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December 6, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, health, batavia, news.


The YMCA received a new electric "stim" bike for people with limited mobility to use to get some exercise.

The bike allows a person in a wheelchair to roll up to the bike, put their feet on the pedals and pedal just like any other stationary bike.

The units cost $13,500 and the new unit at the Y was paid for through funds from the Ricky Palermo Foundation and an anonymous donor.

The Y already had one similar bike in its wellness center, but CEO Rob Walker said the demand for use during peak hours has been greater than the availability. The new bike will help solve this problem.

Batavia is the first Y in the nation to get this particular model.

"The feedback I got yesterday is that there are four benefits," Walker said. "It helps vascular health, which we all know is important. It reduces muscle spasms, which helps them sleeps. It helps with joint flexibility and it helps with muscle tone.

"The indirect benefit, to be honest, is getting them out," Walker said. "Watching them use it, for lack of a better word, it helps with their state of mind."

Photos submitted by Rob Walker.



November 27, 2017 - 3:00pm

YMCA OFFERS THE “GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH” THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Looking for that last minute gift before Christmas is upon us? The Genesee County YMCA, located at 209 E. Main St. in Batavia, would like you to consider giving the “Gift of Good Health” this holiday season.

YMCA Gift Cards can be purchased now through Dec. 23rd, 2017 at the Genesee County YMCA, allowing people the opportunity to give a YMCA membership or program as a gift to loved ones or friends. A gift from the YMCA entitles a friend or family member to become part of an organization that believes in and promotes active and healthy lifestyles, progressive skills development, fair play, family, and character development.

The Genesee County YMCA offers a wide array of programs and services to meet the interests and needs of the entire family from memberships for youth, college students, families and seniors to swimming lessons, childcare, sports and summer camping, there is truly something for everyone at the Genesee County YMCA.

For more information on membership or programs offered at the Genesee County YMCA, please call (585-344-1664) or log on to our website at

October 28, 2017 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, YMCA, batavia, news.











October 11, 2017 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, UMMC, health department, alexander, news.


Families in Alexander have been participating in a special fitness program sponsored by the YMCA, UMMC, County Health Department, and the school district.

The sessions are on Wednesday nights from 6:15 to 7:45 at the school. They started Sept. 27.

"The goal is to keep people moving is the best way to describe the program," said Rob Walker, CEO of the GLOW YMCA.

Photos submitted by the YMCA.






October 2, 2017 - 6:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, glow cup, batavia, business.


Press release:

The fifth annual GLOW Corporate Cup was a great success again this year as close to 900 runners and walkers participated in this 5K event. The goal of this event was for local businesses to form racing teams, compete in a fun atmosphere, and crown a winner of the Corporate Cup.

The race brought in more than $22,000 in support of the GLOW YMCA. This event would not be possible without the support of the premiere sponsor, Merrill Lynch. The money provides support to the YMCA’s scholarship program. At the Y, no one is turned away due to the inability to pay. Last year the Y provided more than $200,000 in scholarships to youth, families, and seniors in need of support to better benefit their lifestyles through health and wellness.

Part of the GLOW Corporate Cup race is for local businesses to design T-shirts to show their creativity. The first place T-shirt winner receives a $500 donation to the charity of their choice. Sharpe Training LLC won the T-shirt contest and owner Holly Sharpe graciously donated the $500 back to the YMCA.

The YMCA would like to extend its deepest gratitude to both Merrill Lynch and Holly Sharpe for their donations and dedication to the Y scholarship program.

Pictured above are Chris White, Holly Sharpe, Rob Walker and Olivia Rogers.

September 25, 2017 - 11:37am
Submitted photo and press release:
The month-long Challenger Tennis Program is in its third week. This collaborative community program offers children with disabilities, ages 5-21, a fun adaptive tennis program in a success-oriented atmosphere.
The first session was held Sept. 10. It's held for four consecutive Sundays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Batavia High School tennis courts.
A "Tennis Carnival" is scheduled at the program's conclusion on Oct. 1.
Collaborative partners are the Batavia Youth Bureau, which is the lead facilitator of the program, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Genesee County YMCA and the U.S. Tennis Association Eastern/Western Region.
A total of 10 athletes are participating this year alongside volunteers from area high schools, Genesee Community College and the community. Volunteers attended training, facilitated by Shelley Falitico, director of Development at Arc Genesee Orleans, on disability awareness and sensitivity training.
The tennis players begin each session with a warm up and do some stretching exercises. They rotate through adapted tennis activity stations, addressing skills such as balance, hand-eye coordination, team work, speed and agility, accuracy and movements forward, backward and side-to-side.
The Oct. 1 "Tennis Carnival" will offer the participating athletes an opportunity to earn "Challenger Cash" at each station and buy prizes such as tennis racquets, tennis balls, board games, candy, kites, movie DVDs, books and more.
The next Challenger sport to be offered will be basketball, beginning in November. Community members interested in volunteering, including college and high school students looking for community service hours, are welcome to donate their time for a Challenger sport. It's a great experience for all involved!
For more information, to register or to volunteer, call the YMCA at 344-1664.
August 25, 2017 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in racism, YMCA, batavia, news, notify.


More than 200 local residents came together Thursday night at the YWCA on North Street, Batavia, to share words of peace and unity in response to the message of hate and bigotry in Charlottesville, Va., two weeks ago.

Speakers expressed both hope that our society can learn to live in harmony, and anger at chanted slogans and actions of the white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville.

Rev. Sheila Campbell recalled the murder of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who was killed when a car allegedly driven by a white supremacist drove into a crowd of people, whom she celebrated as a hero who confronted the reality of injustice and inhumanity.

The last social media post by Heyer, Campbell said, was, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Heyer, she said, was paying attention.

"The call for the removal of the Confederate statue was a cry for help and she responded in love by standing on the line of justice and equality," Campbell said. "Heather chose to stand on the side of that which unites humanity, which is encased in compassion and empathy. She made the ultimate sacrifice and her name will be forever etched in the annals which recall the blood of the slaughtered voices of justice."

Diana Kastenbaum, a Batavia resident and local business owner, openly confronted her own fear and anger sparked by what she saw on TV in Charlottesville and what she judged to be an inadequate response from some elected leaders and some in the media.

"Don't kid yourself," Kastenbaum said. "This march was not about statues and permits. It was about a group of people marching for equality and another group marching for superiority. There is no moral equivalency."

There were those, she said, who were slow to denounce the bigotry and hate, and even those who did denounce racism while glossing over the overt anti-Semitism, such as the neo-Nazis marching with tiki torches chanting, "Jews will not replace us."

She recalled driving to work the Monday after the protests and seeing two different pickup trucks driving in Batavia flying the Confederate flag from poles in the beds of their trucks.

"One pickup truck was parked in the same driveway of the house where three men on a darkened porch Heil Hitlered my family and I as we left Rosh Hashanah services last year," Kastenbaum said. "From that incident, I knew they were anti-Semitic. Now I know they are also racists. I wondered how many more Confederate flags I would see that day."

Brandon Armstrong, a local business owner, said he came to say a few words about racism.

"I can live my life and not worry about someone who hates me, but I need to know if I go to apply for a job am I going to get the same treatment as everyone else?" Armstrong said. "And if I do get the job, am I going to be treated fair or am I going to get the loan from the bank? See, it's not all about hate."

He said there needs to be a better understanding, and a better response, to what it is that holds poor minorities back from greater achievement, whether it's what they can and should do for themselves, or what needs to be done to help those who can't help themselves.

Other speakers included Father Ivan Trujillo, Dr. Mohammed Rumi, Pastor Jim Renfew, Pastor Ruth Warner (who also played a rendition of "What a friend I have in Jesus" on her oboe), Stan Schumann, president of Temple Emanu-El, and Jeannie Walton, director of the YWCA.

Rev. Roula Alkhouri, of First Presbyterian Church of Batavia, one of the event's organizers, helped open and close the vigil.

She said she was stunned about the news coming out of Charlottesville two weeks ago.

"I didn't know how to respond," Alkhouri said. "I was afraid. A part of me was afraid. As a woman. As an Arab-American. I thought of the fear that people like me experienced because of the hate of others. So I didn't know what to say, what to do. How do I respond? Do I even dare speak up? But then my faith, the example of Jesus in my life led me to say you have to speak up. You have to say something, you have to stand up for what is right.

"And these words from Romans 12:21 came to me. 'Do not overcome evil by evil but with good.' And so I thought what is good in this moment? I thought of the good that comes from us coming together, our standing and say we can love across the boundaries that separate us or seem to separate us, of race, of religion, of different wants or thoughts or political persuasions. We can come and say hate has no place in our country."


Rev. Sheila Campbell


 Rev. Roula Alkhouri


Pastor Ruth Warner


Father Ivan Trujillo



Brandon Armstrong


Stan Schumann



July 1, 2017 - 3:00pm

Try the Y in July! Stop in at the Genesee County YMCA and try the Y in the month of July! Starting July 1st when an individual mentions this promotion they will receive a Class Pass to try any of our group exercise classes five times for free! If an individual uses all 5 punches on their pass card and decides to join the YMCA we will waive their Joining Fee as well (a savings up to $75).

The YMCA also offers scholarships to help subsidize membership dues for individuals and families who qualify. If you have any questions, contact Josh Bender at 585-344-1664 or [email protected]

June 30, 2017 - 6:30pm

Try the Y in July! Stop in at the Genesee County YMCA and try the Y in the month of July! Starting July 1st when an individual mentions this promotion they will receive a Class Pass to try any of our group exercise classes five times for free! If an individual uses all 5 punches on their pass card and decides to join the YMCA we will waive their Joining Fee as well (a savings up to $75).

The YMCA also offers scholarships to help subsidize membership dues for individuals and families who qualify. If you have any questions, contact Josh Bender at 585-344-1664 or [email protected] 

June 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

Try the Y in July! Stop in at the Genesee County YMCA and try the Y in the month of July!

Starting July 1st when an individual mentions this promotion they will receive a Class Pass to try any of our group exercise classes five times for free! If an individual uses all five punches on their pass card and decides to join the YMCA, we will waive their Joining Fee as well (a savings up to $75).

The YMCA also offers scholarships to help subsidize membership dues for individuals and families who qualify. If you have any questions, contact Josh Bender at 585-344-1664 or [email protected]

June 9, 2017 - 12:00pm

YMCA Summer Camp 2017 registration is underway! Register today for YMCA Kinder Camp or traditional Day Camp. Spaces are limited and programs fill up fast. This summer's dates are from June 26th – Aug. 25th. You can register for a week or as many as you’d like.

•  Kinder Camp is for children ages 3 to 5 and is ideal for families looking for safe, structured play this summer. Kinder Camp fosters social development, problem solving, team building and self-esteem. With two options to choose from, 5 day or 3 day, we have something to fit the needs of all parents.
•  Traditional Day Camp is for ages 6 – 12 and is the perfect place for children to have a fun and safe summer. Day Camp allows children to grow and thrive while working with peer groups and enjoying a variety of both indoor and outdoor games and activities. Each week is based around a special theme and we offer age-appropriate activities like sports and games, arts and crafts, weekly field trips, swimming and more.

Our caring and nurturing staff are carefully selected based on their previous experience and schooling. This ensures that our staff is the perfect fit for making your family's summer experience one you will never forget.

YMCA Day Camp is certified by the New York State Health Department and we adhere to strict safety regulations. Register for one week or join us for all nine. The YMCA offers flexible enrollment and payment plans to fit the needs of any family. The Y also provides scholarships to those who qualify which makes YMCA summer camp one of the most affordable options around. For more information on the YMCA’s summer camp programs or to register, contact the YMCA at 585-344-1664 today.

June 6, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, batavia, news.

Press release:

The GLOW YMCA on Tuesday announced record-breaking support as they raised just over $100,000 in its Annual Strong Communities Campaign, exceeding a $91,000 goal.

“This year’s contributions shattered our expectations! We had so much incredible support. I would like to publically thank the more than 500 donors that helped us to make this happen,” said Rob Walker, CEO of the GLOW YMCA.

The Genesee Branch specifically raised $38,613 or 108 percent of its $36,000 goal. With 90 new donors and 158 renewed donations , a total of 248 generous donors helped to achieve this year’s local campaign record. The money raised helps the YMCA meet its charitable mission by offering scholarship support to children, families and seniors in our community that otherwise could not afford to experience the many benefits of the YMCA.

YMCA Camp Hough also had a record-breaking year; exceeding its campaign goal by 112 percent and doubling its donor support!
As a leading nonprofit for strengthening community, gifts made to the Annual Strong Communities Campaign help the Y advance programming and services that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. More importantly, 100 percent of gifts made will make a direct impact on the residents in our communities.

To find out more about how you can help volunteer for the Annual Campaign at the Y or to make a donation that will have a meaningful, enduring impact right in your own community, visit or call the GLOW YMCA at 585-344-1664.

April 20, 2017 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, news.


The Batavia YMCA Preschool Team presented a check to Rob Walker, CEO of the GLOW YMCA, and Paul Marchese, board chairman, in the amount of $1,000 to be donated to the Y's annual Strong Communities Campaign.

A special thank you to all of our students, families and our teachers for their donations and commitment to raising charitable children.

Submitted photo and information.


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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