West Cook YMCA

December Member Newsletter

Published 12.16.16


Your Support is Changing the Community

Thank you to all our members who participated in our Annual Support Campaign. Together, we raised more than $200,000 for scholarships for people in our community who need financial assistance to fully participate in Y programs and classes. Your support, combined with a special gift, means that we will give a record amount of scholarships for 2017. 

In addition, our Gala on November 12 brought together members, community leaders, partner organizations and donors to celebrate accomplishments in 2016 and look ahead to even more improvements and new programs in 2017. We presented the 2016 Scott Gaalaas Partnership Award to Kristin Carlson Vogen, President / CEO of the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation to recognize their support of Y programs, including case management for our residents, outreach to hard-to-reach youth, and scholarships for seniors.

As I reflect on 2016, I am also grateful for the more than 100 volunteers who helped us complete 300 projects during our summer recess. From replacing lightbulbs and painting, right up to refinishing the racquetball court floors, our volunteers helped make the West Cook Y facility even better for our members. 

But we're not done yet! The leadership of the West Cook Y, including staff and board, are totally committed to ongoing improvements to increase the value of your Y membership. We're increasing and strengthening programs, adding staff members who bring a level of professionalism that means a better experience for you, and partnering with others in the community to add value to your membership.

I am convinced that the members of West Cook Y are unbeatable! I extend my personal wishes to you for a wonderful holiday season, and look forward to continuing on the journey to wellness with you in 2017.




Phillip Jiménez

President & CEO


Watch the West Cook Y's new video on YouTube!


Holiday Opportunities at the Y

The holiday season has been referred to as "the most wonderful time of the year," and that's certainly true at the West Cook Y!

We kicked off the holidays with a Thanksgiving dinner served to members, our residents and the community, all at no charge. This is always a great opportunity to meet neighbors and relax with friends and family. Read More >

On November 25, we opened our Christmas tree lot, a tradition at the West Cook YMCA for 44 years. 

If you haven't come by to select your wreath, garland or tree, stop in! The lot is open Monday - Friday from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Come early for the best selection because ... the freshest Christmas Trees come from the West Cook Y! Plus 100 percent of the Christmas Tree proceeds benefit the Annual Support Campaign that provides financial assistance to qualifying individuals so they can participate in the West Cook Y's more than 100 weekly programs and events designed to help them become their best self. Plus, purchase your tree at the West Cook YMCA and receive a free sample of our specially roasted coffee blend.

Looking for a great Christmas gift? Check out our two blends of coffee, roasted exclusively for West Cook Y. The rich aroma and festive flavor of our Christmas Blend is perfect for holiday gatherings, and our House Blend is sure to please. Plus, with every sip, you're making wellness possible because proceeds from these special blends benefit scholarship programs at the West Cook YMCA. Read More >

We also offer gift certificates. The perfect gift for any child or adult. Give the gift of health through a Y Membership or a program such as swim lessons. Stop by the front desk.

Ring in the New Year with a great sale on personal training so you can maximize your workout in 2017. To learn more, stop by the front desk! Read More >

And most importantly of all --- enjoy your holidays! We wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and love all season long.


Looking ahead to a Great 2017

Numerous opportunities are coming your way in 2017:
  • We want to encourage members to utilize the Y as often as they can. Sometimes, it's more convenient for members to utilize a Y in a different location when traveling, near a workplace, or in another region. Now, West Cook YMCA Members have the flexibility to use other Y facilities throughout the state of Illinois, at no extra charge. Click here for more information.
  • Your West Cook YMCA is one of 19 Ys across the nation to participate in a pilot program using an Electronic Health Record software system. This will allow the Y initially to communicate with your health care provider and insurance carrier who participate in our chronic disease prevention program. In the future, this program will allow us to be ready for physician referrals. We're excited to introduce this new program that will allow you to walk out of the exam room right into a Y program to address your medical needs.
  • Our Diabetes Prevention Program is a proven way to reduce the risk factors that can lead to this chronic disease. If you qualify, your health insurance may cover all or some of the cost. (Medicare currently does not fund it, but will be adding it to their list of funded services in 2018.) If you meet the criteria for the program but need financial help, you can apply for a scholarship by clicking here or asking for an application at the front desk.
  • Enhance® Fitness can reduce the pain of living with arthritis, and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a proven way for cancer survivors to improve their health. These programs are offered throughout the year.
  • Our Workplace Wellness program is now available to employees of River Forest School District 90, Age Options, the Township of Oak Park and many other local employers. Would you like your employer to learn more about this program? Let our Healthy Living Director, Laura Olszewski (lolszewski@westcookymca.org), know and we'll take it from there.
  • The improvements made in our summer swimming program at the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center were big hits! Attendance more than doubled, and 240 children and adults received free swimming lessons --- a potentially lifesaving skill. We'll let you know in advance about the 2017 season at the pool, but meanwhile, check out swim lessons and water aerobics at our indoor pool here at the Y. Swimming is great exercise, even for those who find it difficult to participate in more traditional exercise programs, and it's a great way to meet new friends. Read More >

Here are a couple of things to check out:

  • Did you see our September insert in the Wednesdays Journal? If not, click here for links to all the articles.
  • West Cook Y member Glen Benoy was interviewed by Wednesday Journal about how LIVESTRONG at the YMCA has benefitted him. You'll enjoy reading his story which is available online. 
Thank you for being part of our West Cook Y family! We all wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Watch the YMCA's Idle Hands video on YouTube!


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