Walla Walla YMCA News & Info

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Guns and Hoses

Walla Walla, WA - The Walla Walla YMCA was awarded a check for $8,143 this week from the Milton-Freewater Guns and Hoses organization lead by Mark Gomes and Elizabeth Lawrence.The Guns and Hoses group consists of area firefighters, first responders and police who donate their time and efforts to organize several events in the community in order to raise funds to support the Milton-Freewater summer camp. “This is an incredible group of individuals who bring tremendous energy and effort to helping to fund the camp,” said Karen Hedine, YMCA CEO. “Without Guns and Hoses and the support of the Milton-Freewater community overall this program would not be the success that it is.”The YMCA has been pleased to manage the Milton-Freewater summer camp, now in its seventh year. Additional community support for this year’s summer camp has been provided by Milton-Freewater’s School District, Rotary, and Area Foundation together individuals and organizations throughout the community. Due to the community’s continued support, the YMCA has been able to expand the camp from its original two-week period to this year’s eight-week long camp. Kim Copinghaver serves as the camp coordinator and leads a dedicated team of counselors who provide countless hours of fun for kids.The funds raised by Guns and Hoses will be applied directly to support kids; these funds provide financial assistance so that every child who wants to can attend.ABOUT THE WALLA WALLA YMCA Founded in Walla in 1886, the Walla Walla YMCA has a proud tradition of serving individuals and families throughout the Walla Walla Valley. Its mission is to provide a community where all people, especially the young are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in sprit, mind and body.ABOUT GUNS AND HOSES Guns and Hoses has played an active role in Milton-Freewater for the past 5 years. With the involvement of area firefighters, first responders and police, the group conducts fund raising events throughout the spring. In 2014 the group held its first event - a football game between firefighters and police and then switched to baseball the following 3 years. For the last 2 years they have held the “Party in the Park,” which brings in local bands for a fun community event that highlights local businesses, vocal talents, and features a beer garden and dunk tank. Guns and Hoses collects funds from sponsors, a silent auction, raffle and vendors to be able fund Milton-Freewater community programs.CONTACT Karen Hedine, CEO Walla Walla YMCA khedine@wwymca.org (509)525-8863

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What’s in a Name

When I joined the Walla Walla YMCA in 2018, I was intrigued to learn that the organization, originally founded as the Young Men’s Christian Association in England 175 years ago, had nationally rebranded itself as “the Y” in 2010. And that while specific affiliates, such as the Walla Walla YMCA retain their legal names as YMCA’s, collectively we are part of the newly-branded Y. The reason for this name change, as is often the case when organizational name changes occur, is that the Y decided to embrace the name by which it has been known by most of its members over the years.This got me thinking about names in general. In remaking its corporate image to be most responsive to its members, the Y took advantage of the opportunity to expand its mission to encompass youth and teen development, healthy living and social responsibility. It remains true to its core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Today’s Y offers diverse and inclusive programs and services, embracing people of all races, gender, economic background and ability.And that got me thinking about the names that we use to identify the myriad programs and services offered by the Y, in how we address our members and guests, and how the communities that we serve influence us and vice versa.At the Walla Walla Y we emphasize programs that are intended to be responsive to interests and needs in Walla Walla and surrounding rural communities – with focus on youth and teens and adults of all ages. In recent times, however, a debate has sparked as to the most appropriate and least ageist way to identify individuals over the age of 65 (and even those as young as 55). “Senior citizen,” “elderly,” and “baby boomer” titles tend to inappropriately categorize people. And so at the Y we are actively joining a national discussion by asking our active adults to help us best name those programs that best represent their experience, maturity and distinguished life service.At the Y, we strive to personally greet members by their names and this means understanding the diverse cultures that comprise our membership. We understand that across the globe different cultures adhere to different personal naming conventions. As example, Russian names contain three parts – a given name, a middle name based on the father’s first name (patronymic), and the father’s surname. So if Vladimir Aleksandrovich Petrov has two children, his daughter’s name will be Anna Vladimirovna Petrova (where the “a” at the end of all three names denotes “female”) and his son’s name will be Ivan Vladimirovich Petrov.Chinese names typically consist of three characters – one character represents the family name followed by a two-character given name. The official name is used on the birth certificate and for school, however, a different name is used among friends, schoolmates, and colleagues.With the vibrant Spanish-speaking culture in the Walla Walla Valley, we have learned that children from these cultures often have a given name (frequently a two-part name) and two surnames, one of which is the father’s family name followed by the mother’s family name. For example, a girl named Maria Lorena López Ramírez, may retain both López and Ramírez when registering for school and Y programs. It is acceptable to call her Maria Lorena. To make sure that we are respectful of the family’s desired name use, the Y’s Child Development and youth and teen sports programs will often ask parents for guidance as to the preferred names to use when registering their children in programs.And then there are the couples who belong to the Y, many of whom represent nations from around the globe. We want to remain diligent in recognizing both American traditions and the norms of other countries. Here too we remind ourselves that some people change their names when they marry, either by taking a new last name, or compounding the two surnames. Other couples elect to retain their individual surnames. As example, in Canada, both common law partners and married spouses may informally assume the other spouse's surname after marriage. In Austria, a woman must opt out of using the husband’s name upon marriage. In Germany, the couple may elect to combine their two surnames into one new single “family name” or elect to keep one of their original names as the family name or use a hyphenated double family name combining both surnames.We also appreciate that many of our members were born or raised elsewhere and are reminded that countless cities and countries around the world have officially changed their names over time. The reason for such change makes for an interesting study in its own right. Changes may be due to such things as alterations in the political structure or social or religious control of a region, commemorative reasons or public consensus that the name is no longer representative. Those who love geography know that Persia is now Iran, Ceylon is now Sri Lanka, and Kampuchea is once again Cambodia. Closer to home, we know that the Alaskan village once called Novoarkhangelsk (“New Archangel”) is now Sitka and Moses Lake was originally settled as Neppel. And trivia lovers may appreciate that Halfway, Oregon was temporarily renamed half.com, Oregon in order to secure financial support and 20 computers from an internet start-up.The Walla Walla Y has been an important part of the history of Walla Walla, having been established here over 133 years ago. It is well known that the city’s name comes from a First Nations name meaning "place of many waters," and identifies the place where several small streams run into a larger one. There is also a small rural town in New South Wales Australia named Walla Walla. According to experts in that area’s Wiradjuri aboriginal language, the name is said to relate to “strength or hardness" – believed to refer to the hardness of the granite outcrops in the area. However, there are others who believe that the Australian’s town name derived from “Walan Walan,” meaning "place of many rocks or rocks overlooking water.”If the latter is correct, both Walla Wallas bear names related in some way to water. Water itself is a word known by various names in every language and carries both personal and societal importance. Whether one talks about water in terms of global impact or its importance to individual health, just as every drop counts so do the words we use daily. It’s all in the name.

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Murdock Grant

Walla Walla, WA - The Walla Walla YMCA has received a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington in support of its Phase II capital campaign efforts specific to building expansion and additions.This grant supports the Y’s overall $1.2 million Phase II expansion project that was initiated in late 2018 in order to provide a new 2,856 square foot multi-purpose room for community use, including dedicated space for the Y’s Community Center for Youth (YCCY) program, together with a 2,304 square foot expansion of the Y’s wellness and exercise center.The Phase II construction and landscaping efforts were recently completed on schedule and within budget through the efforts of Jackson Construction and other area service firms.The YMCA capital campaign committee continues to invite donations to offset the total costs incurred in the Phase II undertaking. The capital campaign supports the YMCA’s “bricks and mortar” projects and receives no funding support from general membership dues or other YMCA program fees. The YMCA historically has sought community support for capital campaign projects on a limited basis, with an average of 18 years between such building campaigns. The last major campaign was in 1995 at which time the YMCA built a weight room, a third gym and exercise room, and remodeled the lobby and offices. The capital campaign is also distinct from the YMCA’s annual campaign effort, which funds financial assistance scholarships for area youth to attend summer and sports camps, learn to swim, and participate in the YCCY and other youth programs.ABOUT THE WALLA WALLA YMCA Founded in Walla in 1886, the Walla Walla YMCA has a proud tradition of serving individuals and families throughout the Walla Walla Valley. Its mission is to provide a community where all people, especially the young are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in sprit, mind and body.ABOUT M.J. MURDOCK CHARITABLE TRUST M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. www.murdocktrust.orgCONTACT Karen Hedine, CEO Walla Walla YMCA khedine@wwymca.org (509)525-8863

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YMCA Youth and Government Delegation heads to Olympia

Walla Walla, WA (May 7, 2019) - Nearly sixty middle and high school students from Walla Walla are heading to Olympia May 7-11 for the 72nd Washington State Youth Legislature Conference as part of the YMCA’s Youth and Government program.Students in the program learn democracy and model the state's legislative process. Area teens in grades 8-12 take on the roles of various Washington State elected officials, research and draft solutions to community problems, and engage in service-oriented activities. Delegates learn about the variety of views and issues affecting citizens throughout Washington while applying real-world skills that foster a lifetime of civic involvement.Youth and Government is a national YMCA program begun in 1969. Washington state’s program is one of the few across the country that uses the state’s capital building to hold its conference, providing the students a unique experience. This week, almost 600 students from across the state are expected to use the House and Senate floors of the Legislative building in Olympia, as well as the various committee rooms.The Walla Walla Youth and Government program is one of four in all of eastern Washington; Dayton, Spokane, and Waitsburg also offer the program. Walla Walla’s current Youth and Government program started locally four years ago, and today represents the largest contingency from a single Y in the state. The program is open to interested 8th grade and above students in the valley, with most students currently from Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools. Presently, students who participate in this after-school activity meet weekly at Pioneer Middle School under the guidance of Youth and Government partner Martin Fortney, Pioneer Middle School’s Site Director for the Walla Walla Public School’s 21st Century Community Learn Center Program.”It is really exciting to see the personal growth by the students each year. These students are becoming more engaged in the world and developing the skills needed to become future community leaders,” Fortney said. “Youth and Government is an excellent fit with the 21st Century Program goals of providing afterschool enrichment opportunities which help students meet both state and local academic standards, while also encouraging them to develop professional skill sets, such as peer leadership and public speaking.”Walla Walla’s Youth and Government delegation has been busy throughout the school year fundraising, examining issues, learning how to write a bill, and debating its merits. These bills will be presented during the Youth Legislature conference this week at the state Capital. Each student wants their bill to pass and those that do are then submitted by the youth governor to Governor Inslee for the next Washington State Legislature to consider. In 2018, three of the Walla Walla students’ bills were passed by the youth legislature.“As the program continues to grow the YMCA expects to reach out to other middle schools, high schools and home school programs in surrounding communities,” said Abel Hernandez, the Walla Walla Y’s Director of Youth Programs. “We hope to hold additional meetings in the Y’s newly opened teen center to best accommodate the program’s expansion and as part of the Y’s commitment to youth development.”The cost to join the program offsets transportation, lodging and meal expenses for the May trip. Financial assistance scholarships are made available through the Y’s annual campaign fund raising efforts and from the state. Students are encouraged to look for news later in May regarding signups for a short two-week summer Youth and Government program in the coming weeks, for grades 6-9. There will be no cost for this summer camp offering.For additional information contact: Karen Hedine, CEO Walla Walla YMCA 509-525-8663Martin Fortney, 21st CCLC Site Director Pioneer Middle School 509-526-1962

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March Lifestyles Article

Mental health isn’t a topic that most people like to talk about. Simply the mention of the subject brings up stereotypical images of people lying on a couch in a psychiatrist’s office or a padded cell room. While these examples are a bit on the extreme side, they don’t completely encompass the full spectrum of what mental health is and why we should be concerned with taking steps to manage it. The truth is that we are ALL going to go though ups and downs in life. There will be grief, sadness, loss, anger, stress, anxiety, and jealousy. These emotions are going to come whether we want them or not and it is the habits we form in taking care of our metal hygiene that can get us through even the darkest of times.Mental health is defined as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, handle stress, relate to one another, and make choices. If this sounds like an important subject that is involved in every aspect of life- that’s because it is! We don’t talk about it because its hard, we don’t bring it up because that means we will have to be vulnerable, and we don’t admit we need help because that implies weakness. And that is why we don’t talk about it- we are afraid. Afraid of what others will think, afraid of how we will be judged, or afraid of the hard work that might entail change. But it’s time we gained a bit of courage and took a hard look at this subject.Mental health includes a variety of factors including: biology, such as our genes and brain chemistry; life experiences, such as trauma or abuse; and family history of mental health problems. According to the National Institute of Mental Health nearly one in five Americans suffer from mental illness each year. So how and what can we do to manage our mental health? First- go talk to someone. Depending on the severity of what you are going through, it can be extremely beneficial to seek counseling services or engage in group/peer socialization. These services offer support and aid in working through those everyday struggles at home and in the workplace. It can also be a place where further treatment such as medication is recommended to help you during especially hard periods of mental distress.Second- Get some exercise. Physical activity can boost mood, enhance our work performance, and improve motivation and feelings of mastery, reducing stress and anxiety. According to Frank Robert in his book, “Luxury Fever,” one study proved just how powerful exercise can be: three groups of depressed patients were assigned to different coping strategies- one group took anti-depressant medication, one group exercised for 45 minutes three times a week and another did a combination of both. After four months, all three groups experienced similar improvements in happiness, but the very fact that exercise proved just as helpful as anti-depressants is amazing and definitely proves that it is something we should be doing on a regular basis.Third- Focus on the good. Research has shown time and time again that mental illness impacts us all. It doesn’t matter how much money, possessions, or popularity you have. You can have all these things and still have times of sadness and depression. But one thing that you can focus on is what you have right in front of you. In his book, “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier,” Psychologist Robert Emmons, shows that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely. Performing a daily gratitude exercise can be extremely helpful in keeping you focused on all the good things happening in and around you.Lastly, you can’t sprint your way to a marathon. Managing our mental health is a life long process and sometimes we might need to utilize more resources then others. Ignoring the problem and hiding behind things or people won’t solve the issue- it takes courage. As Nelson Mandela said, “ I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”Theresa Peasley Director of Wellness Walla Walla YMCA

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Walla Walla YMCA Lifequard to receive American Red Cross Certificate of Merit

Walla Walla, WA (March 12, 2019) - Colby Turner is a senior at Walla Walla High School (Wa-Hi) and has been a part-time lifguard at the Walla Walla YMCA for four years. He recently was chosen to receive the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.Colby became eligible for the award following events that occurred during a Wa-Hi track meet on Saturday, April 21, 2018. That day, Colby and his friend Jacob, who has asthma, were competing in the track meet. Jacob had just finished the 400 meters dash when Colby noticed that his friend’s breathing was labored. Colby asked that someone get Jacob's asthma inhaler while he had Jacob sit down in a position that made breathing easier. As the two teens talked, Jacob suddely experienced a seizure.Colby, who has received Red Cross-certified first aid, CPR and automated external defribillator (AED) training as a Walla Walla YMCA lifeguard, immediately asked the athletic trainer to summon help and retrieve the first aid kit. He then rolled Jacob onto his side to clear his throat and airway. As the seizure subsided, Colby rolled his friend onto his back and continued to asses breathing and pulse. Finding that Jacob had no pulse, Colby immediately began chest compressions. When the AED was brought by other responders, Colby attached the device pads to Jacob's chest and, following the unit’s automated indicators adminstered two shocks. Jacob revived and was then transported by emergency medical personnel to the hospital for observation. He was later flown to Spokane for advanced treatment, where he continued to recover.As a result of Colby’s training and the positive outcome achieved, the American Red Cross nominated Colby for the award, which is the highest award given by the American Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Health and Safety Services course. The award will be presented to Colby by Peggy Hoggarth and Brian Hoffmeister of the American Red Cross on March 15, 2019 at the YMCA.For additional information contact:Karen Hedine, CEO Walla Walla YMCA 509-525-8663Peggy Hoggarth, Executive Director American Red Cross 509-412-4088

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© 2019 Walla Walla YMCA. The YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.
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