Bay City, Michigan 48706
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Rotary Hears About YMCA Expansion Plans

February 26, 2019       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Jim Vietti
Jim Vietti, CEO of the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA, spoke to Rotary about the Y's programs and plans for the future. The Y is more than a place, a pool, and more than a song ("We love the song YMCA"). The Y is more than the city, the county, even the state. The Y is a community.

Describing the Y in the community, Vietti said that the organization has given back over $1,750,000 since 2011. It's impacted over 25,000 people and given out 1,800 youth scholarships for YMCA memberships and programs. Listing dozens of sponsors, the Y collaborates throughout the community.

One of the many stories was the success of the Rise 'n Shine summer 5K run and walk. The largest family-friendly event, Rise 'n Shine raised over $32,000 last year. There were races for all ages. The event promoted healthy lifestyles and supported the Y's financial assistance program.

Partnering with Hidden Harvest, the Feed your community membership promotion waived the Y's joining fee for anyone donating a bag of non-perishable food items. The event collected over 6,700 pounds of food in September 2018.

A year-round free youth food program gave out 43,000+ healthy snacks and meals to children in 2018. Distribution is from three locations in the city. The Breakfast with Santa program, with the help of 45 volunteers, gave out 400 meals on December 22.

"The world is 71% water", said Vietti. In a state like Michigan, which is surrounded by water, this fact should be even more important. The Y has always been associated with swimming. Locally over 1,800 children and adults have learned to swim. Through the free Water Safety program, over 1,000 children have learned essential water safety skills. With a grant from the Community Foundation, all 3rd graders will get free swim lessons.

Some of the biggest news is the coming 24/7 fitness program. The Community Room in the North East ground floor is being redesigned to have a separate entrance and a full workout gym. "There are many people who work during regular hours. 24/7 fitness has proved a great success nationwide". The room will be unattended and members will require a special access card to use the room.

Vietti also talked about discussions now underway for a possible &q&spinning" class using space in the "lower level" (aka basement). A working group is discussing expanding the building as well. "We had 1,900 members at the old building. Today we have over 8,500 members." The Y owns additional property around the building so there is room for expansion.
For more information visit


A note to all members. Dues invoices for the January to June term have been e-mailed. Please take care of this as soon as possible. If you did NOT receive our invoice, please contact the secretary.

In the day's "Rotary Foundation Minute", Jeff Yantz said that these minutes usually focus on numbers and stories. Starting with a donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Rotary Foundation has invested some $3 billion to date. Jeff's history with Rotary is long thanks to his Dad Jerome. The whole family was there when Jerome got his first Paul Harris Fellowship. Later his mother was given one as well. In the '80s, the family hosted an exchange student from Brasil, who shared Jeff's room. "When I think of the Foundation, I think of family, and tradition, and my friend Mario. That's why I support the Foundation."

Tara Welch announced that Paul Wiese has been named the President Nominee for the 2021-22 Rotary year. Paul will follow Carrie Strohkirch. Tara also read the names of the incoming club board class and listed several new and continuing club committees.

Paul Wiese noted that the program committee will be reconstituted. In recent years a single chairperson has shouldered that burden. Anyone with program ideas or who wants to serve on the committee should contact Paul.


March 5, 2019: Club Social - City Market - 6:00 pm

June 24, 2019: Golf Outing - 9:00 am Maple Leaf Golf Course

Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at )

March 5, 2019: Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens Kyle Bagnall will talk about the Whiting Forest and the new "Canopy Walk", a fully handicap accessible walk that takes you up into the trees. It is a real work of art that ties the structure into its natural setting. .

March 19, 2019: Tall Ships Shirley Roberts will update us on activities of Bay Sail and the return of Tall Ships to Bay City.

March 26, 2019: Active Shooter With a career in Law Enforcement Henry Reyna returns to Rotary with his wealth of knowledge on the subject of How to survive an Active Shooter Incident

Rotary is an intimate affiliation of carefully selected business and professional people,
having as its objective the promotion of high ethical standards in private, commercial
and civic life, and dedicated to the ideal that the basis of all worthy endeavor is unselfish service.

Rotary is an intimate affiliation of carefully selected business and professional people,
having as its objective the promotion of high ethical standards in private, commercial
and civic life, and dedicated to the ideal that the basis of all worthy endeavor is unselfish service.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

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District 6310 Web Site District Dispatch Archive
Rotary International Make-up On-Line at
The Rotary Global History Fellowship
Rotary Global History.

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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