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Kiwanis, YMCA celebrate facility opening

By Staff | Oct 19, 2011

Although heavy rains stopped the official ribbon cutting from occurring Tuesday night, the partnership between the Cape Coral Kiwanis Club and YMCA was celebrated at the Kiwanis new facility off of Santa Barbara Boulevard.

Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral Foundation President Sam Huber said Tuesday night was a huge night for the club because they are one step closer to having a quality YMCA program in Cape Coral. He said he cannot wait to see what happens five years from now of what they have accomplished for the youth of the community.

Huber said having a YMCA program at the club helps them reach out to kids that may just want to play basketball.

“We are here doing that we do best is serving the community,” he said.

Huber said the YMCA will help the dropout rate, along with raising the service level because they will reach more children than they may not have been able to before.

Jim Sanger, area president for the Fort Myers YMCA, said the idea about partnering with the Kiwanis Club was born 12 months ago. He said they are a program center offering fitness classes.

“It is a tremendous opportunity,” Sanger said about forming a relationship with the Kiwanis Club.

Although registration for the Cape Coral Kiwanis YMCA has already begun, the official opening day for registration in Cape Coral will begin on Nov. 1. Individuals can register on site at the Kiwanis Club on Monday, Oct. 24, from 5-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 5-7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 27, from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Sanger said the life expectancy has changed with the different younger generation. He said his kid’s life expectancy is expected to be less than his because of childhood obesity and diabetes.

“Our initiatives are addressing that,” Sanger said of the exercise and nutrition programs to be offered.

Some of the programs for November include dance, group fitness classes and karate for those who are 6 years old and older. The group classes include yoga, zumba, step, body pump, core max, Pilates and senior renew and restore.

Youth sports – soccer, cheerleading and flag football – and adult kickball will begin during the spring of 2012.

The tot’s dance class is for children between 2-3 years old and is intended to introduce them to movement, music, singing, tap, ballet and rhythm, along with body discipline and awareness.

The dance program also includes ballet/tap for children between 4-6 years old. It is intended to teach them the fundamentals, principles and techniques, as well as improving their rhythm and musicality.

A leader’s club, which is a volunteer organization that serves YMCA, still is being determined of the launch date. The club is for those 12-17..

Sanger encourages individuals to let them know what the need and want regarding additional programs for the Cape YMCA. He said to make sure they understand those needs, they have a survey circulating as well.

Right now the YMCA is offering a limited number of programs in Cape Coral, which Sanger said will grow as they add more programs in the future.

A Cape member annual family membership is $20, an annual Cape member adult membership is $10 and an annual Cape member youth membership is $10.

The Fort Myers YMCA received its charter in 1966, which has provided services to many Cape Coral families over the years.

Cape Coral Councilman Marty McClain said he has never met an individual like Huber who was more dedicated and determined to make something happen.

“I am very proud of the work that has taken place,” he said about their new facility.

McClain said he cannot say enough about what the Kiwanis Club does for the community.

Kiwanis past presidents also were in attendance during the grand opening of the new building Tuesday night.

Bob Ayers, 1997-1998 president, said bringing YMCA to Cape Coral is an excellent idea, along with being a good marriage. He said the marriage will help the club as well as providing help to YMCA.

“We finally have a place we can locate,” he said about their permanent home.

The 2001 president Betty Nelson said having a home of their own is wonderful. She said they can now serve more children, which is great because that is what they are all about.