Press Releases

Florida Blue Awards More than $300,000 to Support YMCA’s Safety Around Water Programs Across Florida
Statewide grant to offer drowning prevention education to more than 5,000 youth

SOUTH FLORIDA – July 27, 2017 – To support the critical need of swim safety and drown prevention in Florida, four YMCA associations across the state announced today a donation of more than $300,000 from health care leader Florida Blue. The support will provide free swim lessons and mobile aquatics programs for more than 5,000 children and families through the Y’s Safety Around Water program. This donation benefits the YMCA of South Florida, YMCA of South Palm Beach County and YMCA of Florida’s First Coast each with a $100,000 grant. Additionally, Manatee YMCA will receive a $10,000 donation.

As a leader in water safety and swim instruction, the Y’s Safety Around Water program is designed to teach children how to reach the water’s surface if submerged, safely reach the edge of a pool, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations. The program also has a mobile component, where swim instructors travel communities to educate parents and children about the importance of water safety and provide swim lessons in neighborhoods. Research shows that participation in formal water safety and swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years of age.

“The reality is accidental drowning is preventable and with the thousands of waterways and pools in South Florida, it’s critical that we teach water safety and the need for swim lessons,” said Sheryl Woods, YMCA of South Florida President and CEO. “Florida Blue understands this need and thanks to their generosity and support we’re able to help make even more kids and families safer in and around water by teaching lifesaving skills that build confidence.”

According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida loses more children under the age of 5 to drowning, more than any other state in the country.,” states Jason Hagensick, YMCA of South Palm Beach County President and CEO. “With the support of key partners such as Florida Blue, the YMCA is hoping to help positively impact that statistic.” 

In recent years, Florida Blue has contributed more than $700,000 to support various YMCA initiatives across the state of Florida, and has stayed actively involved in improving overall health and wellness for people of all ages and backgrounds. Here on the First Coast, the company also played a significant role in helping the Y open the Florida Blue Wellness Center at the Winston Family Y along with the Healthy Living Center, a comprehensive resource for all local residents to receive programs that address health concerns in surrounding neighborhoods.

“The quality of life in Jacksonville is personified by its natural resources,” said Florida Blue Market President Darnell Smith. “Every child should be able to explore and enjoy the full, life- enabling energy of water. Learning how to swim and be safe around water will enable parents and children to conquer fears and embrace life more abundantly.”

Susan Towler, Florida Blue executive director of corporate social responsibility, has long been passionate about bringing this life skill to children and their families. “Drowning is a preventable tragedy, and we have a responsibility to help parents understand the importance of teaching themselves and their children how to survive in water. Learning lifesaving water safety skills is a solution that helps ensure children can grow up strong and healthy.”

The YMCA of South Palm Beach County and the YMCA of South Florida have provided swim lessons and water safety education to the South Florida community since the early 1900s. For more information about the Safety Around Water program, visit www.ymcaspbc.org or www.ymcasouthflorida.org.

About the YMCA of South Palm Beach County
The YMCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social services organization dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. It is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community. The YMCA of South Palm Beach County is comprised of: The Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton, The DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach, The Schmidt Family YMCA Preschool at the Volen Center and the YMCA@901 NCCI. For more information, please visit www.ymcaspbc.org.

About the YMCA of South Florida
The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Every day, the Y works hard to build healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities through over 200 afterschool, preschool, special needs, sports, camp and youth programs, family centers, and senior health outreach sites. To learn more, visit www.ymcaofsouthflorida.org, connect on Facebook or Twitter, or call a Y near you.

About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Its mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue serves more than 5 million health care members, and nearly 18 million people in 12 states are served through its affiliated companies. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.FloridaBlue.com.

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You Can’t Afford to Ignore Prediabetes

YMCA of South Palm Beach County encourages Palm Beach County residents to learn the factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes on American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

Palm Beach County, FL (March 22, 2017) – March 28 is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day® and with millions of Americans at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the YMCA of South Palm Beach County urges residents of Palm Beach County to take action to prevent the disease. Currently, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. Diabetes also puts an incredible strain on our health care system, costing billions of dollars a year to treat and manage the disease.

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Here in Palm Beach County an estimated 112,981 were diagnosed with diabetes in 2012 according to the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/county.html).

Understanding your risk is the first step in preventing diabetes. Several factors including family history, age, weight and physical activity level can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the diabetes risk test at ymca.net/diabetes.

“In addition to the health risks, type 2 diabetes puts and enormous cost burden on our health care system. In 2012 alone, diabetes cost $245 billion to manage, and that number will only go up without intervention before the disease develops,” said Robin Nierman, Director of Health Strategies, YMCA of South Palm Beach County. “Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity.”

For those at risk for diabetes, the next step is to make the necessary changes to help prevent the disease. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help. Facilitated by a trained Lifestyle Coach, the year-long program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health. The goal of the program is to help adults at risk for diabetes reduce their body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Studies have shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58 percent and by as much as 71 percent in those over age 60.

To date, more than 170 people have participated in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program here in South Palm Beach County.  A past participant who participated in the program at the Peter Blum Family YMCA remarked that her vision for the future had changed for the better after meeting the 7% weight loss goal. She feels more confident and energetic after completing the program.  The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is available at more than 1,700 sites in 47 states. 

To learn more about the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact Robin Nierman at 561-300-3227 or rnierman@ymcaspbc.org.                                                                 

About the YMCA

The YMCA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit social services organization dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. It is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community. The YMCA of South Palm Beach County is comprised of: The Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton, The DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach, The Schmidt Family YMCA Preschool at the Volen Center, the YMCA@901 NCCI, and the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Community Outreach Center at NCCI. For more information please visit www.ymcaspbc.org.

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YMCA of South Palm Beach County to Hold Ribbon Cutting and Community Open House for Boynton Beach Facility Grand Re-Opening

Greater Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce to be part of Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 

Palm Beach County, FL (January 19, 2017) – The YMCA of South Palm Beach County has made a capital investment in renovating their Boynton Beach DeVos-Blum Family Y branch which first opened in 2000.  

To show off the Y’s new look, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be hosted on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2017, from 11am-1pm at the DeVos-Blum Family YMCA branch in Boynton Beach, 9600 S. Military Trail, Boynton Beach, FL 33436.

“We are excited to show off our new Y to the community,” states Executive Director of the DeVos-Blum Family Y in Boynton Beach, Barry Davis.

Renovations include a new performance training area, a newly renovated wellness center with brand new cardio and free weight equipment, updated locker rooms, a new outside patio area, graphic walls, and new tile and paint. 

All are welcome to celebrate the successful completion of the Y’s renovation project. Door prizes, refreshments, on-site demos and tours will take place.

“The Boynton Beach area is a special community and deserves a first class YMCA. With the renovations and the additions to this facility, we are able to expand our impact in the community,” exclaims Davis.

To learn more about the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Boynton Beach Branch including this event, contact Executive Director, Barry Davis, at 561-738-9622 or bdavis@ymcaspbc.org

About the YMCA

The YMCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social services organization dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. It is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community. The YMCA of South Palm Beach County is comprised of: The Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton, The DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach, The Schmidt Family YMCA Preschool at the Volen Center, the YMCA@901 NCCI, and the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Community Outreach Center at NCCI. For more information please visit www.ymcaspbc.org.

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