The YMCA is impacting lives all across the Spokane area, and we want to hear what the Y means to you. Reach a personal milestone? Did your child conquer their fear of the water? Whatever it may be, big or small, please share your story with us! Stories will not be shared without permission.
To read stories from Y members and staff, please click on a story below.
You might notice that Mike Van Zee has down syndrome when you meet him, but you will definitely notice his infectious smile! But Mike wasn’t always as happy as he is today. After enduring years of being made fun of and bullied at school, he developed issues with feelings of anger. Despite the adults in […]
I moved into a third-floor apartment during a heat wave. I drank water. I took breaks. I felt as if each cell in my thighs had been replaced by a hyper-sensitive network of pop rocks. I limped to the clinic and a nurse guy told me: When someone goes from being sedentary to an intense […]
George, a supervisor for the US Navy Recruiting in the Inland Northwest is grateful for the YMCA. Originally from Texas, he and his wife Jacinta along with their seven children have moved several times around the country but have always been able to join a YMCA thanks to the Military Outreach program. Being able to […]
The story Helen wants to share is one of perseverance, love and hope. She has a long history with the YMCA beginning with opening of the North Y in 2009. Since that time, she has been dedicated to her fitness and overall wellness, taking group exercise classes and training for a triathlon, all while building […]
For Cory, working out and taking care of his body was always the last thing on his list. The single father of two has many responsibilities to juggle throughout the day and just couldn’t find the motivation to get to the gym. But when Cory’s doctor told him he had developed type 2 diabetes, he […]
Steve Tamarro’s role as CEO and President of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest has been 44 years in the making. Steve’s first job at the Y was during his freshman year in college, serving as a summer day camp counselor in his hometown of Boston, Mass. His role at the Y grew over the […]
When you live to be 96, you must be doing something right. Gene recently celebrated his birthday at the Spokane Valley YMCA and attributes his good health to friendships, an active lifestyle, and weekly trips to IHOP and Taco Bell. Gene joined the Valley Y when it first opened its doors, a little more than […]
For Riza, working at the Central YMCA Children’s Center is a natural fit. Born and raised in the Philippines, she taught elementary school in her home country before moving to Spokane in 2010. Once here, Riza was searching for a job where she could continue to connect with kids and help her new community. She […]
Kate can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t in the pool. The 16 -year-old Sandpoint High School Sophomore has spent over a decade on the swim team at the Litehouse YMCA, swimming competitively since she was 5-years-old. Her mother, Jacinda, knew being confident in the water was important and enrolled her two daughters in […]
When Frythe moved to Sandpoint with her family in 2000 she was not expecting to gain dozens of new family members full of love and support, but that’s what she found working as a Group Exercise Instructor and Lead at the Litehouse YMCA. Frythe knows her name is unique and maybe a bit hard to […]
It took over 1,500 miles to find her next adventure in life, but Miana is happy to begin her new journey at the South Spokane YMCA. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, just north of Minnesota on the banks of Lake Superior. After graduating from high school she paid a visit to Spokane to […]