By: Larry Mitchell
October 8, 2017
As of September 30th, 2017 Tallahassee, FL will not have a YMCA open to the community.
Though the location is borderline relative to our website, Southside Living, being a former employee of the YMCA, I felt it was necessary to express how the YMCA being gone, will affect not just those on the Southside, but in the entire city.
The YMCA may have been located on Apalachee Parkway, but it was a common point for so many in the area, no matter your status to society. The facility offered summer camps, and holiday day care programs, as well as youth sports leagues. What made the difference was all of those programs were available to anybody, many parents were eligible for scholarships, which made the payments for trophies and equipment a lot easier on the pockets.
Those Scholarships were also available to people who just wanted to join the YMCA to enjoy the workout equipment, a heated swimming pool, and the many group exercise classes that aren’t available at many of the gyms located across the city. The YMCA also values on making fitness comfortable for all ages. Majority of the members were older due to the atmosphere of a Golds Gym, or Planet Fitness, make anybody over the age of 40 want to give up all hope of trying to stay fit because of the more youthful crowd, and high paced, new age workout routines that can freak some people out..
How did the State Capitol get to the point of not having a single YMCA? “The board of trustees have decided to close down the Apalachee Parkway location due to financial reasons that can’t be discussed at the time. It truly is a sad time right now, these members, and kids that I have seen grow up over the years are like family to me at this point.” A quote from the former Director of facility Terrance White. Note that one of those board members is Erwin Jackson, Founder of Jackson Properties, and owner of the many Properties located on Jackson Bluff. Mr. Jackson failed to get back with me with a statement. With the closing, an unexpected change is about to happen for the children, and parent, also the elderly that were members.
First off, some of the children have been enrolled in the day care programs, and sports leagues since they can remember and have a special attachment to the YMCA as any one. Taking these affordable programs away of course give parents a task of finding more expensive daycare options that most likely doesn’t come with any type of price reduction. Youth sports is critical for the development of children, the YMCA leagues make it more about the experience in most cases, instead of a winning is the only thing that matters type of youth leagues, that can be crippling to a young mind.
The adult members that attended the Y have more of an adjustment, as many of them had gotten a costumed to a certain schedule to their life, which included the YMCA. I caught up With Pamela White, a member of the YMCA for the last thirty five years, and asked her how she thinks life without the YMCA is going to be? “Well I’ve been a member here for about 35 years, and watched my kids grow up in this place, both of which are in their early 20’s now. So seeing this place close down is definitely hard.” “I’m in my late 50’s, and have gotten used to the machines, the other members, and the great staff. Now that I have to go Golds Gym, way across town, and get used to a whole new atmosphere has my head spinning, I’m not going to lie.”
As a result of closing The YMCA in Tallahassee, FL, the Board of Trustees won’t feel the impact that it has. Now of course it wasn’t the flashiest facility compared to other facilities in various cities affiliated with the YMCA. The many state workers and elderly found the convenience, and home feeling more important than the glitz and glam, of more popular gyms. Now hundreds of children, and adults have to change their entire lifestyle due to “Financial Reasons”, That Board of Trustees does not want to discuss goes against the exact foundation of what the YMCA stands for, doesn’t it?