On Dec. 21, the YMCA reopened for the second time with some changes in procedures in the interest of health and safety. See the website at fergusfallsymca.org for details. 

Despite all the changes and restrictions, programming continues to be available to the community.


Y specials

Pay the Day, a membership special, is being offered during January. The joining fee is the date on the January calendar. Join Jan. 10 and it is $10; join Jan. 20 and it is $20. See the website or stop by to join. Also personal training is being offered at a 10% discount.


SAIL through the winter

A new fitness class, SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life) is being offered by the Y. The class will be offered on Zoom in order to comply with current restrictions due to COVID.  SAIL is a fitness class with goals of increasing strength and balance, designed for those 65 years of age and older.

Balance as one of the goals is included to decrease the likelihood of falling as falls are a major threat to the health and independence of older adults. Other benefits to taking the class are increased energy and strength, improvement in flexibility and even sleeping better. 

All that is needed by participants, in addition to a device on which to access Zoom on the internet, is an area six feet square in front of the device, a sturdy chair with no arms, and good workout shoes. Some of the exercises involve using weights; the weights will be available on loan from the Y. 

Yvonne Hanley was recently certified to teach the class and is the instructor. Hanley says, “After retiring from dentistry, I want to help folks with their strength and fitness. COVID and gym closure have interfered with that goal, so this class is perfect for now.” 

The class will be better than a YouTube exercise video as it will be interactive between the instructor and the participants. This will allow Hanley to adjust the instruction and the pace as needed. Also, a few minutes are allowed at the end of each session for discussion with the instructor. 

There is no charge for SAIL and Y membership is not required. The class will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. starting Monday, Jan. 11, and ending March 5.  An optional session to practice navigating Zoom will be held Friday, Jan. 8, at 10 a.m. 

For more information and to register contact Stacey Vaughn, health and wellness director, at 218-739-4489, ext. 205.

What better way to spend three hours a week, without having to go out in the cold, than sharing time and energy with others in the interest of good health?


After school child care news

The Y continues to offer after school care Monday through Friday. When school is not in session, like over the holidays, the care is available full days.

In 2020, the child care program received a grant from Otter Tail County to cover expenses related to COVID. With the money the program purchased cubbies with doors to keep each child’s possessions and supplies in their own locker, new tables and chairs to enable required spacing, supplies, like pencils and markers, so children would their own supply.  

Also purchased was a sprayer for sanitizing equipment to help alleviate exposure to COVID. The sprayer makes sanitizing the lockers, and other items like toys, tables, and chairs faster and easier. The drying time is short so the sanitized items can be available for reuse quickly.

Nicole Washek, youth and family director, says she is looking forward to the time when full operation can be resumed so more children can be accepted for after-school child care and family life programming expanded.


Upcoming events

Jan. 4 – Group fitness classes resume.

Jan. 11 – Pool opening for lap swim and water fitness classes.

Jan. 1-31 – Membership special; Pay the Day joining fee.

Jan. 1-31 - 10% off personal training packages.


Y’s Folks Club

Of course, the Y’s Folks still are unable to meet. The election of officers normally occurs in December. The current officers have agreed to remain in their positions until the club is able to resume meeting. 



Emily Stawarski, membership and marketing director, says “The Y is open again and we are ready to serve the community. Fitness center restrictions aren’t preventing us from looking for new and innovative ways to help our members stay active and healthy.”


Mary Worner is a past president of Y’s Folks.


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