All Smiles at Summer Day Camp

IMG_9938Smiles are wider—and shinier—than ever at YMCA summer day camp this week. Thanks to the folks with Will County Community Health Services, campers at the Smith and Central City YMCAs received free dental service on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The county’s dental van, which resembles that of a tour bus, took temporary real estate at our camps, providing teeth cleanings for 26 Smith campers and 16 Central City campers.

Inside the dental bus, it felt just like a normal dentist office—perhaps even less intimidating. When you walked through the door, there was a small waiting area with a TV on the wall. To the left, there were two dental chairs complete with all the usual tools and accessories needed to provide a thorough cleaning.

The dental staff was both patient and friendly. We are very grateful our campers were given such an excellent opportunity!

Serving One Generation After Another

IMG_0281_copyIt’s been about 13 years since Dominique Dunn was first introduced to the Y. His mother, Natalie—who comes from a family of athletes—signed him up for the Y’s Youth Basketball League to coincide with Dominique’s growing love for basketball. From then on, the Y was Dominique’s palace—where he would spend each Saturday at open gym, playing the game he loved, fostering relationships and receiving mentorship from staff.

“I met a lot of my friends that I’m close with today,” Dominique said. “Ever since, we’d all come here on the weekends and just shoot around. We’d be here for hours. [Associate Executive Director Maurice Fears] would work with us, help us shoot. Then I kept coming here through high school.”

As a junior, Dominique joined the Central City YMCA’s Teen Achievers Program, where he says he had memorable experiences taking trips out of state, visiting universities in Washington D.C. and Tennessee.

Focused on serving students attending schools on the east side of Joliet, the Central City YMCA (CCY) and its programs have impacted countless lives. With the help of the Greater Area Joliet YMCA’s Scholarship Fund, CCY participants have opportunities to play basketball and learn how to swim as children, as well as the chance to set and achieve high education, professional and personal goals within the Teen Achievers Program as teenagers—all at little or no cost.

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