Cape Coral's first YMCA set to open its doors November 1st

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While the rains poured flooded the area Tuesday night, it could not dampen the spirits of the hundreds that attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new YMCA at Kiwanis Hall in North Cape Coral.

The doors on the new club will officially open November 1 and bring with it a variety of programs for all ages. Programs such as dance and karate classes for youths, yoga and pilates for adults and senior exercise classes will be the initial programs the YMCA will have to offer.

The reality of Cape Coral having its own YMCA has been a long time coming, “The YMCA has been around for 160 years. The YMCA in Fort Myers has been there for 45 years. We have never been here. It is time for the YMCA to be here in Cape Coral,” says Director of the Fort Myers YMCA Jim Sanger. “Cape Coral is the largest city in Florida without a YMCA. Many of our members at the Fort Myers YMCA are Cape Coral residents.”

The Fort Myers YMCA will be responsible for running the programs out of the new Cape Coral YMCA. Sanger says the goal of the organization is to become entrenched in the community, “We want to be at the table if there is a need. We want to see if we can help whatever the situation may be. It is about serving people and serve the community, which is why the partnership we have developed with the Cape Coral Kiwanis is so important.”

The Cape Coral Kiwanis opened the doors to their new hall back in July of this year. The club feels the YMCA was a natural fit for their organization, “We are going to see thousands of children served that we could have never reached before. We currently have our Key Club program in the local high schools. That allows us to reach community service minded students,” says Cape Coral Kiwanis President Sam Huber. “Adding a YMCA in Cape Coral allows us to reach out to a whole new group of kids. They may be kids who never cared about community service. They may want to come here for the sports. When we get them here, we are going to be able to reach them and get them involved in the community. It is about giving back. When you give back, you own the community. If we can get the kids to have that mind set, then we have won.”

The excitement over the arrival of the new YMCA was also felt at City Hall, as Cape Coral Councilmen Marty McClain and Kevin McGrail were both on hand to welcome the new club to Cape Coral, “I am very excited about the YMCA coming to our community. This is a perfect support for the Parks & Recreation programs the city is already providing. What we hear at City Hall time and time again is there is not enough things for the youth of Cape Coral to do. Well, with the YMCA, The Bill Austen Youth Center, the Eagle Skate Park, BMX Park, and all of the sports leagues, people cannot say that any longer,” said Councilman McGrail.

The YMCA officially opens its doors November 1 and encourage all of Cape Coral to come out and see what the organization has to offer. Located in the Kiwanis Hall at 306 Santa Barbara Boulevard in North Cape Coral near the SunSplash Waterpark, the club will open its doors Monday through Saturday beginning at 8:00am and staying open until 8:00pm. Individual memberships for the club cost $10, while the YMCA offers a family membership for Cape Coral residents of $20 per year. Classes and programs range in price from $15 to just under $50. For more information on the YMCA and what all it will offer, you can call (239) 275-9622.