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YMCA opens pool patio

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Photos by Andrew Maciejewski/Huntington Herald-Press CUT:Officials cut the ribbon to open the patio, including (from left) YMCA boardmember Kay Schwob, PNC Bank representative Becky Sheiber, Huntington branch YMCA executive director Ben Davis, Huntington County Medical Society physicians Janelle and Matt Pfleiger and Baker Construction & Design owner Scott Baker. RELAX: Children in the summer camp programrelax on the newly constructed patio at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.
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MILK: Summer campers enjoy the summer sun and their milk, and parents said they are excited
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LUNCH: Alyssa Oprie and her family enjoy their lunch, after the patio offically opened Wednesday.
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Photos by Andrew Maciejewski/Huntington Herald-Press RELAX: Children in the summer camp programrelax on the newly constructed patio at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Parkview Huntington Family YMCA celebrates it’s 10th birthday this year, and in celebration, officials cut the ribbon on their newly constructed pool patio, which will add more space for their growing community outreach programs.

The nearly 400 Huntington County Community School Corporation third graders involved in the free learn-to-swim programing at the YMCA will now be able to enjoy lunch or take a break in the sun outside. More than 100 of those students started without any water skills, as level one, but after three weeks, more than 70 percent of them are on to level two or three, which means they are now water safe.

Parkview Huntington Family YMCA executive director Ben Davis said the students progress is thanks to the hard work of their staff and their dedication to make their pool the place for swimming and water activities in Huntington.

“That is an example of how the Y is not just a place for fun and games, but it is a place where you can learn skills, have healthy behaviors and things that can actually save your life or your child’s life,” Davis said.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s, their YMCA sponsored swimming teams won 10 national championships, and almost 100 of those kids went on to receive scholarships for the skills they learned through their swimming program.

The project was completely funded through donations and grants from local companies. Although their official birthday isn’t until November, Davis said they plan to keep rolling out gifts throughout the year.

One of those gifts includes cosmetic renovations to the indoor pool, which will include an aquatic wall of history to commemorate the accomplishments of their tenured swimming program. They’ve raised nearly $12,000 for that project from their swimming alumni, but they’re still looking to raise a few thousand more.

One of the parents attending the event said her daughter swims at the pool two to three times a week because she’s involved in their summer camp programs. Mandy Riggers said she was excited that she and her husband can enjoy the sun while her daughter swims in the pool.

“I just think it’s great to have something like this is the community,” Riggers said. “They have a lot of kids and they do a really good job of keeping summer programs available, especially in coordination with the school system – the free meals for kids and it’s just a really good part of the community.”