Because I…


Miguel Godoy is one of our Youth Sports Instructors and will also be a Camp Counselor this summer. He feels that he makes the Y “so much more” because he helps kids reach their social and athletic potential. We are very happy to have him as part of our team!
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Donna’s Walk Across America – Update!

Donna’s 7 month journey is underway. As of today she is somewhere in Idaho. Along the way, she picked up a dog and now has a walking companion! After her start in Oregon, she says some days are more challenging then others. Her goal is to walk approximately 20 miles a day. But as many people know, the Midwest is filled with fields of wheat and corn and probably not the most entertaining things to look at for 20 miles. So some days she walks further than others.

A week or two ago she sent us a tumbleweed! Straight from the streets Oregon! Her daily Facebook and blog posts keep us updated on her whereabouts and what she’s seeing!

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2014 Spring Bling Zumbathon

The Wilson-Gray YMCA hosted its 3rd annual Spring Bling Zumbathon. This annual event offered members an opportunity to make a contribution to the Wilson-Gray’s annual fundraising campaign. The excitement and energy was felt throughout the building as over 150 members danced to fun and inspiring aerobic routines filled with Latin and Caribbean rhythms.  To help support this healthy-living event, Wilson-Grays Healthy Living teen initiative program provided healthy snacks to all. Both members and staff enjoyed the day.  The day ended on a high note with members leaving looking forward to next year’s event.

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Erin-Allyn Lopez is a Preschool Teacher at the Tri-Town YMCA. She feels that she personally makes the Y “so much more” because she impacts the lives of 100 different families daily, promotes living healthy and loving freely, and inspires true friendships and life values.
Because I....


– West Hartford/Tri-Town YMCA

Lizandra Benitez – CASE Award Winner


Lizandra Benitez is an eighth grade student at Catherine M. McGee Middle School where her favorite subject is science. As a resident of Hartford, she is highly involved with several programs at the Wilson – Gray YMCA. In addition to being on the girls’ basketball and track and field teams at the YMCA, she is involved in numerous academic and character building programs.  She is a member of Youth Achievers and a teen incentive program called Y T.I.P. She is also involved in Girls Creating a Future. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and writing.

Since her favorite school subject is science, she was encouraged to participate in the Connecticut Invention Convention. The CIC is an award winning educational organization designed to develop, encourage, and enhance critical thinking skills through invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. The program is open to K-8 student’s state-wide.

For her invention, Track-U-Dazzle, she partnered with Google Maps, Kay Jewelers and Pandora to make a groundbreaking jewelry line. The jewelry helps find missing people and objects using GPS technology.

Along with her jewelry line, she created a Track-U-Dazzle app. Her app will work to locate missing people and objects as long as there is a chip attached to the person or object. Essentially Track-U-Dazzle aids law enforcement in tracking missing or exploited individuals.

Lizandra’s hardwork paid off as she was the recipient of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) award for her invention. We are so proud of her accomplishments!

Congratulations Lizandra!!

Mission Moment at Downtown…..

A teacher called me the other day and told me that she had a student who was very smart and extremely sweet. He had been involved in some kind of violence with some boys and she was very distressed about it. She called the Y seeking help for her student. She wanted to find a safe place for her student to work out and play basketball and thought the Y would be a perfect place.

I suggested to her that Wilson Grey would be a great place for him because they have a teen center and a gymnasium where he could play basketball. She agreed to pay for a youth membership for him out of her own pocket.

The next day the boy came into the Y and she was right, he was very sweet and kind. He had several stitches in his head which I can only guess came from whatever violence he had experienced with these boys. He was delighted to get his membership. Later on that day I sent an email to his teacher telling her that he had come in to get the membership and I told her that he was very lucky to have such a caring teacher. She later emailed back and said “Thank you . . . and thank you for all you and your staff do to try and help these kids.”

Just another reason why we do what we do!! 🙂


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Healthy Kids Day!

Despite the rain, we had a great time at Healthy Kids Day this year. We were planning on holding the event outside, but we made due with the gym and were still able to provide kids and families with a fun and educational day. Camp Jewell brought some adorable chicks, a bunny and two goats, which definitely stole the show. The Bloomfield Police, Moms & More and The Humane Society also came to the event with activities and information for families.

We also had a seed planting station where children could pick from a variety of different healthy vegetable seeds to plant in a cup and take home. Hopefully some families will be able to spend a little less at the grocery store now that they have some freshly grown tomatoes, melons and cabbage at home!

Many different organizations donated “healthy-themed” items for the goodie bags we handed out and we are very appreciative. Everyone we reached out to regarding donations was very willing to give anything they could for the event, which reaffirmed how grateful and appreciative people are of the YMCA and what we do.

-West Hartford/Tri-Town YMCA




Bingo Paint @ Hartford Pre-K

Bingo paint was a huge success and a fun activity to do with our students here at the YMCA program at Hartford Pre-K Magnet.  This was my first time experience Bingo Paint, so my smile was bigger than Aedan’s in this picture. We used aquatic animal shaped paper, like fish, seahorses and turtles and they used the bingo paint and dabbed to their liking! It was an awesome outcome and their animals came out amazing!

Written by Child Care Aide, Chamyra Walton

Bingo Night

The Frat Boys Save the Day!

10155816_775101142508158_6152301070321038224_nAlthough many of you may associate “Frat Boys” with partying and crazy college life …at the Downtown Y we associate them with being awesome volunteers!!!

Several members of a fraternity at CCSU called PHI Delta Theta,(some of which are members of our Downtown branch)have volunteered at both our Mission in Motion cycle-a- thon event and the Color Me Rad event at Rentscher Field this past weekend. To say that we would not have been as successful without their help is an understatement!!! They were absolutely fantastic!! In the past at our Mission in Motion event, it took a long time after the event to move all the spin bikes back upstairs to the facility.. but with a team of guys like this, they had it done in about 15 minutes!!!  As well as that, their help at the Color Me Rad was also greatly appreciated as we received $75 for each of them that volunteered!!

We are extremely grateful for the help they have given us this year and hope that they will continue to support us in the future!!