Ribbon Cutting Signals Opening of New YMCA Branch

Richard and Barbara Snyder cutting the ribbon and opening the YMCA branch

By: Ryan McLaughlin

The YMCA branch, located at the former Mac’s Health Club, officially opened its doors to the public at 9:30AM on Saturday, August 16.

Joely Beeker, executive director of the YMCA, described the process of taking over.

“It was about the end of May,” she said. “We actually took over operation on June 30.”

Beeker also further explained why they took over the location.

“The opportunity was presented to us,” she said. “The owners of Mac’s Gym, Larry and Janet, wanted to retire and get out of the business. So, they approached the Y, and my board and I thought it was a great opportunity for us.”

She explained that they performed some renovations to update the place and bring in their own equipment. They were grateful to have the other location, to make it more convenient for clients that live in that area. Beeker also mentioned that one YMCA membership is good for both their downtown Kittanning location and this new branch.

At 9:30AM, the opening ceremony began. Beeker and Stan Berdell, President of the YMCA Board, both gave speeches about the acquisition and reopening. Beeker went into detail about which equipment was acquired or relocated inside. She also thanked the staff and volunteers for helping with the renovations.

“A huge thank-you to my staff, because this would not have happened without them,” Beeker said. “We put a lot of hours into the last two weeks, and I pushed them really hard, and they really stepped up.”

Following the speeches, Richard and Barbara Snyder cut the ribbon, and the public were allowed inside.

Once inside, the public were allowed to freely wander around and inspect the new equipment. There are treadmills, exercise bikes, and Star Traks on the left side. Two TV monitors were placed on the walls facing the bikes and treadmills, to entertain those using them.

There is also plenty of weightlifting equipment in a room to the right. Staff wandered around, assisted the public, and showed them how the new equipment functioned.

In addition to the equipment, there was also a room that could be used for yoga or other types of classes. Big exercise balls are placed on a large shelf that wrapped around the room, and the wall was adorned with jump ropes, pulleys, and other various workout equipment. Mirrors are also placed around the room, making it seem like it was larger than it is.

Kenn and Georgiana Toy were both members of Mac’s Health Club before the renovations began. They attended the opening ceremony to see what kind of changes had been made.

“Everything looks very nice,” Georgiana said. “It’s nice. It’s exciting to see new equipment.”

The YMCA also provided the public with various healthy snacks, such as apples and yogurt, and refreshments while they took in the new facility. It seemed as if the public appreciated the new equipment, as people were already starting their workout as more people showed up for the grand opening.