Washington Community Y

Wellman Parkside Y


                            Message from Becky Harkema, CEO 



One month ago our aquatics director took a new position at another YMCA near her hometown in Michigan. Losing a department head staff person always makes me nervous but this time it has been a blessing. The blessing in it all is that I have gotten the chance to supervise a wonderful group of aquatic staff. These employees include: Pam Perdock, Mike Murphy, Christian Thomas, Alex Coker, Daniel Wright, Ransom Adams, Tara Ryan, Lyndsay Adrian, Devin Ulin, Erin Almelien, Brittanie Adrian, Mackenzie Adrian, Brenda Adrian and Angie Staley. They all have been very responsive, eager to do their best and like to have fun. Matter of fact, I don't know when I have laughed as much when we all joke with each other. The other blessing is that I am getting to know more members. It is funny to think that I may only know a member by the color of his/her swimsuit. It reminds me that some members may only know me in running clothes and wearing glasses. So this fun experience has helped me chose my three stories this month.


Healthy Living:

Erin Almelien came to us about offering an Aqua Zumba class. I didn't know anything about it but thought, "What the heck, it sure sounds like fun". Well, fun has arrived! The class started March 15 with 25 people quickly registering and more on a waiting list. It has been great to see so many people in the pool and hear the music blasting to my office. On April 12 two participants, Amanda Goldsmith and Lorraine Hardt, were recognized for perfect attendance. (So let me know how you like your really cool YMCA glasses, Amanda and Lorraine) Our new spring session begins on April 15 and we now have offered another class so you can see Aqua Zumba on Monday/Wednesday at 6:15pm or Tuesday/Friday at 6:30pm.  


Youth Development:

Many of you know Mike Murphy. You probably know him best because he has taught your kids to swim. Each session he instructs over fifty children. Mike does this in a fun manner and is always smiling. What impressed me the most is the impact he had on a little swimmer named Ben. Ben had a bad experience at a lake so his grandparents brought him to the YMCA to get over his fear of the water. Mike did just that and Ben is now swimming with one cube on his back, easily puts his face in the water and can flip over on his back to rest. At the end of the day this is one of the most important skills that swimmers can learn.  


Social Responsibility:

On April 9, 2013, I had the pleasure of being present at the dedication of a plaque in Cornelia S. Day's honor. This plaque is hung in the lobby of the YMCA next to the daycare center. I didn't have the chance to meet Cornelia but listening to the stories from her friends she truly made a difference in the lives of so many people. They spoke about how she impacted women to become strong leaders and her love for the daycare. She was involved in many projects throughout Washington. That day was particularly nice because I also got the chance to meet the women involved in the YWCA board. They are all wonderful people! Below are a couple of pictures of that fun day.



New Pool Schedule
"Be ready when opportunity comes...Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet."

  --  Roy D. Chapin, Jr.

Becky Harkema                                                 
Washington Community Y