Posted on Sep 29, 2017
Jason Trame, the interim director of the Lenawee YMCA, was invited to speak today and tell us about the different programs offered at the organization as well as the proposed merger with the Toledo Y and the partnership with ProMedica. Jason is on loan from the West Branch Y in Toledo. He is married and has 2 children and is a Rotarian himself!
The Y nationally, he said, arrived at three areas of focus for local Ys a couple of years ago and they are: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Relative to Youth Development, he said it’s important that kids do well and succeed in school. In Michigan and Ohio, graduation rates are at 68% for kids living in lower income communities compared to the overall rate of about 80% and only about 65% of children entering kindergarten are ready to do so. "We currently have 135 children in our local pre-school and after school education program", Jason said.
In the area of Healthy Living, Ys are thought of as a “gym and a swim” or a “hoop and a dip” but they are much more than that. Physical Fitness, Swim and Aquatic Safety programs are available. Diabetes Prevention is also an important program. Chronic disease, of course, lowers the quality of life among individuals and accounts for a staggering 85% of all health care costs today! Some 190 people participate in the current Diabetes Prevention Program here in Adrian, he said.
In the area of Social Responsibility, it’s all about “community” and bringing people together through family events for example, Jason said. It also includes making Youth Development and Healthy Living available and affordable to everyone in this community. One of the things, he said, that allows us to do this is to go to an income-based fee system and membership structure. In the past, members could come in and secure a membership and ask for direct financial assistance if necessary, Jason said. So, the new income-based pricing model that has been implemented simplifies the process with a simple proof of income statement that generates a specific price for people to join!
Jason then provided details of the proposed partnership with the Toledo Y and said that the real benefit of that would be to help the Lenawee Y be even stronger by utilizing Toledo’s resources/staff and sharing in its efficiencies. The other exciting thing that is on the horizon, he said, is the partnership with ProMedica and the building of a brand new state-of-the-art facility on M52 “which will allow our organization to be much stronger and to serve more individuals, families and seniors! We currently serve people well now but will be able to serve them even better at this new facility.” He assured audience members that once the Y moves to its new location, there will not be a vacant building still sitting on Maumee Street adding to Adrian’s blight situation.
Jason closed by sharing a specific story that he experienced firsthand that served as a true example of what the Y does and the impact it has on people’s lives. It was a story about the gymnastics team at the Toledo Y that his daughter was part of and about one young girl from the opposing team (Sandusky) who was to perform at the very end after several rotations. As she prepared to perform, the Toledo coach instructed everyone on his team to root for this gal and that they did. Not only was this a mark of true sportsmanship, Jason said, but a teaching moment for everyone that in gymnastics and life as well, their successes and achievements are determined by them and not soured because someone else achieved success and may have even replaced them on the podium!