured in “Budget Traveller Magazine” and are routinely wait-listed!

In communities across Greater Indianapolis, the Y is committed to ensuring that children and teens in YMCA programs reach their full potential by helping them grow—physically, mentally and socially—from young children into active, engaged members of their communities. To learn more about programs and activities available at the Y, visit or contact your local YMCA center.

Sneak Peek of New CityWay YMCA

Indy Star, 6/11/2015

WRTV Ch. 6 News, 6/11/2015

WISH TV Ch. 8 News, 6/11/2015

WTHR Ch. 13 News, 6/11/2015

Fox 59 News, 6/11/2015

WTTV Ch. 4 News, 6/11/2015

The Y invited local media to a hard hat tour of its new CityWay YMCA on June 10. The project is 65% completed and will open in mid-December 2015.

YMCA Names CityWay Executive Director

Press Release, 6/3/2015

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has named Chris Butler executive director of the CityWay YMCA. The $24 million, 87,000-square-foot Y is set to open in mid-December as part of CityWay, a 14-acre neighborhood at Delaware, South, Alabama and Louisiana streets in Downtown Indianapolis.

A YMCA employee since 2002, Butler moved to the area to serve as executive director of the Jordan YMCA. Most recently, he led the Fishers YMCA as executive director while also serving as VP of operations for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.

“CityWay is in good hands under Chris’ leadership,” said Eric J. Ellsworth, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “He has demonstrated that he knows what makes a YMCA successful: understanding and meeting the needs of the community you serve.”

Read more…

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