Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Gearing Up for the Best Summer Ever

2014-06-27_AOF_16523_CMYK Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Gearing Up for the Best Summer Ever

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YMCA Summer Day Camp keeps kids moving, exploring and learning all summer long

At the end of the summer, families want to hear their child had “the best summer ever.” To help make that happen, the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is offering Summer Day Camp, keeping kids adventurous, active, engaged and healthy all summer long. YMCA camp programs offer youth fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime.

Summer is the ideal time for kids to get up, get out and explore. But for some kids, summer means no access to recreational and educational activities to help them learn, grow and thrive during out-of-school time. As a result, some kids can experience learning loss and gain weight twice as fast than during the school year. Attending the YMCA Summer Camp is a wonderful opportunity for kids to keep their minds and bodies active.

“It’s imperative that kids stay engaged socially, physically and academically throughout the summer. Summer Camp is a wonderful way to ensure that,” says Theresa Haynes, Youth Services Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA.  “In our Summer Day Camp, kids are in a welcoming environment where they can belong, they’re building relationships, developing character and discovering their potential. We really encourage parents to give their kids the gift of camp to keep them active and engaged all summer long.”

Ms. Haynes says there are five reasons why children should attend summer camp:   

  1. ADVENTURE: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of new experiences and exploring the outdoors. YMCA camps have a new adventure for every child and teen. Visit ymca.net or mgcymca.org for details.
  2. HEALTHY FUN: Day camps offer fun, stimulating activities that engage the body and mind, and also help children learn the importance of nutrition to help improve their healthy eating habits.
  3. PERSONAL GROWTH: While in the welcoming environment of camp, youth have a chance to learn new skills, and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Camps offer cognitive learning and social-emotional development opportunities for achievement.
  4. FRIENDSHIPS: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, and talent shows, campers meet new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The bonds formed at camp are important and lasting for many youth.
  5. MEMORIES: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories (and camp traditions) that will last a lifetime. Youth return to school with plenty of camp stories to share!

The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA offers Summer Day Camp at the following locations: The Taconi Elementary building in Ocean Springs, East Hancock Elementary in Kiln, and the Vancleave YMCA Day Camp building located in Vancleave behind the United Methodist Church. And, to ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp, the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA offers financial assistance to those in need.

A leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of youth, the Y has been a leader in providing summer camp for over 131 years. The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA continues to give youth an enriching, safe experience with caring staff and volunteers who model positive values that help build their kids’ character.

For more information, visit mgcymca.org or contact Theresa Haynes at thaynes@mgcymca.org or 228-875-5050.

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YMCA Offers Parkinson’s Fitness Class

Beginning May 17, the YMCA, along with Encore Rehabilitation and Singing River Health System, will be offering a specialized group fitness class for anyone with Parkinson’s.  The class will be held every Thursday from 2:00-2:45 pm at the YMCA in Group Fitness Room 1.  The class is free for YMCA members and $20/month for non-members ($10 for May).  For any questions, please contact Jodi Ryder, YMCA Community Impact Director, at jryder@mgcymca.org or 228-875-5050.

2015-06-22_EF-Group2_CMYK_0218-300x200 YMCA Offers Parkinson's Fitness Class

 

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Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

Pascagoula-Arts-Center-Rendering Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District recently began construction on the new Performing Arts Center on the Pascagoula High School grounds. When completed, it will be the most high-tech performing arts center on the Gulf Coast besides the Hancock Performing Arts Center in Hancock County. The center will cost $14.7 million and will be owned by the school district.

Construction has already begun and is set to be completed around Christmas 2019, according to Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. 

The center will have a surround sound movie projection system, a rear projection system with the ability to digitally project a backdrop, space for a 160-piece band on the stage as well as proper floor capacity for dance performances. It will have more than 700 seats with wider seating than traditional performing arts centers, three classrooms, a catering kitchen, warm up rooms and a beautifully designed foyer area. The entire building will be able to be operated by an iPad.

All of these add up to many uses for the center including youth and children’s groups showing movies, orchestra and band performances, dance shows, church groups, banquets, large-scale meetings, and many more. Rodolfich said the goal is to make the space available to anyone in the community that wants to use it.

“It’s just going to be a game changer for this community,” Rodolfich said. “We saw this as an opportunity not only to improve the quality of life for the children of our district but also to improve the quality of life for the people of Pascagoula, Mississippi.”

It was important to have the center on the school’s campus so that the students can walk to it from the school and that certain classes can have class in there during the day.

“We’re trying to build venues around our children,” Rodolfich said, adding that having the center on the school’s property will make it easier for them to secure the facility and maintain it.

The Performing Arts Center is part of the PGSD’s Strategic Plan. It has been discussed for years and now the school is moving forward. In fall 2017, the school district asked for a 4-mill tax hike to pay for the facility. This was put on hold in September but reinstated in March 2018.

“It’s a time where Pascagoula needs to put as many amenities in place as possible. It’s a great investment,” Rodolfich said. “That facility will be here for years to come for children and adults, and it will really be an asset to this community.”

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Blues at the Beach Continues This Friday

Blues-at-the-Beach-Crowd-Use Blues at the Beach Continues This Friday

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The next Blues at the Beach show will be held on Friday, May 11, at Pascagoula Beach Park from 6 to 8 p.m. with local band Slick Radio performing. The show is free and open to the public.

This is the seventh year for Blues at the Beach programming and attendance has steadily increased each year. The monthly events held annually during the summer months are planned by Emerge Pascagoula as a way to help the local community kick off the weekend.

“It’s a free music event to bring locals of all ages out into the community as well as to showcase some of Pascagoula’s great outdoor venues,” said Landon McCarty, Emerge Pascagoula co-chair. “It’s a great transition on Fridays between work and a night on the town.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair and can bring food, beverages, and spirits to the show. The events are family friendly.

This year’s summer schedule kicked off in April with the Truitt Williams Band. June’s show will feature Ric McNaughton from Mobile on June 8. On July 13, Black Water Brass will be playing, and Deuces Wild will play on Aug. 10.

Emerge was formed under the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s Pascagoula Area Council. Emerge exists to recruit, develop, connect, retain, and empower emerging leaders to improve the quality of life in Pascagoula by advancing the group’s interests into real changes that will make the city a better place to live, work, and play.

For more information on upcoming shows and locations, find Emerge Pascagoula on Facebook. You can also email emergepascagoula@gmail.com to get on the monthly newsletter list.

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Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Takes on Childhood Obesity with New Program

HWYC-jpeg Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Takes on Childhood Obesity with New Program

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Healthy Weight and Your Child pilot program aims to get kids and families to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.

Ocean Springs, MS, April  23, 2018 – This summer, the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA will begin offering Healthy Weight and Your Child, a pilot program designed to empower children between the ages of 7-13, with the support from their families, to reach a healthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is one of 10 YMCA’s in the U.S. to run this pilot program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States – triple the rate from just one generation ago. Today, one in six children are obese and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for a number of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and mental health issues.

 

 

“The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA has a long history of advancing the health and well-being of children on the Gulf Coast, and helping children reach a healthy weight is important now more than ever,” said Jodi Ryder, Community Impact Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA.  “Healthy Weight and Your Child will help children experience improved health outcomes and higher self-esteem, and families will feel empowered to make and support healthier choices.”

The 25-session program engages the whole family, so together they can understand how the home environment and other factors influence the choices that lead to a healthy weight. Additionally, the program combines three elements of healthy eating, regular physical activity and behavior change.

Made up of groups of eight to 15 children and their parents/caregivers, the program creates a safe, fun, and active environment for children and their families to explore and adopt proven methods to living a healthier lifestyle. Sessions are two hours in length, with the first hour delivered in a classroom setting and the second hour focusing on physical activity.

Children eligible for the program must be between the ages of seven and 13, have a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, receive approval from their doctor or a health care provider, and accompanied by a parent or caregiver at every session.

The YMCA will be holding an informational meeting for anyone interested in participating in Healthy Weight and Your Child at the Blossman Family Branch YMCA, 1810 Government St., Ocean Springs, MS, on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 5:00pm.

For more information including program qualifications and session times, contact Jodi Ryder at 228.875.5050 or jryder@mgcymca.org.

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1699 Weekend of Discovery: Celebrating Our Heritage

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Ocean Springs – In 1971, a group of dedicated citizens formed the 1699 Historical Society in order to preserve and celebrate the unique culture and history of Ocean Springs and the surrounding Gulf Coast.

Every spring, the Society stages a dramatic reenactment as the showcase of its annual “Weekend of Discovery.” The event brings to life the April 1699 story of Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville and his armada of ships sailing into Biloxi Bay. Commissioned by King Louis XIV to explore the shores of the upper Gulf of Mexico, he and his expedition crew first discovered Ship Island before stumbling upon a high, defendable bluff, known today as Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Stopher Haug, chairman of the event this year, believes it’s important to help the public realize the significance of the landing. “I think that the culture and the heritage and influence that the d’Iberville landing had on the Gulf South in 1699 is essentially equivalent to the Jamestown landing in the Northeast back in 1603,” said Stopher. “So we’ve worked hard to try to get that message out and bring the history to life.”

The weekend kicks off Friday night with the Mary C. House Party featuring the Mardi Gras Indian Collective from New Orleans. Admission to the event is free, but donation opportunities abound with a full bar, art auction, and a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament. Festivities resume Saturday morning and include a 5K race, kids fun-run, paddleboard races, pet parade, a regatta at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club and will wrap up with the 1699 d’Iberville reenactment. Haug says he hopes everyone goes back home having had a great time at the event, but also with a greater knowledge and appreciation for the significance of the 1699 landing. “One thing that we would like folks to be aware of is that we’ve partnered with the Vancleave Live Oak Choctaw, who descend from original native Americans that were here in 1699. We’ve been working with them to try and bring more authenticity and historical accuracy to the reenactment this year and to recognize their culture and contributions as well.”

Everyone is invited to join in this exciting time and become a part of this commemorative celebration!

Learn more by visiting www.1699landing.com

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Donate Stuffed Animals Friday in Ocean Springs

Five-Days-of-Action-1 Donate Stuffed Animals Friday in Ocean Springs

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The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA has partnered with Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Inc. to collect toys for children who have been adopted from the local foster care system. CASA will be collecting large stuffed animals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blossman Family Branch YMCA on Friday, April 20.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and YMCAs across the country are participating in Five Days of Action from April 16 to 20 to raise awareness about how to prevent child sexual abuse. The local five-day awareness event concludes Friday with the toy drive.

“April is a perfect time to share with our community what everyday citizens can do to help,” said Frances L. Allsup, executive director of CASA, an agency of United Way for Jackson & George Counties. “The number of children in Jackson County coming into care continues to grow and we aim to meet that need. Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent, trained adult to help them find a safe, loving home where they can heal and thrive.”

 

 

Allsup continued that they collect stuffed animals as a way to help these children simply be children and to provide them comfort with something familiar, such as a teddy bear. The stuffed animals and toys collected will go to the children that CASA serves.

Theresa Haynes, youth services director for the Blossman Family YMCA, said that they have a goal in mind for the number of stuffed animals they hope to collect during Friday’s event. “We would be very happy if we could get 100,” she said.

The Youth Services Department has displayed child abuse prevention boards at the Blossman Family YMCA this week during the Five Days of Action. Throughout the month of April, CASA is calling on members of the community to help their program serve more of Jackson County’s most vulnerable children.

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March of Dimes to Hold Biggest Annual Fundraiser

Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on April 21, 2018 at Point Cadet in Biloxi for March for Babies, which bands communities together to fight for the health of all moms and babies.

This year’s South Mississippi Ambassador Family is the Broome Family. In 2017, Muffy and Robby were starting their family. But their baby Asher arrived at 35 weeks, weighing less than 5 pounds. He suffered from sepsis and had brain damage and spent his first weeks fighting for life in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Today, the Broome family is dedicated to fighting for the health of all moms and babies and believes that every baby deserves the best possible start.

Tyler-Sexton-1-200x300 March of Dimes to Hold Biggest Annual FundraiserTyler Sexton, M.D., Chair of Pediatrics at Singing River Hospital, serves as the South Mississippi March for Babies chair. He was a premature infant born with cerebral palsy and is a champion for babies born with complications and the critically important work of the March of Dimes in treating them. Recently featured on ABC News 20/20, Dr. Sexton was one of a handful of physicians across the country who inspired the hit television series “The Good Doctor.”

On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the 3-mile walk kicking off shortly after. You can sign up today at http://www.marchforbabies.org/event/southmississippi. Start a team with your company, family or friends. You can also donate directly because every baby deserves the best possible start.

“When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in-one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all,” says Bridget Turan, Development Manager March of Dimes. “It is a day for everyone. Together we hope for the day when all moms and babies are healthy. We remember those babies we lost. We celebrate every baby.”

 

Tyler-Sexton-1-200x300 March of Dimes to Hold Biggest Annual Fundraiser

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Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributor to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. From advocacy to education to research, we’re working to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy.

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. Visit marchofdimes.orq or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on lnstagram and Twitter.

 

The 2018 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, HCA, Cigna, Pampers and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by Singing River Health System, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Keesler Federal Credit Union, IP Casino Resort Spa, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Garden Park, Chemours, Merit Health Biloxi, Raising Canes Chicken Fingers, BancorpSouth, Allstate Insurance, Mississippi Power, WLOX, Gulf Coast Woman Magazine, and Venture South Magazine.

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YMCA Healthy Kids Day to be held on April 28th

The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is holding a free community event, in conjunction with the Junior Auxillary of Biloxi/Ocean Springs, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active all summer long. Healthy Kids Day® is the YMCA’s national initiative to improve families health and well-being.  Games and activities will demonstrate, motivate, and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 8:00 -11:00 a.m.

Ft. Maurepas Park, Front Beach, Ocean Springs, MS

Joey Conwill, Wellness Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA–Blossman Family Branch, 228-875-5050

 

Healthy-Kids-Day-2018- YMCA Healthy Kids Day to be held on April 28th
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YMCA to Hold Annual Special Olympics Aquatic Events

YMCA-logo-for-site YMCA to Hold Annual Special Olympics Aquatic Events

Approximately 55 athletes from programs in Jackson, George and Greene counties, accompanied by their coaches and cheered on by friends and family, will compete in a variety of water sports, including assisted and unassisted swims, pool walks, 25 and 50 meter swims in freestyle and backstroke. Winners will advance to compete in the statewide Special Olympics.

Immediately following the games, participants and volunteers will be treated to lunch provided through the generous support of Eat Drink Love and The Roost of Ocean Springs and The Palace Casino of Biloxi.

The mission of the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YMCA’s serve 20.1 million people, including 9.7 million children, through a broad range of programs. YMCA’s are for people of all faiths, races, ages, incomes and abilities. Financial assistance is available.

WHO:  Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA

WHAT:  Area 12 Special Olympics Aquatics Heats

WHERE:  Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA–Blossman Family Branch, 1810 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ON THE PROGRAM: 

Todd Trenchard of The Bacot McCarty Foundation will emcee the event.

Ocean Springs ROTC Color Guard will present the flag.

Pastor Heath Hillman of Emanuel Baptist Church will lead the invocation.

Rock U2 Academy of Popular Music will sing the national anthem.

 

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