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YMCA Collects Food, Toys for Area Children

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ymcafoodROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Family YMCA ran both a toy and food drive this holiday season. Both drives were done to benefit Franklin County’s children and began in late November.

The Y had an “angel tree” in the lobby with ornaments that featured children of different ages and genders. YMCA members would take an ornament and bring back a gift appropriate for the age and gender. Everything from bicycles to clothes to remote control cars were brought back as part of the drive. The gifts will brighten Christmas for 75 children in Franklin County as a part of We Care Franklin County’s annual toy drive.

The Y also ran a food drive among its childcare programs, membership, fitness and swim team. The food brought in was for the school systems “back pack food program” which feeds children in the area on weekends and holidays. The single largest donation came in from the YMCA after school program at Dudley Elementary. Students in the after school program brought in over 1,000 individual items. Another large donation came from Maddox and Noah Conley who are participants on the Y’s swim team. Through the program the Y packed 200 bags with 7 days’ worth of food to go home with area children.

“It was amazing when we got all the food together and started packing it into bags for the kids. It was really heartwarming to be able to see how much Y staff, members and participants cared about their neighbors,” says Jamie Stump Child Care Coordinator with the YMCA.

The Y’s nonprofit mission of building a stronger more connected community is most often fulfilled through its child care programs, outreach programs to military and law enforcement and senior wellness programs. However, the Y runs several food drives, clothing drives and blood drives with area agencies throughout the year.

“The Y really is like a center of the community. That is why we work so hard to stay engaged and help hard working families in Franklin County,” says Stump.

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Ferrum's Lee Named All-Region by D3football.com

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ferrumactionFERRUM - Ferrum College defensive lineman Montel Lee has been named to the 2016 D3football.com All-Region Team as a second team pick in the South Region. This is his second such honor, including a second team South Region honor in 2014. Lee closed out his junior year with 31 total tackles, including 21 solo and 16.5 for loss. He led the Panthers and the USA South in sacks this season with 10, for a net loss of 83 yards. He also had two fumble recoveries, a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup.

Lee was named the 2016 USA South Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-Conference selection. It was his second major USA South award, including his Defensive Rookie of the Year honor in 2014. Lee has been named to the All-Conference first team three straight years, and is on pace become only the second player in school history to earn four such honors. Lee's 10 sacks led the USA South this season. He set school records for career sacks (27) and single game sacks (4 vs. Hampden-Sydney Sept. 17), was named USA South Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19, and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week Sept. 20.

Ferrum closed out the 2016 season with a 6-4 overall record, including a 4-3 mark in the USA South, under first-year Head Coach Rob Grande.

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YMCA WRAPS UP THE THIRD YEAR OF ITS “WATER WISE” PROGRAM

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ympoolROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Family YMCA is finishing up its third year of offering the “Water Wise” swim program to every second grader in the county. This program provides FREE swim lessons to second graders in all 12 elementary  schools in the county. The YMCA does this because of the number of rivers and lakes in the county, the inability of many families to afford to pay for swim lessons, and the Y’s mission to help those in the community who need it.

The program teaches lifesaving swimming skills and water safety because one of the single largest causes of childhood deaths isdrowning, and many of those drownings occur within 10 feet of safety. The YMCA is proud that nearly 1,800 students have participated and learned water safety skills over the last three years.

“As someone who almost drowned when I was in elementary school, this program means a lot to me. My daughter learned water safety and swimming skills from the program. She fell in love with swimming and now participates in the Y’s competitive swim team, the Riptides,” says Kameron Kitts the Y’s Aquatics Director.

Through swim testing at the beginning of the year around 50% of second graders did not\possess the skills needed to survive a water emergency. After the program, 84% of those students that participated had sufficient swim skills to survive an emergency. Of that, 55% learned intermediate and advanced swimming skills. All children participated in “water fun days” at the conclusion of the program.

“The second graders in the program are introduced to water safety and given swimming lessons over a two week program at the Rocky Mount YMCA. In addition to swim instruction, children get free time to play and practice the skills they’ve learned on the final day of a swim lessons, parents are invited to observe and celebrate all that their children have learned.” says J.T. Boyd, Assistant Aquatics Director at the YMCA.

The YMCA would like to thank all of the swim instructors and the lifeguards for all of their hard work over the past three years. Without them this program would not be the success it is today.

This program is completely funded by the YMCA, its community partners, and a few anonymous donors. The Y asks for community support in the form of donations to ensure not only the safety of the county’s children but also to insure the program can last for years to come. Local residents, businesses and parents interested in donating should contact Denise Hudson Hurst at the Franklin County Y, 540-489-9622.