Rauner Family YMCA Open House welcomes families new and old while looking toward the future
We at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago are proud to share that, after a year of pausing fitness operations while remaining open for crucial child care services, the Rauner Family YMCA will resume the full breadth of its fitness and community programming starting January 2.
On Tuesday, the Rauner Family Y hosted an Open House event for our neighbors in Little Village, Pilsen, and other areas to reengage with their local Y in preparation for the center’s expansion to full operating hours in 2022.
“I am so happy the Rauner Family Y is back!” exclaimed Lizette Garcia, a Gage Park resident. “I really loved the fitness classes and can’t wait to do them again. And when [my son Andrew] was born, the Y became a huge part of his life, too. During the pandemic, my son and I would ride our bikes to stay active but it doesn’t compare to seeing friends at the Y. I can’t wait to see them all again.”
Andrew, 10, seconded his mother’s sentiments, reminiscing about his favorite Y moments. “I have so many great memories from being at the Y,” he remembered. “One year, I won a Monopoly game! I was so happy.”
For many families in the Little Village, Pilsen, Back of the Yards, and Brighton Park neighborhoods, the Rauner Family Y’s Open House event felt like a reunion between friends and fellow community members.
“Thank you for coming back,” David MacWilliams, six-year member and Little Village resident said. “The Y was my whole social life! And then I had to make do with doing online classes in my living room. It’s not the same.”
And the feeling is mutual: We look forward to seeing our Rauner Family Y neighbors back in the center in the New Year, reconnecting with others, and continuing their personal journeys to become the healthiest and best versions of themselves.
“After over a year of scaling down our operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are elated to bring back so many of the programs and services community members have come to love at the Rauner Family Y," said Executive Director Angel La Luz. "With fitness and sports offerings for all ages, child care, mentorship programs, a bilingual Computer Support Lab, and more, our goal is to serve as a safe and welcoming space for local families to engage in all forms of wellness.”
Representatives from the University of Illinois’ 4Hprogram, City Colleges of Chicago Arturo Velazquez Institute, St. Anthony Hospital, and the Chinese American Service League also attended Tuesday’s Open House event, emphasizing the important role community partnerships play in providing the local community with the resources it needs.
Meanwhile, Alderman Sigcho-Lopez, Senator Celina Villanueva, and staff representatives from Senator Dick Durbin, Alderman Michael D. Rodriguez, and Representative Theresa Mah's offices were present, helping us spread the message that the Rauner Family Y is here to be a safe, welcoming place for their constituencies.
We are so grateful to these organizations and elected officials for helping reaffirm the Rauner Family Y’s role as a vital community asset.
The local community can continue to reengage with the Rauner Family Y by stopping by the center during our current limited hours: Monday through Friday 4-7pm and Saturday 10am-2pm until the center resumes full hours on January 2.