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A Place where everyone can join hometown activities

Written by Mike Siroky. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on February 17, 2011 with No Comments

By Mike Siroky
For many people, the local YMCA is a familiar part of their lives.
For the Hobart YMCA, it is a family gathering place.
But the YMCA remains faithful to its mission of providing family fun.
It is a hometown tradition that started around 1957. The current building has been in use since 1967, with a major upgrade ñ the fitness center and new gymnasiums ñ in 2000.
Dale Polomchak, the executive director of the Hobart YMCA, is proud that the group has been able to maintain enrollment despite the tough economy.
ìThe best we could hope for was to maintain the status quo,î Polomchak said. ìWe have been fortunate to see no real decline.î
As the economy ticks upward, he expects enrollment to climb because of the friendliness of this community gathering place. Members often double as cleanup crews, so proud are they of their facilities.
ìIn rural areas, even southern Indiana, the YMCAs are it for athletic activities independent of schools,î Polomchak said. ìWhen I grew up in Gary, most everyone learned to swim at the downtown YMCA; in that grand old gothic building. I run into a lot of people who reminisce about their childhoods there.î
Family memberships make up about 55 percent of the Hobart facility.
ìWe didnít have a whole lot of programs to draw new people in,î Polomchak said.
He and his board of directors have changed that in Hobart, as he said they are shifting towards the dynamic of the families of the YMCA. They are drawing a new generation as well as the next generation to the facility with unique offerings.
For instance, the pool is heated and that draws children and adults in on a cold winterís day. A warm-water pool is also excellent for arthritis patients, whom this YMCA offers programs for.
There is plenty of time for open gym, with side-by-side full basketball courts available during daytime hours and whenever the leagues do not use it in the evenings.
Every Thursday night, for instance, is open adult volleyball, with non-members invited to play for a $5 fee.
For more information or to register for any of the programs at the Hobart YMCA, located at 610 W. 40th place, just off Wisconsin Street, call 219-942-2183 or visit www.hobartymca.org.

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About Mike Siroky

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the above excellent column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Mike Siroky is a writer and editor. He is a native of Northwest Indiana. He has worked in media from coast to coast. To contact Mike, email mikel@the chronicleNWI.com

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