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November Newsletter

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

As diabetes rates continues to rise, few Central Iowa residents know they are at risk

[November 2017] – During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA is encouraging residents in Central Iowa to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease. 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

“As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of our community, the Y wants all people to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps to take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes,” said Heidi Draisey, Marshalltown Y Health & Wellness Coordinator.  “Developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system, but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA is helping to improve health through programs and services for all ages.  The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention program helps participants reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

For more information call 641-752-8658 or click here to learn about Health & Wellness programs at the Y.

Linn Creek Bridge Closing

The small bridge over Linn Creek (the block of Center Street from Anson Street to the Center Street viaduct) will be closed - beginning Monday, November 6 after the morning rush hour and will remain closed for up to 3 weeks.

Traffic heading south on Center Street will be able to access the ramps leading to the YMCA-YWCA. Traffic heading north on Center Street will need to take one of the detours to access the Y via Washington St.

Please see the graphic below provided by the City of Marshalltown for details.

Member Satisfaction Survey

Dear Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Members,

Thank you for being a valued member of the Y Family!  At the Y, we’re dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities.  Every day, our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.

As an ongoing member, we would love your thoughtful perspective on how we’re doing. We have created a survey designed specifically for ongoing members.  It will only take you a few minutes to complete, and it is completely confidential and anonymous.

If you are randomly selected to complete the survey, you will be receiving a questionnaire from our survey provider, Seer Analytics.  Your survey will be sent from beginning on October 19th, 2017 and includes a link to the survey that you can complete online.  We hope you will take a few moments to share your personal Y experience with us -- the highlights as well as the opportunities we have to improve our support of your goals.

If you need assistance please do not hesitate to speak with me or any member of our YMCA staff team.

We thank you in advance for your time and thoughts.


Carol Hibbs
Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA

2017 YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign

[August 2017] – The 2017 Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign has officially kicked off with Ronnie Manis and Samantha Vance leading a team of volunteers working to reach this year’s goal of $137,000.

Manis and Vance are both Board Members of the YMCA-YWCA.  Manis is Principal of Anson Elementary School in Marshalltown.  “The Y is a positive force in our community, and I’m proud to help lead its fundraising efforts.  In 2016, more than 2,700 people were impacted through the Annual Campaign.  We hope to serve even more this year.”

Vance, a Buyer Specialist with Five Star Home Team in Marshalltown, added, “I believe that being part of a community means supporting each other and making the world a better place.  The people and programs at the Y do that every day.”

The Y works to address three urgent needs within the Marshalltown community:

•       Improving health for everyone

•       Providing a safe place for children to grow

•       Strengthening families and developing future leaders

With support from Annual Campaign funds, more kids can have a safe place to learn and build self-confidence and more families can reconnect and grow together.  The funds also support programs offered free of charge, such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for cancer surivors seeking to reclaim health and Teach Them To Swim, which is available to qualified students from Lenihan Intermediate School. 

For more information about the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign visit or contact Kim Jass-Ramirez at 641-752-8658.

May is Water Safety Month

As the season turns from spring to summer, the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA encourages children and parents in Central Iowa to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind.

“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all children,” said Shelley Lechnir, Aquatic Director for the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.  “Learning basic water safety skills is a great introduction to the world of swimming that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs, and can even lead to a career.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the Y encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

Before letting your children hit the water this summer, remember these few tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable and safe experience.

  • Never swim alone. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Supervise your children whenever they’re in water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach of you at all time.
  • Don’t engage in breath-holding activities. Children shouldn’t hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.
  • Wear a Life Jacket: Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. 
  • Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling them underwater with them. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their own safety.
  • Enroll your children in water safety or swim lessons. Just like teaching your children to look both ways before they cross the street, having them participate in formal water safety lessons teaches them an important life skill. The Y’s Swim Lessons teaches children fundamental water safety skills and what to do if they find themselves in water unexpectedly.

Learning how to swim also has multiple benefits beyond the ability to enjoy water safely. It helps children strive for physical achievement, promotes healthy living and builds their confidence. To find out how to enroll your child in the Y’s Swim Lessons program, click this link or call 641-752-8658.