Skip to main content


Officials, staff and supporters 'top off' Healthy Living project as final ceremonial step before completion

By Joanne Beck
health living topping off nov. 2023
A crane lifts the final beam onto the second floor of the new Healthy Living facility in downtown Batavia during a "topping off" ceremony Monday morning.
Photo by Howard Owens.

About two dozen people — construction workers, staff, donors and officials — braved bone-chilling winds and huddled in the parking lot of the future Healthy Living campus Monday morning to observe a final "topping off" ceremonial step for the project before a ribbon-cutting next fall.

It was an auspicious, though perhaps quiet and unassuming, moment for those who have poured so much time and effort into planning, fundraising, and promoting the impending merged site for United Memorial Medical Center’s Healthy Living and YMCA at 213 East Main St., Batavia. 

“Today is a really important milestone in this project for the healthy living campus and what we're going to be able to do for the community by raising the last beam and taking the next step and getting this project to completion,” said Dan Ireland, president and chief operating officer of the Fingerlakes Rural Hospital for Rochester Regional Health. “Next fall we look forward to cutting the ribbon and really starting to combine services with YMCA.”

Ireland and Rob Walker, CEO of YMCA, spoke briefly about the importance of this event as another marker for a project that will serve the community for years to come. It has taken a lot of fundraising and effort for the facility, and they shared the same excitement for being "poised" to "make a huge difference in the community," they agreed.

“The key thing about today was just lifting up the partnerships, that we’re doing this together. It’s been a long journey through a lot of challenges and COVID, and the cost escalations, but we’ve carried forward,” Walker said. 

The pandemic, supply chain issues and delays have pushed the project cost up to nearly $34 million, up from $33.5 million, he said.

But once completed, it’s going to be a beauty to behold, he said, filled with a children’s Adventure Room, indoor playground, intergenerational room filled with interactive games, a large upstairs track, and swimming pool equipped with underwater benches for swim lessons, a splash pad, and wheelchair and walk-in access.

There will also be universal pre-kindergarten, morning daycare and after school classrooms that will serve the needs of day camp in summer, plus supervised childcare with options for parents to drop off their child for a Friday evening dinner or shopping trip, expanded hours and universal standards to bring everything to beyond Americans with Disabilities Act code, he said. 

There’s an expectation that the current membership of 3,000 is going to double with all of the increased amenities, which include more convenient parking right behind the new facility. 

A larger group of about 100 people stood in a similar spot during a groundbreaking in July 2022. By August of that year, the demolition of Cary Hall, which once housed Healthy Living programs, was a visible cue that another stage of the plan had come to fruition after so much of it had been on paper with grant applications and blueprints and such.

Parking lot grading, building of foundations and then installing the structure all came piece by piece for the 78,000 square-foot facility for the last 15 months, capped off by Monday's traditional beam-signing. That was followed by a crane hoisting the beam up to the second floor and workers putting it into place. 

Defined as an integrated medical and wellness facility, the campus is to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a teaching kitchen, 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. 

The site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, officials have said.

Ireland was reluctant to “put a pin” in the month they would designate for a ribbon-cutting, as construction projects can certainly fall out of line with perfect schedules, he said. But fall of 2024 seems like a safe bet. 

In the meantime, work will continue throughout the winter on the facility’s interior after it is fully enclosed, David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting, LLC said.

Ireland has been pleased with how the project has been moving along lately, he said.

“They’re really working to get anything closed that they need to, and the weather’s been on our side,” he said. “We’ve actually had some pretty decent fall weather, not withstanding the snowflakes today.”

Photos by Howard Owens

health living topping off nov. 2023
health living topping off nov. 2023
Crews with beam at healthy living
Signed beam
Submitted Photo
signed beam
Submitted Photo of signed beam for Healthy Living campus

Program at YMCA helps Batavia soccer players hone their skills during the winter

By Howard B. Owens
batavia indoor soccer

The indoor winter soccer program started on Monday at the YMCA in Batavia, coached by Batavia girls Varsity coach Roger Hume.

He calls the program "club soccer."

It is open to soccer players from third grade through 12th, and it's never too late for a parent to get a child started in the program.  Hume said as long as a class has room, the class is open at any time of the winter, November through March, and there is an open registration time again in January.

JV and Varsity players practice and train on Mondays, junior high on Wednesdays, and elementary school kids on Thursdays.  On Saturdays, all grade levels participate at different times of the day.

Since many of the JV and Varsity players often play other winter sports, the Monday classes tend to thin out once those seasons start, Hume said.

The session starts with some warm-ups followed by skill work, ball handling.

"We want to do a lot of group stuff, too," Hume said. "Then they'll do some scrimmaging at the end. We try to work on teamwork, try to work on passing, receiving. Indoors is good for more skill work and then some passing, the physicality of the game. But you know, you can't mimic what you're doing outside. I mean, I wish we had turf. Yeah, I always say I wish we had turf, but we don't have turf. So we take advantage of what we have."

In February and March, club players typically participate in tournaments. Batavia, Attica, Keshequa, and Byron-Bergen are among the locations of indoor tournaments.

Photos by Howard Owens

batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer
batavia indoor soccer

The GLOW YMCA encourages community members to help others throughout Genesee County

By Press Release

Press Release:

The New Year often brings feelings of positive improvement and change – a time to focus on living a better life and providing support for those around us. As we make our way through the month of January, it’s important to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a pioneer in the world of positive improvement and change, with the celebration of the MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 17.

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others,’” and for nearly 30 years the MLK Day of Service has encouraged individuals to volunteer their time in service to their communities. Here at the GLOW YMCA we’re encouraging everyone to use this day as a call to action to get involved to better our community in 2022.

Volunteering, regardless if the opportunity is big or small, can make a major impact on those around you and helps keep our communities and personal relationships strong. With our community still recovering following the effects of COVID-19, volunteer work is needed now, more than ever. The Y is currently seeking volunteers to assist with fundraising for our new facility, provide mentorship to children in our Y childcare programs (in person or virtually), to coach sports through our Challenger Sports programs, or to make phone calls to our senior members who are practicing social distancing.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the GLOW YMCA and to begin the process of becoming a volunteer, check out the Y’s webpage at

YMCA Summer Rec programs canceled today due to possible thunderstorms

By Press Release

Press release:

Summer Rec at Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert and Williams parks will be cancelled today, Thursday July 29th due to thunderstorm bands expected to hit throughout the day. Summer rec anticipates being open Friday July 30th unless otherwise communicated to families.

Summer Rec will avoid cancelling in advance unless there is a threat of unsafe weather conditions (Flooding, Safety Threat, Heat-Index Risk or Thunder/Lightening storms)

For further questions regarding Summer Rec, please contact the GLOW YMCA (585) 344-1664

Reminder: Challenger Baseball game at Dwyer Saturday before Muckdogs vs. Tarp Skunks game

By Press Release

Press release:

In their continued effort to make an impact in the community, the Batavia Muckdogs have teamed up with the Challenger Division Baseball League to host a game at Dwyer Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 19th.

Challenger Baseball is a community program sponsored by the YMCA and Arc of Genesee & Orleans that provides children in the area with disabilities the opportunity to play organized baseball.

With the generous support of volunteers trained in disability awareness and sensitivity, these athletes who range from ages 5-21 can have the unique opportunity to play the sports they love.

Players, coaches, and other Muckdog personnel will be on the field assisting the game that will be free to season ticket holders and other fans in attendance.

Later in the afternoon, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks will come into town to play the Muckdogs, with the start time of the PGCBL showdown still to be determined.

The rest of the Challenger Divison Baseball League games will be played at nearby MacArthur Park and hosted by Batavia Youth Baseball. They are very excited to have such a special event held at Dwyer Stadium and hope to see the community out to support them.

For any questions about the event or to learn more about the Arc of Genesee & Orleans, please reach out to Director Shelley Falitico at her email,, or on their website.

Go Dogs!

Healthy Kids Day drive-thru event is next Friday behind Jerome Center, also enter coloring contest by March 25

By Press Release

Information provided by Catrina "Cat" Lasher, Birthday Party & Special Event coordinator at GLOW YMCA:

Next Friday, March 26, is Healthy Kids Day 2021 and there will be a free drive-thru event sponsored by the Genesee County YMCA. Healthy Kids Day provides all the ingredients for developing healthy, resilient kids and to celebrate kids being kids!

It will take place behind UMMC's Jerome Center, located at 16 Bank St. in the city.

Get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny and pick up a Healthy Kids Day activity kit (one per vehicle while supplies last).

Registration for the drive-thru is required and will be capped at 100 children. Call the Y at (585) 344-1664 to register.

You can also take part in a special virtual coloring contest to win prizes! Deadline to enter is Thursday, March 25.

There is no limit of participants for the drawing/coloring contest.

We would love for you to share with us something that helps you keep an active and healthy body and mind. In other words, “DRAW A PICTURE OF WHAT HEALTHY MEANS TO YOU.” Include your name, age and phone number.

Here's a link to the coloring / drawing contest form to print out, color, scan in, or take a picture of your drawing and email it to:, or drop it off at the YMCA.

The coloring / drawing contest guidelines are:

  • Open to all community members ages 2-12.
  • Please email pictures of submissions to Catrina Lasher at:
  • Or drop off submissions at the YMCA, 209 E. Main St., Batavia.
  • Two winners will be selected and prize packages will be given to them.
  • Submissions may be displayed on social media.

By the way, the recipe for a healthy kid, according to the YMCA, is:

  1. Start with a tummy full of healthy food.
  2. Stir in a cup of physical activity.
  3. Add a tablespoon of laughter.
  4. Mix in a pinch of curiosity.
  5. Sprinkle with a dash of fun!

Citing 'commitment to the community,' Genesee County Chamber selects Erik Fix as its next president

By Mike Pettinella


Erik Fix believes that the numerous relationships he has forged through his prior professional experience will enable him to successfully navigate the day-to-day tasks as the next president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“Absolutely,” Fix said, when contacted this morning after the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that he will succeed Tom Turnbull, who is retiring after seven years at the helm. “(My former positions) have given me the experience that I have needed -- being involved with the ins and outs of a nonprofit as well as being community based, and I expect to utilize my connections in the community with the Chamber of Commerce.

“I get an opportunity to do that at M&T in some regard, but as far as being involved in the entire county and having a role, there is something I’m looking forward to.”

Currently, Fix is the manager of M&T Bank’s Oakfield branch. He previously served about seven years as the regional executive director of the United Way of Genesee County.

Prior to that, he held several positions with the Genesee Family YMCA, including serving as Genesee YMCA branch manager and director of camping services at Camp Hough in Perry. He began his employment with the YMCA after graduating from Roberts Wesleyan College with a bachelor of science degree in organization management.

A member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2009, Fix is involved in several community organizations, including the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, the YMCA New Branch Development Committee, Genesee County Youth Bureau Board of Directors and the City of Batavia Police Advisory Committee.

He also serves as a volunteer coach for the Byron-Bergen-Le Roy high schools swim team. Fix lives in Le Roy with his wife, Susan, and sons Brady, Jackson and Carter.

Fix said he holds the Chamber of Commerce “in high esteem” and seeks to “continue what Tom had done and his legacy, and move it forward.”

“By starting on the 22nd, this will give Tom and I a week of overlap,” he said. “Tom’s already putting together an orientation packet and things like that to ensure a smooth transition. This is a difficult time, so we want to make sure that we’re moving forward.”

In a press release, Board Chair Danielle Rotondo said the Chamber board is “excited to work with Erik.”

“He brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and a history of commitment to our community. We would like to extended our deepest gratitude to Tom for serving our community for the past seven years,” she said.

Photo: File photo of Erik Fix from 2017.

The YMCA reopens Monday with modifications for safety during coronavirus pandemic

By Billie Owens

From the YMCA:

We are excited to announce the Y, located in Genesee County at 209 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia, will be reopening on Monday, Aug. 31st

The GLOW YMCA will initially have modified hours. Branch hours will be Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. (We will be closed weekdays for four hours in the afternoon for sanitizing and cleaning purposes to ensure safety.)

The GLOW YMCA is reopening safely and slowly, and in a financially responsible way. To do that, we have decided to take a phased approach when it comes to reopening.

We want to ensure you that our staff will be trained on all new safety procedures; our facilities have been deep cleaned; and our equipment has been spaced out to ensure social distancing.

Phase 1: Helping you get prepared for reopening

As our facilities begin to open again, there will be numerous modifications in place to keep our members safe. Specifically, members should expect to see the following:

  • Masks will be required to be worn at all times within the facility by staff and members;
  • Bandanas and gators are not permitted. Masks must cover nose and mouth at all times;
  • Modified operating hours at all open locations;
  • Amenities suspended -- towel service, shower usage, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and coffee service will be suspended until further notice.
  • Pools will be open for lap swim only and will operate on a limited reservation system.
  • Limited Group Exercise classes will be offered with restrictions on space and capacity;
  • Multiple hand sanitation stations throughout the facility;
  • Members will be required to disinfect equipment before and after each use;
  • YMCA members only will be permitted -- no guests -- until further notice. There will be no one-day passes available for purchase until further notice;
  • Increased cleaning frequency;
  • Members who choose to workout in our facilities are encouraged to bring their own workout towel and water bottle. Drinking fountains will not be available;
  • Please note we will only be open to 33-percent capacity in each area of our buildings;
  • At this time for contact tracing, Y members will be required to check in and check out of the building.
  • A YMCA health screening will be required upon each visit to the facility. This can be done with this following link or in person when checking in.

Lastly, the YMCA will be extending all annual membership renewal dates by five months due to COVID-19 shutting our facility down for that duration of time. We will take care of this process internally for you.

We could not be more excited to welcome you back into our facilities after this time apart. Please know that through all of this, we have had the safety and health of you and your family in mind and will continue to do so in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Yours in Health,

Jeff Townsend

Executive Director


Video: Camper Cup at the YMCA Summer Camp

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
.pane-node-body img {background: none !important; border: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; padding: unset !important; padding-left: 1px !important }

In the age of coronavirus, the YMCA has been carrying on with socially distanced summer camps. Kids are taught to use their "alligator arms" to ensure they're keeping their distance from other kids and there's ample sanitizer on hand.

This week, the kids competed in their Camper Cup, an Olympic-style event that culminated in a color run at the Notre Dame High School football field.

YMCA wants you to sign a petition asking Cuomo to allow them to fully open to support community health and wellness

By Billie Owens

From the YMCA of Genesee & Orleans Counties:

Jeff Townsend, executive director of the YMCA of Genesee & Orleans Counties, is calling for public support in asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to let nonprofit organizations, like the YMCA, resume using their facilities to support the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

He wants you to sign this petition to let Governor Cuomo know that communities need their YMCAs to open fully to support the health and well-being of New Yorkers.

"For hundreds of communities across New York, the Y is so much more than gym," Townsend's missive says. "The Y works with vulnerable populations to improve health outcomes, build immunity and reduce the impact of underlying conditions that make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19.

The programs Ys are not able to offer while our facilities are closed include:

  • Arthritis Management Programs
  • Blood Pressure Self-Management Programs
  • Brain Health Programs to Prevent Cognitive Decline
  • Cancer Wellness and Treatment Recovery
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs
  • Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Family Wellness
  • Obesity or Weight-loss Intervention
  • Inclusive Programming for People with Different Abilities
  • Programs for People an Caretakers of Those with Parkinson's Disease

Townsend continues by saying Governor Cuomo's decision to prohibit YMCAs from reopening their membership facilities in Phase 4 jeopardizes the economic viability of one of New York State's largest nonprofit organizations and employers: "While our communities generously support the Y through donations and grants, the Y's membership operations are the primary source of funding for its community work."

To date, New York's YMCAs have lost more than $117 million in membership and program revenue due to the government's mandated closures and capacity restrictions.

Unfortunately, these growing losses hinder the Y's ability to positively impact the health and well-being of more than 1.5 million children, families, and seniors who rely on the Y for everything from childcare and meals, to housing and human interaction, according to Townsend.

Ready to Reopen

YMCAs across the state have worked together to ensure that they are reopening in a safe and responsible manner.

Since closing membership operations in March, YMCAs have renovated their facilities, enhanced cleaning protocols, and physically redesigned spaces in order to create an environment that exceeds the health and safety guidelines from the CDC and State Department of Health. During all these changes, the Y continued to serve the needs of communities across New York State.

Open for Good

While our membership operations have been closed, the Y has continued to safely serve communities throughout the State of New York:

  • 2,500 children of essential personnel served each day at childcare centers during the pandemic;
  • 3,000 children served at YMCA Summer Programs;
  • 30,400 calls and visits to vulnerable populations to check on their health and deliver food or goods;
  • 128,302 meals provided through a variety of food programs and distribution centers.

Safe Today, Safe Tomorrow

The Y has served thousands, safely, during the pandemic. It is clear that YMCAs can run safely and responsibly. Communities needs the Y, and it needs your help to make sure the Y can continue to serve our community today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

GLOW YMCA strives to serve community affected by COVID-19 in new ways

By Billie Owens

Press release:

GLOW YMCA: Serving our communities in new ways

Since 1889, the GLOW YMCA has served our community to meet changing needs. Today the needs are urgent, as COVID-19 and unavailability of community services affects families, seniors and individuals regionally and globally.

Our doors may be temporarily closed, but our mission work continues.

As our staff team has been working to address youth development, healthy living and social responsibility needs in our community, the Y has anticipated a greater need for financial assistance when we are able to reopen.

Last year, the GLOW YMCA gave $227,861 in financial assistance and we will continue to support families and individuals who have been out of work and have experienced a significant loss of income so they are able to receive our services.


Connecting with Seniors: YMCA staff have reached out to our members, making sure they have the resources they need. We are providing moments of connection for this vulnerable population, and combating the negative affects of social isolation.

Virtual Wellness Support: We are providing online wellness content to help people of all ages and abilities stay active from the safety of their homes. Staying active will be critical to emotional and physical health during a stressful time.

Community Resource: We will continue to answer the call from partners to serve as a resource for blood drives, food drives, volunteer support, and more.


Emergency Child Care: As schools and child care centers closed, we transitioned our facilities to provide emergency child care for children of essential personnel so that they can focus on keeping our communities moving forward and safe.

Summer Camp: As we transition into summer camp, our program will help bridge the education gap along with giving the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too.


Preparing for Reopening. Our facilities team is taking full advantage of a completely empty building to increase safety for when members can return, including reconfiguring equipment so people can workout at a safe distance.

At the Y, our mission is to develop the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of all people in an atmosphere of Christian Fellowship. We look forward to opening back up safely for the public but our teams will continue to work to serve our community.


Summer camp for kids offered at YMCA June 29 through Sept. 4

By Billie Owens

Press release:

As with the Liberty Center for Youth, the Batavia City Youth Bureau and Genesee County YMCA are partnering once again to provide a safe child care option for the families of Batavia.

Due to the cancellation of the Batavia Youth Bureau's Summer Rec program until the 2021 summer season, The YMCA will be hosting summer camp at their branch beginning Monday, June 29th through Friday, Sept. 4th.

The YMCA offers a variety of care options to fit each families needs. Thanks to the United Way, the YMCA’s Annual Strong Communities Campaign, and personal donations, the YMCA has the opportunity to offer scholarship assistance to those who qualify.

The YMCA Scholarship Program provides confidential financial assistance for memberships and programs. Additionally the YMCA also accepts child care payment plans through the Department of Social Services. No one is denied services because of inability to pay.

Just as with Summer Rec, participants will still have free access to the summer feeding program being provided by the Batavia City School District with breakfast and lunch daily. Batavia School Nutritional Services is committed to providing well-balanced meals efficiently and effectively, while promoting healthy lifestyle choices, in addition to supporting a nurturing environment.

When a child has access to good nutrition, it empowers students to grow in body and mind. By supporting each building administration’s goals to serve students and staff professionally, we hope to support excellence in nutrition promoting lifelong health and wellness.

For more information on the Summer Feeding Program, please contact School Lunch Director Susan Presher: (585) 343-2480, ext. 1007.

Families may sign up for one week or multiple weeks. Care is offered daily 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. (half-day option runs 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.) for children ages 3-15.

  • Five Day Option, YMCA Member Rate $175, Non-Member Rate $220
  • Three Day Option, YMCA Member Rate $132, Non-Member Rate $165
  • Half Day Option (7 a.m. - 12 p.m.), YMCA Member Rate $70, Non-Member Rate $95

Weekly themes, activities and registrations packets can be found under the summer camp tab at:

For further information on camp programs, membership or financial aid, please reach out to Charitie Bruning, Child Care Director at

Space is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Wegmans pharmacists will be at Batavia YMCA Friday providing flu shots

By Billie Owens

Wegmans pharmacists will be at the Batavia YMCA from 9 to 11 a.m. tomorrow, Oct. 18, to provide flu shots. Pneumonia shots will also be available to eligible individuals.

The flu shots are also available for children ages 3 and up; they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Your insurance provider will be billed; bring your prescription insurance card.

The retail price for the flu shot -- "Afluria Quad" -- is $39.99.

The Batavia YMCA is located at 209 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

Video: Dedication of the Liberty Center for Youth

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
.pane-node-body img {background: none !important; border: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; padding: unset !important; padding-left: 1px !important }

YMCA installs $90K in new cardio equipment

By Howard B. Owens


Today the YMCA in Batavia is getting about $90,000 in new cardio equipment, part of a six-year replacement cycle (with half of the cardio equipment getting replaced every three years).

Delivered today were new Expresso bikes (digital training programs on video screens), recumbent bikes (ideal for seniors and people recovering from injuries), ellipticals, and arch trainers (options for multiple training motions on one machine), as well as new bikes for the spinning class.

Jeff Townsend, executive director, said the new spinning class bikes are state-of-the-art and few facilities have these. They replace 12-year-old bikes.

"Our cycle club and group that will be coming indoors soon is the one that will be pretty excited to get back into indoor cycling with these new bikes," Townsend said.

The only cardio equipment not replaced today were the treadmills and rowers, which were replaced three years ago.



Video: GLOW Corporate Cup 2019

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
.pane-node-body img {background: none !important; border: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; padding: unset !important; padding-left: 1px !important }

John Schnitter, of Geneseo, with a time of 16:32, won the GLOW Corporate Cup 5K in Batavia on Thursday.

Kimberly Tomasik, of Orchard Park, was the top female with a time of 18:36 and a fourth overall finish.

In second place, William Buckenmeyer, of Batavia, with a time of 17:40. In third place, and first in the 18-29 division, Collin Mulcahy, of Batavia, with a time of 18:07.

The second- and third-place women were Liz Bender, of North Chili, 19:04, and Kimberly Mills, of Oakfield, 19:38.

For full race results, click here.

Authentically Local