Harbin Hero Highlight: Rome YMCA

Whether it’s providing a great space for health and wellness, coordinating sports and activities for youth and adults, or reaching out to help underserved communities, the Rome Floyd YMCA helps people in many ways.

“Our mission in the community is to meet a need, whatever those needs may be. Our tag line is we are for healthy living, for youth development and for social responsibility,” YMCA Executive Director Scott McCreless says. “One of the most important things we do is that we help bring people together. People from all different races, all different ethnicities, all different religious affiliations - all of them are welcome at the YMCA.”

Many people probably think of youth sports when they think of the YMCA, and they wouldn’t be wrong. More than 1,000 children, teenagers and adults participate in the YMCA’s soccer leagues based at Grizzard Park. Several hundred kids play in the basketball program, and the YMCA teaches roughly 2,500 swim lessons every year.

“I can’t tell you how many people point to the pool when I’m giving them a tour of our building and tell me they learned to swim at the Y,” McCreless says.

The Y’s outreach doesn’t stop at sports. During the summer of 2016, the YMCA supplied more than 22,000 free meals to children.

“We have a lot of programs for underserved communities, including our summer feeding program and our year-round afterschool activities,” McCreless says.

The YMCA plays a large role in helping the community stay active through sports and their facilities.

“We do a lot of health and wellness programming for senior citizens. These classes help them keep their mobility and stay healthy,” McCreless says. “It’s humbling to see some of our older members come in to workout. For some, just getting to the pool itself is a workout. A lot of people stop me and tell me that they can continue to move and be healthy because of what they do at the Y.”

Last year, the YMCA captured the Hero Challenge crown and get ready because the Y won’t let the Hero Challenge title go easily.

“Being able to be so involved in the community and able to help reach so many people in a positive way is amazing,” McCreless says. “I’m just blessed to be a part of it.”

Voting Details

To vote for the YMCA to win the Harbin Hero Challenge, select them as your charity of choice on the online race registration form at rfpra.com/herohustle. Race-day registrants will be able to select the YMCA on their registration forms, and costume contest winners may select them at the race for additional points.

The five Harbin Hero Challenge charities are The Sweet Cocoon, The YMCA of Rome, Floyd County CASA, Summit Quest and Living Proof Recovery. Each charity will receive $500 from Harbin Clinic and the organization with the most votes will receive an additional $1,000.