Greater Joliet Area YMCA Named Top Workplace in Will County

The Greater Joliet Area YMCA was selected as a Top Workplace in Will County by the Joliet Herald-News. In a poll voted on by readers of the Herald-News, the Y was the top vote-getter in the Non-Profit Organization category.

Stacy Broske of the Herald-News presented the award Monday, September 17, at the Greater Joliet Area YMCA Metropolitan Offices, located at 749 Houbolt Road. President and CEO James Watts was joined by Senior Vice President and COO Katy Leclair and Human Resources Director Adriana Garcia to accept the award on behalf of the Y. (Pictured from left to right: Broske, Garcia, Watts and Leclair.)

The Y is the area’s leading non-profit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. A mainstay in the Joliet community for more than 85 years, the Y brings families closer together, encourages good health, and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests.

The Greater Joliet Area YMCA offers tremendous opportunities to make a difference. We invite you to join us in this amazing work—to develop your skills, to realize your leadership potential and to discover a career that is more than just a job.

Explore Job Opportunities

Coach Eric Kimble– Our Y’s Everyday Hero

Eric Kimble

Greater Joliet Area YMCA Volunteer

On September 7, the Joliet Herald-News honored 16 individuals in our community as Everyday Heroes. Among these 16 Everyday Heroes was Eric Kimble, who volunteers his time as a youth basketball coach at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA.

On behalf of the Y and all the kids in our youth basketball leagues, we would like to congratulate Coach Kimble on this award. Thank you for being an amazing mentor and leader in the community.  In our eyes, you truly are an everyday hero!

Read Eric Kimble’s full story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Trinity Yates

Trinity Yates: Camp Volunteer

Developing Future Leaders

At the Y, our volunteers play a vital role in the success, quality, and quantity of programs we offer.  We are able to give back to our community thanks to volunteers like Trinity Yates, who volunteered her time this summer at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA.

For the last several years, Trinity loved attending summer camp at the Y.  So much so that when her time was ending as a camper, she didn’t want to leave.  She soon learned of an opportunity to stay involved as a volunteer with the Y’s summer camp program.Greater Joliet Area YMCA Volunteer

During her time volunteering this summer, Trinity helped with craft stations, while working with kids in grades K-4.

“My favorite part was working with the kids, having fun and doing activities,” explained Trinity.


While having fun and staying involved at the Y has been a great experience for Trinity, her parents have seen an even more significant benefit to her volunteer opportunity.

“I have seen her grow and mature since becoming a volunteer,” said Trinity’s mother, Rasa Yates.  “She has really flourished in the last couple of months.”

Trinity’s father added that it has been a wonderful experience watching his daughter go from a young child in camp to a responsible young woman.  He laughed as he said, “It’s been “terriciting,” a terrifying and exciting experience watching her grow this summer.

Looking towards the future, Trinity plans to volunteer again at the Y and hopes to maybe one day become a summer camp counselor.  She encourages those interested in volunteering to get more involved and Trinity’s mother couldn’t agree more.

“It’s a great volunteer program to give the kids a chance to go on after being a camper,” said Mrs. Yates.  “It really prepares them for jobs in the future.”

On behalf of the Y and all the kids in the Avery Y’s summer camp program, we would like to thank Trinity for being such an important part of our summer camp family!

Do you want to be a part of something bigger?  To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Y, please contact Volunteer and Development Operations Manager Dori Fugate via email at [email protected] or by phone at (815) 267-8600, ext. 210.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Focusing on Healthy Living

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

With September being National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, it’s important for members of all ages to embrace a healthy lifestyle. At the Y, there are a wide variety of classes available for every member of your family. From adult group exercise classes to youth sports, and everything in between, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your family’s needs and busy schedule.

Here are some great tips to help your family incorporate healthy eating and regular physical activity into your fall schedules:

Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family, consider choosing a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Remember to keep full water bottles available in the car and your children’s backpacks.

Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.

Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.

Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, charge electronics/screens in the kitchen overnight, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).

Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night. Adults should strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

If you’re looking for other ways to keep your children active, the Y’s youth sports programs are a great way to stay fit and have fun at the same time! Registration is currently underway for the Y’s youth basketball program. Open to kids in preschool through high school, the Y’s basketball program teaches kids the fundamentals of the game and the importance of teamwork. Register today and participate in our free clinics to gear up for the upcoming basketball season!

For more information on how your family can live a healthy, active lifestyle or for more information on our youth basketball program, visit or contact the sports director at your local branch.

Galowich and Smith Family YMCAs:
Michael Taylor
[email protected]
(815) 744-3939, ext. 307

C.W. Avery Family YMCA:
Maria Romero
[email protected]
(815) 267-8600, ext. 217

Morris Community YMCA:
Ken Iverson
[email protected]
(815) 513-8080, ext. 512

Join Us for Two New Aquatic Programs at the Galowich Family Y This Fall!

Swim Programs in Joliet

As America’s most trusted swim instructor, the Y has been teaching kids how to swim for more than 100 years.  With a wide range of swim lesson options for the entire family and convenient class times, you’ll be sure to find something the meets your family’s needs and busy schedule.

This fall, the Y is introducing two new swim programs at the Galowich Family YMCA.  Set to get underway in early September at the Y’s Houbolt Road location, the Homeschool Open Swim program and the Sensory-Friendly Swim program are both open to the community.

Homeschool Open Swim Program
Parents looking for a class to supplement a physical education curriculum will find it in the Y’s new Homeschool Open Swim program. Designed for every member of your family, this exciting new program will be held on Monday afternoons at the Galowich Family YMCA.

September 10-November 12
Mondays from 2-4 p.m.

YMCA Facility Members: Free
Community Members: $50 for a 10-visit family punch pass

Sensory-Friendly Swimming
Sensory-friendly swim times will feature no music and little-to-no whistle use by our lifeguards. Swimmers will also be provided with an assortment of toys to play with during their time in the pool.

Sundays, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11
  • December 9

YMCA Facility Member Families: Free Family Admission
Community Member Families: $8 Per Family

For more information on these two new programs or our other aquatic programming, please contact:

Kenya Raichart
Galowich Family YMCA Aquatics Director
[email protected]
(815) 729-9629, ext. 320

As a reminder, our Fall 1 Session begins Monday, August 27.  To learn more, visit

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