Missoula YMCA helping fire evacuees

September 1, 2017 (KPAX)

The Missoula YMCA is stepping up to give fire evacuees a place to rest and relax while they’re out of their homes.

The YMCA is handing out vouchers at the Red Cross evacuation centers. The vouchers serve as a temporary ‘full’ membership where families or individuals can take a shower or swim or work out — there’s even child care provided.

Essentially, it’s a safe place to go for a few hours to take a break from the chaos and the smoke.

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Missoula YMCA offers free services to wildfire evacuees

August 30, 2017 (ABC Fox Montana )

The Missoula Family YMCA is offering free services for area residents displaced from their homes by wildfire evacuations.

Evacuees can access all services – including showers, the Child Watch Center, family activities and more – by picking up a voucher at the American Red Cross shelter at University Congregational Church, 405 University Ave., and bringing it to the Missoula Family YMCA, 3000 S. Russell St.

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Missoula YMCA offers vouchers for Lolo Peak evacuees

August 17, 2017 (KECI)

The Missoula YMCA is offering vouchers for free membership for people and families forced to evacuate because of the Lolo Peak fire.

People under a pre-evacuation warning are included as well.

The voucher allows those impacted by the fire to shower and utilize all of the facility including its child watch program.

We are told vouchers are being delivered to all Red Cross shelters.

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I learned quickly that working with kids makes my day better—Kirby Beierle

Summer 2017 (Ritter Sports Performance)

Kirby Beierle has been the head coach for the Missoula YMCA Swim Team since 2009. Recently, Kirby was awarded with the National YMCA Swim Coach of the Year. Coach Beierle has also had opportunities to serve on the Montana Zones coaching staff, twice as a head coach. Prior to becoming the head coach for the Missoula Swim Team, Kirby served as the age group coach for multiple training groups.

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Runners urged to rest, stretch after Missoula Marathon

July 10, 2017 (NBC Montana)

Thousands of runners are sore this week after the Missoula Marathon. Many say recovery changes from race to race.

“I’ve had races where I was totally miserable for two weeks. At last year’s Missoula Marathon, I was running really great five days out,” said YMCA running instructor Dennis Bender.

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Plain foods, rest recommended before Missoula Marathon

June 26, 2017 (NBC Montana)

Missoula Marathon participants now have less than two weeks to prepare for the race. This year is no ordinary one for mother of three Sarah Munjal. She is coming off a painful back injury, yet still preparing for the Missoula Half Marathon.

“My surgeon said it was okay.  My pain specialist said it was okay,” said Munjal.

Along with training, experienced runners say it’s time for Sarah and other runners to plan out what to eat. They suggest moderate portions of plain foods, like pasta rice or chicken.

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Missoula swimmer Jackson Moe could be Montana’s next great swimmer

June 22, 2017 (Montana Sports)

He may be young, but Jackson Moe is well beyond what his age indicates. The 13-year-old Missoula YMCA swimmer may be the next big star of Montana swimming, and yet, he’s still one year away from enrolling at Sentinel High School.

What sets Moe apart from the rest of swimmers is his uncanny addiction for being in the water. He begins training in the pool at 5:30 a.m., six days of the week. It’s a commitment that would overwhelm many his age, especially during the school year. But for the soon-to-be Meadow Hills 8th-grader, it’s just second nature.

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Firecracker Swim Meet: Missoula YMCA swimmer Jackson Moe shining example on pool deck

June 22, 2017 (Missoulian)

Even with over 600 talented swimmers taking to Splash Montana for the 36th annual Missoula Firecracker Classic starting Thursday, 13-year-old Jackson Moe stands out.

And it’s not just because his flashy practice swim suit – a “drag suit” that slows Moe in the pool – is adorned with pineapples and a hula dancer.

The soon-to-be eighth grader for the Missoula YMCA Swim Team (MYST) has both a grueling schedule and a generous soul. Jackson practices in the pool six days a week, beginning his days at 5:30 a.m., even in the summer.

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YMCA camp director is “kid at heart”

June 21, 2017 (Missoulian)

Eli Catton spends every summer at camp. His days are filled with camp songs, rafting adventures, climbing and disc golf. In the winter, when camp is closed, he makes crafts at home to keep the spirit alive.

“I don’t know if it’s that being in camps makes me feel younger, or if it’s that I like to be in camps because I still feel this way, but I always tease that there’s certain aspects of my life that just haven’t ever developed into adulthood,” Catton said, sitting in the sun outside the Missoula Family YMCA.

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Speltz: Beierle makes cannonball splash for Missoula

April 29, 2017 (Missoulian)

Kirby Beierle takes her coaching to engaging places others have no desire to visit.

She’s not one to merely dip her toe in the pool. She’s going for a double back flip and bringing her entire team with her.

The 32-year-old head swim coach for the Missoula YMCA was recently named National YMCA Coach of the Year. She had no clue it was coming, finding out after the fact a mom nominated her.

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45th Annual YMCA Riverbank Run held in Missoula

April 29, 2017 (KPAX)

Missoula’s oldest foot race returned Saturday with folks of all ages lining up on Higgins Street to take part in the 45th Annual YMCA Riverbank Run.

There were three separate races, a 10k, 5k and a one-mile race with contestants starting the race just past the intersection of Higgins and Broadway and finishing up at the Boone and Crockett Club.

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Chase for Riverbank Run elite titles wide open

April 28, 2017 (Missoulian)

The Missoula Family YMCA Riverbank Run has served as a solid entry-level race for amateur athletes looking to break into the sport, or those just looking to support a good cause.

But for the elite runners hoping to finish first on Saturday, the 45th iteration of the Garden City’s oldest footrace could provide one of the more wide-open fields.

Husband and wife running duo and last year’s 10k champions, Collin and Katrina Fehr, won’t defend their titles.

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Providence Health & Services Western Montana and the Missoula Family YMCA partner for a healthier Missoula

April 27, 2017 (Providence Health & Services)

Missoula, Montana—Providence Health & Services Western Montana and the Greater Missoula Family YMCA recently partnered to address current and emergent health trends and concerns in the greater Missoula area.

Over the next three years, Providence Western Montana and the Missoula Y will work together to grow preventive health care options in the community. Efforts include a physical Providence presence at the Missoula Family Y in its Health & Wellness Center and free one-month Y Family Memberships for new mothers who deliver at Providence.

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St. Patrick Hospital, YMCA form three-year healthy living partnership

April 27, 2017 (News Talk KGVO)

Two Missoula institutions, Providence St. Patrick Hospital and the Missoula Family YMCA announced on Thursday a three year agreement to grow preventive healthcare options for the Missoula area.

YMCA CEO Brian Steffen said the germ of the partnership began with a lunch meeting with former Providence CEO Jeff Fee where they shared their vision to improve health in Missoula.

“That led to a meeting between the senior executives of the YMCA and the senior executives of Providence Health and Services Western Montana to discuss how we could collaborate together,” Steffen said. “Honestly, the list we’ve put together is over three pages of ideas that we’re dreaming on, and the details are still being nailed down about how to affect population health.”

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Experts give tips to get ready for Missoula’s Riverbank Run

April 24, 2017 (NBC Montana)

The Missoula YMCA expects about 2,000 runners to join in the 45th year of the Riverbank Run.

The biggest of three events is the 5,000-meter race.  Organizers say 1,000 people usually turn out for that.

If you plan to participate experts say it’s time to lighten up on running and other workouts to make sure your body is fresh for race day.

They say at least eight hours of sleep is key five to seven days before a race.  You should increase carbohydrates in the final three days, and make sure you are getting plenty of water.

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Local initiatives combat rising rates of childhood obesity

April 17, 2017 (NBC Montana)

The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show one in five grade school children are considered obese in the United States.

A public-private initiative called Let’s Move Missoula gets children moving at four different Missoula elementary schools.

“The health department has taken the opportunity to look around the U.S. at different studies and has adopted some of that.  We came in to fulfill the need.  Recruiting volunteers is a big part of that,” said Ian Williams, of Missoula Parks and Recreation.

CDC studies show the percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s.

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Youth Sports Spotlight: Missoula swimming coach Kirby Beierle recognized for national award

April 16, 2017 (MontanaSports.com)

Kirby Beierle spent the first half of her life in the swimming pool as an athlete. Now, she’s staying dry as a coach for Missoula’s YMCA. And she’s being recognized as the best in the country.

Swimoutlet.com named Beierle the YMCA Coach of the Year recently for her work in the Missoula community. The former Morehead State swimmer has coached at the YMCA for 14 years total, including nine years as the head coach. Voted by coaches across the U.S., Beierle earns the recognition by continuously developing her athletes not just in the pool, but out of the water, as well.

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Kirby Beierle named YMCA National Coach of the Year

April 12, 2017 (SwimSwam)

On Monday, the YMCA of the USA and SwimOutlet.com announced Kirby Beierle as the 2017 YMCA National Coach of the Year. Beierle was nominated by one of her swimmers at the Missoula YMCA in Missoula, Montana.

Beierle has been a coach at the Missoula YMCA for 14 years and has spent 9 as the head coach. She is also currently serving as the coach representative for the state of Montana.

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Doctors warn: bad posture could lead to serious health concerns

April 10, 2017 (NBC Montana)

You might be at a higher risk for a number of diseases, just by the way you stand and sit. The latest research shows that sitting for twelve hours or more puts you at a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and life-threatening falls. Doctors say a few minutes a day of posture exercise is all you need to improve your posture. The latest studies might motivate you.

A coalition of doctors says, in Posturemonth.org, that posture related problems are the number three reason for all doctor visits, 80% of Americans suffer back pain during their lives, and that prolonged slouching can bring a higher risk of heart and respiratory disease, and stroke.

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Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance draws hundreds

February 11, 2017 (Missoulian)

As Bailey Throckmorton waited excitedly in line for her very own handcrafted corsage, she twirled in circles and pulled at the sleeves of her sparkly black sweater. Her hair was done up and her dress was red, which went perfectly with her father’s striped tie.

Bailey participated in the Missoula Family YMCA’s annual Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance last year while still enrolled in the organization’s preschool program, but has since turned six and entered kindergarten. Fortunately, the Sweetheart Dance is entirely open to the public and Bailey’s dad, Brian, asked her to join him once again.

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rattle-the-voteYMCA to offer free child care on Election Day

November 4, 2016 (94.9 KYSS FM)

Election day is Tuesday, and the Missoula Family YMCA is offering safe, secure childcare for voters at no cost.

Marketing Coordinator for the YMCA Kat Franchino, said the free childcare is being offered nationwide.

“Our goal is to make sure that everyone who wants to vote has the opportunity to do so,” Franchino said. “We know the lines at the polls can be very long, and if you have little kids, the ‘Y’ nationwide is offering what we call  the ‘Zoe’s Day Out’ Initiative, and it is free child care to voters.”

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Missoula YMCA to host family Halloween event

October 28, 2016 (NBC Montana)

The King family loves Halloween. They dress up as crazy characters, like the Incredibles, year after year.

Still, the holiday can be daunting, even for pros like them.

“Of course we want to give our kids a trick-or-treat experience, so we would quickly — because it’s so cold — run around to different houses, which is good and fun, but they get tired,” said Ruth King.

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-33-52-pmYMCA celebrates 40th year of youth soccer program

October 16, 2016 (Montana Sports)

A lot can happen in 40 years. For example, just four months after Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak established their small company known as the Apple Computer Company, Missoula’s YMCA was busy establishing something of its own–a soccer program to teach local area youths fundamentals of the sport.

Fast forward 40 years, and just like Apple, the YMCA’s soccer program is still alive and kicking.

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Officials call for focused effort, no broad proposal, to address Montana child care ‘crisis’

October 1, 2016 (Missoulian)

Two recent child care center closures in Missoula have reignited the discussion around the lack of child care options in town, specifically infant care.

The Missoula YMCA’s Exploration Center and Pass It On Learning Center’s infant program closed in September.

The Exploration Center served infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children for the past five years. But it had consistent staff turnover during that time, said YMCA CEO Brian Steffen. In 2014, 84 percent turnover. In 2015, 70 percent.

While the program had lost money “off and on” over the years, Steffen said the decision to close came down to quality of care.

“The YMCA as a nonprofit and a charity, we don’t make primary decisions based on whether (a program) is making money,” he said. “If it’s a community benefit, and if it’s meeting standards and financial obligations, we support the program or cause if it’s of value when we make decisions. Other programs don’t make money, but we still support them.”

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Changes coming to the Missoula YMCA

September 19, 2016 (KPAX)

Missoula’s YMCA is expanding its fitness center and that’s having ripple effects for just about every age group that spends time there.

YMCA CEO Brian Steffen says he noticed the need for the expansion early into his tenure here in Missoula.

Certain members wanted more specialized workouts – things like battle ropes and more room for medicine balls. Steffen also heard some concerns about having the youth center close to the
gym — some parents worried their kids could get hurt if they wandered onto the track.

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teenoMonday’s Montana: Rob Harcharik wins hearts of summer campers

July 25, 2016 (Missoulian)

A young girl grabbed a fistful of clover from Paxson Elementary’s field last week, handing some to her camp counselor, who promptly snagged two and tucked them behind his ears.

Camp counselor Rob Harcharik – the kids call him “Teeno,” his camp name –had made an instant friend, and the girl stayed in his shadow for the rest of the volleyball/soccer session before they got too hot and had to go inside.

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dennisRunner shows it’s never too late to improve health

July 25, 2016 (NBC Montana)

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unlimited-fun_blu_rgbYMCA’s Camp Imagination keeping kids minds sharp during summer

July 21, 2016 (ABC Fox Montana)

A summer slide in terms of education is the learning loss many kids experience when school isn’t in session. According to the National Summer Learning Association, most kids lose about two months of math skills in the summer.

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2016_WindermereWindermere Foundation splashes on paint for the Missoula Family YMCA

June 19, 2016 (Missoulian)

The Missoula Family YMCA recently received a refreshing paint job in several locker rooms and hallways. Windermere Real Estate staff and agents gathered together Friday, June 3, for their annual Windermere Foundation Community Service Day.

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UntitledThe transformative power of a routine, community program, and friendship

May 23, 2016 (Missoula Valley Lifestyle Magazine)

Alyssa Martin and Sarah Nasby have gotten into a groove. For the last year and half, every morning, Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., they’ve met for a workout at YMCA Missoula. It doesn’t matter if they’re tired or grumpy, if it’s raining or snowing: at 9 a.m. they hop on spin bikes and start cranking. The spinning wakes them up, gets their blood flowing, but it’s only the warm-up.

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STICKERThousands take to annual Riverbank Run

May 8, 2016 (KPAX)

This was the weekend to be out and about in downtown Missoula with the running community gathering in the thousands to support the YMCA’s annual Riverbank Run.

This is the 44th year of the event that typically draws close to 2,000 racers.  Participants ran a 10K, 5K or the one-mile fun run. Some even chose to run all three for the trifecta, which is a total of 10.321 miles.

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44th Annual YMCA Riverbank Run a staple of Missoula springtime

May 7, 2016 (KGVO)

The 44th annual YMCA Riverbank Run on Saturday drew nearly 2,000 participants for the 10k, 5k, the one-mile run and the Trifecta, for those who chose to run all three races.

Race Director Keri McHugh said 2,000 was the goal for this event.

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Fears sweep Riverbank Run’s 10K in record-breaking fashion

May 7, 2016 (Missoulian)

He already owned the top time in the Trifecta, the combination of the 10- and 5-kilometer races plus the 1-miler at the YMCA Riverbank Run, but Missoula’s Collin Fehr had another record in his sights Saturday.

The lanky former University of Montana track standout and coach crossed the finish line to cap a record-breaking 10K race in 31 minutes, 3 seconds at the Riverbank’s 44th annual running.

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ellaRiverbank Run: Spring tradition to be renewed Saturday

May 7, 2016 (Missoulian)

Youth was served at last year’s Missoula Riverbank Run.

Will the same hold true when the 44th edition begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at the corner of Higgins and Broadway?

Ella DeGrandpre, a 13-year-old middle schooler at the time of last year’s race, won the women’s 10-kilometer portion of last year’s Missoula springtime tradition.

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keciRoad closures planned as YMCA holds Riverbank Run

May 6, 2016 (KECI)

More than 2,000 runners are expected to hit the road for Saturday’s 44th annual Riverbank Run in Missoula.

“Missoula is such a running town,” said resident Joy Lukes. “Every run they have is always fun.”

YMCA staff were out Friday afternoon setting up the finish line along the Clark Fork River across from Caras Park.

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Special Olympics

Special Olympics season in Missoula kicks off this week

April 20, 2016 (KPAX)

It’s that time of the year when smiles and accomplishment stir the hearts of students, parents and families in a very unique sporting event.

Wednesday marks the start of the two-day Five Valley Special Olympics — the main event for the athletes, their families, friends and coaches for all the schools in the Missoula region.

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20160416_HKD_low res_11Warm weather draws big crowds to YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day

April 16, 2016 (NBC Montana)

Saturday’s blue skies and warm weather brought out a crowd of more than 1000 to the Missoula YMCA’s annual Healthy Kids Day.

“It gives everyone the opportunity to come out with their entire family, learn a couple of healthy tips, sign up for summer camp and do things like ride ponies,” said Keri Mchugh the Director of Member Services. “The event promotes healthy living and social responsibility and it is a fun thing for the family to get out and do.”

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Brian SteffenMissoula Family YMCA starts Annual Support Campaign, sets goal at $350K

February 26, 2016 (Missoulian)

One of the largest nonprofit organizations in Missoula is seeking the support of the community during its annual fundraising effort.

The Missoula Family YMCA started its annual support campaign Thursday, with the goal of raising $350,000 – about $17,000 more than was raised last year – in donations by the end of March.

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Hellcat student spurs swim teams statewide to fight hunger

February 16, 2016 (Missoulian)

From time to time, Hellgate High School senior Jacob Butler spent mornings in class being distracted by his grumbling stomach rather than focusing on his schoolwork.

Running to 5 a.m. swim practices last year, Butler would often forget to eat beforehand or pack breakfast for after. During his morning classes, he started not feeling well and losing his drive.

Something clicked.

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jacob_01YMCA swim team member organizes state-wide food drive

February 11, 2016 (KPAX)

We all heard it growing up: ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ our parents would tell us as we made our way to school.

When one Hellgate High School student realized that not everyone is able to start their morning with a proper meal, he decided to do something about it.

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brendanYMCA swim team member fights through mystery muscle ailment

February 11, 2016 (Missoulian)

There’s not much more frightening than the unknown, the faceless assailant creeping its way through Brendan Campbell’s neuromuscular system. The long list of maladies he and his doctors have ruled out is oddly comforting, though.

Campbell doesn’t have ALS. He doesn’t have MS. It’s not a brain tumor. It’s not cancerous. So what the heck is it?

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YMCA basketball teams scrimmage in front of Lady Griz crowd

December 20, 2015 (Missoulian)
The University of Montana Lady Griz and Florida Atlantic University Owls weren’t the only ones to square off at Dahlberg Arena on Saturday.  During halftime, two teams of girls from the Missoula Family YMCA’s youth basketball league faced each other on the court in a scrimmage in front of the crowd at the game.

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5648f8e3540b8.imageYMCA helping Missoulians stay active with ‘Lazy Man’s Ironman Triathlon’

November 16, 2015 (Missoulian)
The most difficult part of completing an Ironman triathlon is completing an Ironman triathlon. The Missoula Family YMCA wants to help with that.Starting Monday, the YMCA is launching what it calls the Lazy Man’s Ironman Triathlon, challenging Missoulians to finish the 26.2-mile run/walk, 112-mile bike ride and 2.4-mile swim/row by the end of the year.

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9151468_GMissoula YMCA hosts Halloween bash

November 1, 2015 (KPAX)

From ghosts and goblins to Disney princesses and cartoon characters, you’d think you’d seen just about every costume under one roof Saturday at the Missoula YMCA’s first annual ‘Hoot and Howl’ Halloween bash.

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candies-1-1173446Family Health: 5 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

October 27, 2015 (Missoulian)
Halloween conjures up visions of costumes, haunted houses, pumpkins and, of course, candy. Every kid looks forward to trick-or-treating and filling their pillowcases so full of candy they barely make it back home. It’s all in good fun until you realize how much candy is being consumed during the sugar-crazed holiday.

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Young “Scramblers” learn to rock climb

 September 16, 2015 (ABC Fox Montana)

A young group of rock climbers, called “The Scramblers,” gather to perfect their skills and learn how to communicate and build confidence.

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55903e93e0672.imageChris Siegler creates lasting bonds at Missoula YMCA

June 28, 2015 (MISSOULIAN)

Chris Siegler left the Missoula YMCA last week with superhero status.

The organization’s longest-serving board member was awarded a cape and mask to celebrate his 29-year volunteer tenure there – a fitting tribute for Siegler, whose work for the Y has touched both local and international communities in awe-inspiring ways.

“He’s seen this YMCA from inception to where it became a full-facility Y, through all its growing pains to the established community facility it is today,” said Jon Lange, Missoula YMCA executive director. “But the most notable (accomplishment) is the amazing international partnership with Sierra Leone.”

Siegler never imagined his ties to the African country, where he met his wife, Jeannie, as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1960s, would eventually result in a unique and powerful bond between Missoula and Sierra Leone.

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Firecracker Invitational shows Missoula swimming talent

Jun 29, 2015  (KPAX)

MISSOULA – Six Missoula high school swimmers were recently named All Americans.

A quick glance at the Firecracker Invitational that took place this weekend at Splash Montana shows that ZooTown swimming will continue to get better.

The elite competition emerging from within at the Missoula Aquatic Club – along with the Missoula YMCA – has certainly fueled faster times. And coaches believe the sport here will only grow.

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Missoula YMCA kicks off fundraising campaign

Jan 29, 2015 (KECI)

MISSOULA – Thursday night the Missoula YMCA will kick off its annual support campaign. The campaign raises money for families and individuals who cannot afford a membership at the Y.

The YMCA has been raising money for individuals who cannot afford a membership for a number of years.

The goal is to raise $310,000, but that doesn’t cover everything. Directors at the Y tell us they actually need $518,000 to support the memberships and child care programs.

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Missoula’s YMCA raises $16K to fight ebola in Sierra Leone

Oct 25, 2014 (KECI)

A local organization is doing what it can to help the people of Sierra Leone, where more than 1,200 people have died from Ebola.

For nearly two months, Missoula’s YMCA has raised about $16,000 for sanitation materials like chlorine and bleach buckets.

“Our first world problems are nothing compared to what they face day in and day out and to have this on top of that is devastating,” said Missoula’s YMCA Executive Director Jon Lange.

Lange says they’ve been partnered with Sierra Leone’s YMCA for up to seven years.

Lange says he visited Sierra Leone’s YMCA back in 2012 before the epidemic and now with Ebola hitting that part of the country, he couldn’t stand by and watch.

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