The Baytown Family YMCA met with community leaders to discuss ideas of how it can grow its presence in town. Pictured from left, Jocelyn Aguirre of Krisher McKay Realtors; June Tyler of Krisher McKay Realtors; Tiffany Foster, the City of Baytown’s Planning and Development Services director; Susan Plemons, a senior director with the Baytown YMCA; and Kelli Borer, program director with the Baytown YMCA.  

The Baytown Family YMCA has invited some community folks to share their ideas on how to help continue the organization’s growth in the city. 

Some of this includes having a stronger social media presence, partnering with civic clubs, and to let the people of Baytown know its mission of helping children and families is still thriving. 

During a meeting at Luna’s Mexican Restaurant Wednesday, one of the Baytown YMCA’s board members, Councilman Charles Johnson, said the YMCA can get stronger by working together. 

“I want you to realize even though the YMCA does not have a brick and mortar, that does not mean the YMCA is not here,” Johnson said. “I believe both young and old can benefit from the YMCA. We know there is a future for the YMCA here in town.”

DeAndra Edwards-Stanley, executive director of the Baytown YMCA, added the Baytown YMCA had done a lot since losing its building on Wye Drive in 2015. 

For instance, in 2019, the YMCA has taught 103 people through its water safety program at no cost to children who participated in its Day Camp. The ‘Y’ hosted the program at two Baytown apartment complexes. Also this year, over 300 seniors took part in the YMCA’s Active Older Adult program, where they took monthly trips and held holiday celebrations. 

One of the biggest 

impacts the Baytown YMCA made in 2019 was helping 900 students receive backpacks and supplies through its Operation Backpack program. Another 160 children were enrolled in the YMCA’s After School program, where they learned about fostering peer relationships and how to get help for homework. 

Edwards-Stanley said the Baytown YMCA is serving five schools in Goose Creek CISD.

“We also brought back Day Camp, which we haven’t had in over five years in Baytown,” she said. “We are also in four different schools offering free soccer clinics thanks to the Be Well Baytown funded programs we are doing. We are currently at Trinity Episcopal Church hosting our Active Older Adult programs.”

Edwards-Stanley said the YMCA is also offering teen leadership opportunities through its Youth and Government program. 

“At the end of November, we had our district conference and our Baytown team was in the Top 5. This was the first time for them to be there,” she said.

One of the largest fundraisers for the Baytown YMCA is the annual Gator Ride. It will happen again March 7.

“We just want to get the word out that it is alive and well,” June Tyler of Krisher McKay Realtors said. “We are still looking for riders, and we are having the Family Ride for second year in a row.”

Tyler added they are looking for 200 to 300 volunteers. 

Traci Dillard, director of resource development at the United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County, said she would be glad to help the YMCA’s social media presence by sharing what is going on online. 

“Baytown is growing, but it is still a small pond,” Dillard said. “But if you keep your name relevant, people will keep hearing it and seeing it.” 

Tiffany Foster, the City of Baytown’s Planning and Development Services director, said the YMCA should partner with groups such as the Kiwanis Club, the Baytown Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Baytown and the local Pilot Clubs. 

“That is something we could do to get an audience with the Baytown movers and shakers,” Foster said.  

Edwards-Stanley said the more input they receive from community partners, the better chance of the Baytown YMCA will expand its horizons.

“The YMCA values the community’s feedback on ways we can continue to grow, not just grow alone, but grow together,” she said. “But, we cannot do this by ourselves. We need stakeholders and partners that are in this with us. We are looking at how we can grow together.”

If you are interested in partnering with the Baytown Family YMCA, contact Edwards-Stanley at 281-458-7777 or email her at DeAndraE@ymcahouston.org.

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