On Wednesday, February 15, the Galowich Family YMCA was proud to welcome the community to a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its new Innovation Center.
Message of Thanks
The event began with remarks from Greater Joliet Area YMCA President and CEO Katy Leclair. Leclair thanked everyone who played a role in preparing the renovated space, which will enable members of all ages to be innovative, collaborative, and create inspiring projects.
Leclair introduced Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, who spoke about the city’s role in helping to fund the project and the positive impact the space will have on youth in Joliet.
Galowich Family YMCA Executive Director Patty Hall then highlighted the incredible leadership of YMCA staff members and volunteers during renovation efforts before inviting Salvation Army Joliet Corps Community Center Pastor and Administrator Scott Hurula to share an invocation.
Making an Impact
Following the invocation, Hall introduced the Y’s Teen REACH and Teen Achievers Director Stephen Franklin, who provided guests with an overview of how the new Innovation Center will be utilized. Franklin guided guests through the four distinct areas that will provide a variety of ways for youth to engage in learning activities:
Kitchen – Includes a workstation and appliances that will help students make healthy snacks and improve their understanding of nutrition.
Creativity Studio – Includes craft tables, a sewing machine, and a heat press that will allow students to complete art projects, make alterations to clothing, and explore their artistic passions.
Media and Technology Wing – Includes computers, laptops, and 3D printers to help students create multimedia projects and learn coding skills.
Lounge – Includes a television, couches, and virtual reality gaming systems to provide opportunities for students to relax and socialize.
Learn, Grow, Thrive
Members of the Galowich Family YMCA Advisory Council, the Y’s Teen and Young and Adult Advancement Council, and Galowich Family YMCA staff team gathered to cut the ribbon and formally open the facility.
Students from the Salvation Army’s Character-Building & Mentoring Program were then given a chance to demonstrate various activities including making fruit smoothies and testing computer coded robots.
“This event was the perfect way to kick off the services we look to bring to our community through the Innovation Center,” Hall said. “We are incredibly thankful for the support shown by the City of Joliet and can not be more excited for the future of the facility.”
If you are interested in participating in programs held at the Innovation Center, or would like to sign up for additional Y programming, registration for the Y’s Spring 1 and 2 programming sessions is underway! Register online today!