West Cook YMCA

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Giving Thanks to You

Published 11.13.21


This November, as we consider what the West Cook YMCA is thankful for, it is without question, that the Y gives thanks for our staff, our board, our members, and our community partners. 
In 2020, not even the pandemic was able to prevent the West Cook YMCA from hosting our 48th annual Christmas Tree Sale. It took the global supply chain crisis and its impact to our tree farmers to stop this nearly 50 year tradition. Regrettably, we will not be hosting our 49th annual Christmas Tree Sale, which over the nearly 5 decade tradition has resulted in close to 1 million dollars in scholarships provided to our community. Although the tree sale is not possible, we still can come together to support our local community members by considering making a donation in lieu of a Christmas tree purchase. If you have purchased a Christmas tree in the past, we hope you will continue your contribution to the West Cook YMCA's Annual Support Campaign in lieu of purchasing a Christmas tree and provide much needed scholarships to our neighbors.
Please continue reading below to learn how your Y is increasing your member value, our holiday hours, and how your Y continues to strengthens the foundation of our community through collaborations and partnerships with local organizations.
Thank you,
Phillip Jimenez, President/CEO
Tara Lenardi, Director of Mission Advancement


The West Cook YMCA will not be raising our membership fees in 2022. As a way to express our appreciation for staying with us, we will keep member fees the same for the second consecutive year.
Our members can look forward to the following investments and programs that will relaunch:
Cardio Equipment Installed from November 15-18.
The Wellness Center will be closed during the New Cardio Equipment Installation. Tablets with streaming service and health and wellness apps will be available for members to check out.
Childwatch opening in 2022.
The Y's new Childwatch program is a complimentary service for members that allows them to pursue their own health and well being, knowing that their children are safe, secure and cared for in a positive environment.
Kayaking class returning in February
This fun, six-week kayaking class provides the skills and knowledge to enable you to safely paddle on moving water. This fun, six-week class provides the skills and knowledge to enable you to safely paddle on moving water.


Below are important holiday hours when the Y facility will either have limited access or closed.
Cardio Equipment Installation
The Wellness Center will be closed from Monday, November 15-Thursday, November 18.
Early Closure
The Y facility will close at 1:00 pm on Saturday, December 18th.
New Year's Holiday
The Y facility will be closed Friday, December 31-Sunday, January 2.
Thanksgiving Holiday
The Y facility will be closed Wednesday, November 24-Thursday, November 25.
Christmas Holiday
The Y facility will be closed Friday, December 24-Sunday, December 26.


The West Cook YMCA is partnering with local organizations to strengthen the foundations of our community.
Vaccine Clinic
Mark your calendars for December 8th. The Y is hosting Loyola Hospital's Vaccine Clinic. The vaccine will be Pfizer and community members will have the option for a first, second, or booster shot. Vaccines are available for ages 5 and up. If it is a first dose, you will receive a follow up appointment for your second dose during the clinic. We will send out more details including how to schedule an appointment.
Rapid Response Scholarship
The West Cook YMCA has provided 575 scholarships totaling $27,000 in financial assistance since it's launch in August 2020. The Rapid Response Scholarship Program is funded through donations from our board, staff, members, and community through the Annual Support Campaign.
Thanksgiving Meal
On Thanksgiving, Food for Friends is partnering with the Y for our Annual Thanksgiving Meal for our resident members. Volunteers from Food for Friends work with our Y staff to package to-go meals this year with a full menu of thanksgiving favorites to hand out to our residents.
OPRF Soccer Alliance
A traveling soccer club will hold their practices in the WCY Gym through March 2022. OPRF Soccer Alliance's focus is on developing soccer skills, leadership skills and confidence and helping players take their talents and skills to the next level. 
Rush Oak Park Hospital's Office of Community Health Equity and Engagement is partnering the West Cook YMCA for their Adopt-A-Family program. 10 West Cook YMCA members and participants will be adopted by Rush Oak Park Hospital volunteers to receive a holiday food box, gifts, and social determinants health screening.
Warm Essentials Drive
Through Cradles to Crayons, the West Cook YMCA will become a drop off location to collect donations to provide warming essentials to 50,000 children in the Chicagoland area. The donation box will be located in the member lounge. We will be collecting winter coats and warm clothing items (sizes newborn to adult medium), winter boots (infant toddler 5 to adult 10), winter hats, gloves, scarves, and pajamas (size 2T to adult medium). Please check their donation guidelines here.
Treadmill Challenge: 100 miles in 24 hours
Siva Balu is a member of the West Cook YMCA and Oak Park community. On December 3rd and 4th, Siva will run the Treadmill Challenge, a 100-mile run, in 24 hours, on a treadmill for youth and families at the West Cook YMCA.
After living a sedentary lifestyle for over 15 years, Siva was looking to make a life change. He decided to start small and train for a 5k. After that race he was hooked. 5Ks turned into full marathons and then ultra-marathons, which are any race above 26.2 miles. Running has become Siva's passion and has changed his life forever. Due to his success, Siva wanted to give back to local nonprofits through his love of running. In 2020, Siva ran his first challenge for Sarah's Inn. This year, he will run for the West Cook YMCA.
We hope you will consider supporting Siva's 24-hour 100-mile Treadmill Challenge. 100% of donations will allow youth and families to have access and the opportunity to reach their full potential at the Y. We invite you to join us on December 3rd at the Y to cheer him on as he takes on this challenge!
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