When it was announced more than a year ago the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties would be building a new Y in Sumner, Becky and Chris Pike and and the couple’s two boys, Bryson and Caden Harmon, became early adopters — pre-registering for a family membership.
Today, the family of four pays $130 per month, and Pike said her family has no regrets about getting in on the ground floor.
“My husband and I work out three days a week at the Y; we do swimming, and I’m trying to get my boys into a summer program (next summer),” Pike said. “It’s definitely really affordable.”
Pike and her family are part of the more than 20,000 members at the Gordon Family YMCA, which celebrated its one-year anniversary on Sept. 15. A membership goal of 15,000 to 18,000 was set prior to opening. By reaching 20,128 members as of Sept. 19, it has surpassed expectations. Of the 20,128 members, more than 7,000 are 18 or younger.
20,128 number of people who became members of the Gordon Family Y since it opened last year
Charlie Davis, president and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties, said the location of the Gordon Family Y is certainly a draw for a lot of people. The 110,000-square-foot, two-story facility draws from Bonney Lake, Sumner and beyond. The facility helps to relieve, somewhat, the increasing membership numbers at the Mel Korum YMCA in Puyallup.
“We took from the zip code between Puyallup and Sumner,” Davis said. “That was an advantage to our Puyallup branch, because it was overcrowded. The Mel Korum branch had 23,000 to 24,000, so that is down to 21,000. It’s a good thing, because people had to drive to Puyallup. This makes it more convenient. People go to where it’s convenient.”
The Y in Sumner features a climbing wall, an aquatics center, adult workout areas, and family areas that all appeal to a lot of people, Davis said.
“The Y is a spectacular facility,” he said.
One integral part to the Y that the people of Sumner pushed for was an arts center that would be available to everyone, regardless of membership. The center incorporates visual arts, dancing, arts and crafts, computer areas, and more. Davis said 110 art classes are provided weekly through the center and approximately 800 people participate weekly.
Our arts program has been recognized as among the best of the YMCAs in the country.
Alex Abplanalp, communications director for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties
“Our arts program has been recognized as among the best of the Ys in the country,” said Alex Abplanalp, communications director for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties.
A second popular program is aquatics, which serves upward of 1,500 per week.
For Pike, joining the Y was literally a lifesaver for her two boys, who both have disabilities.
“We live right on the water on Lake Tapps, so it really scared me that they didn’t know how to swim,” Pike said. “I couldn’t teach them how to swim.”
When Pike and her family joined the Y, they connected with Zack Lisson, the aquatics director, who right away got the two boys, ages 14 and 16, set up with private lessons. Lisson worked with her to identify how her boys communicate and matched two swim instructors with their communication style.
“They worked with me around my schedule,” she said. “We were able to come up with private lessons for both boys to swim together. They have taught them how to swim and to watch them grow and learn how to swim has been amazing.”
Pike, who works full time in Seattle, said the Y is conveniently located near the Sound Transit station.
“I work in Seattle, so I park at the train station,” she said. “I drive to the Y after getting off the train. My husband and I work out in the evenings. We both swim when the boys do lessons. There are so many different options at the Y. My family is feeling healthier — more energy. It’s just a great place to go.”
If you join
Membership rates are posted at ymcapkc.org/join/rates. The Gordon Family Y will waive joining fees starting Jan. 1 as part of a New Year special. If individuals or families cannot afford a membership, financial assistance is available to all. More information is available at ymcapkc.org/join/rates/financial-assistance/.