The weather last Friday may not have been very welcoming, but the sound of laughter and smell of coffee emanating from the First Baptist Church, where the YMCA’s Active Older Adults programming has found a home in Grain Valley, could make any visitor feel warm and welcome.
When the Blue Springs YMCA closed at the end of October, the close-knit group of members who attended Active Older Adult programming found themselves without a home.
Kathy Sather, Active Older Adult Coordinator with the YMCA since 1998. was thrilled the program was able to find a home quickly in Grain Valley.
“The Blue Springs YMCA closed on October 30th and we were up and running here (at First Baptist Grain Valley) on November 4th.
We have been up and running and just staying busy trying to implement programming over here. The church has been tremendous to us,” Sather said.
Long time members and friends Johna Hays, Lillian King, and Lana McGinnis worked on a puzzle while Sather led a Tai Chi for Arthritis class.
“Of course we miss the pool, but we missed our family more. We consider this our community and our family,” member Johna Hays said.
Lana McGinnis believes the programming offered through the Active Older Adults program is vital to keeping seniors active and engaged.
“It means a great deal to me. If you don’t have something like this, even though I have family living with me, I’m sitting there in the living room staring at the TV. I have nothing to do and no one to talk to. But I come down here, and these women are my lifeline to sanity. I don’t think anyone would think that this wasn’t a good thing,” McGinnis said.
Johna Hays and her sister were members at the Blue Springs YMCA and followed the program to Grain Valley when it opened in November.
“When we first joined, we just needed an outlet. We needed a place to go. We were lonely. This is our home and this is our family. Kathy (Sather) has just bent over backwards doing everything she can to keep getting programs going and get new people to come in. She’s just amazing,” Hays said.
Friendships made often extend beyond the time they spend together at YMCA programs.
“When I was sick, they (Johna Hays and her sister) took me to doctor’s appointments, brought over food, and came to visit. I don’t know what I would have done without them. They were my angels,” McGinnis said.
The center is open Monday—Friday from 9:00am—3:00pm. A wide variety of programs are offered, including Tai Chi, yoga, line dancing, Silver Sneakers programming, game days, potlucks, movie days, service projects, Bible study, and regular field trips. An upcoming field trip to the Genghis Khan exhibit is planned for March.
Memberships are $20/month and include all programming, with the exception of fees for field trips and special classes. Programming is held at the First Baptist Church, 207 W. Walnut ST, Grain Valley. There is ample accessible parking on site.
For more information on the Active Older Adults program, visit www.kansascityymca.org/grainvalleyaoa or www.facebook.com/grainvalleyYMCAAOA/.
Members of the Active Older Adults program with the YMCA participated in a Tai Chi for Arthritis class on January 10th at the Grain Valley YMCA at First Baptist Church Grain Valley. Kathy Sather, Active Older Adult Coordinator, leads the class.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
YMCA Active Older Adult program members Lana McGinnis (left) and Lillian King (center) visit and work on a puzzle with fellow member Johna Hays.
Photo credit: Valley News staff