Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

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By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

Downriver Family YMCA Is the Place to Be in 2023


January 19, 2023

If you're looking to get some support for those health and fitness-related New Year's Resolutions, consider a membership at the Downriver Family YMCA in Southgate. The Downriver YMCA (the Y) was first established in Wyandotte in 1941 but moved to Southgate in 2003 when the city announced it had funding available to build a wellness facility and chose the YMCA as managing partner. "We are currently the only YMCA serving the entire downriver community. We are part of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, and that includes this branch and six other branch locations," says Jeffrey McIntyre, Executive Director of the Downriver Family YMCA. "The big message we try to get out from the YMCA standpoint is that we're more than just a gym. You can go to a lot of places to work out but we're a little different as we're a community-based organization, we're a place for all. We feel we have services that serve everyone from babies all the way up to seniors."

The YMCA organization was founded in London, England in 1844 and has grown to one of the largest organizations dedicated to strengthening communities, serving more than 64 million people in 120 countries around the globe. In the United States, roughly 10,000 communities nationwide are served by a local YMCA facility.

The Downriver YMCA is a fully equipped community facility which features an indoor running/walking track, exercise studios, a gymnasium, a workout area with weights and strength training equipment and machines, an indoor pool, sauna, locker rooms, and Wi-Fi internet access. In addition, the facility offers Child Watch for adults who wish to participate in activities onsite and need childcare. "If mom and dad want to come work out, they have a quality place to drop their child off here onsite free of charge as part of their membership," says McIntyre.

The Downriver Y participates with the Silver Sneakers Program, an exercise program for senior citizens that is part of many health insurance plans. The YMCA's Make Every Day Better campaign offers financial assistance for families who want to participate in programming at the Y yet are unable to due to a tight budget. The Make Every Day Better campaign can help make a membership at the Y more affordable, allowing children to take advantage of the many programs offered there, including summer day camp.

Programs at the Y are aimed at all ages and include such offerings as basketball, ballet, kickboxing, martial arts, cycling, yoga, and swimming, to name a few. McIntyre says the Y collaborates with various downriver communities and their parks and recreation departments to enhance programs and services for residents, according to what each community wants and needs. "Come and see us. Give us a call, schedule a tour and come see what the Y truly is about because I think you're going to be very surprised," he says. "Yes, we have treadmills, we have strength training equipment, but the things that you don't see at the YMCA, the core values, the programming aspects, those are the type of things we want the community to see. I love having people come and see us and try us out; we'll give you a day pass for the day. We offer so many different, dynamic things that we thing we truly are a place for everyone."

Upcoming events include a Healthy Kids Day in April and a Fit Jam Open House on Friday, February 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. McIntyre says everyone is welcome to visit

"Babies, young children, working parents, seniors, the Y is truly a place for everyone and we want to make sure we continue to promote that and be that place for them," say McIntyre. "We love what we do. What other job can you have where you get to go home at the end of the day and say, 'I truly did make a difference in somebody's life today'?"

The Southgate Fun and Fitness Center-Home of the Downriver YMCA is located at 16777 Northline Road. The Y is open Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and to find out more about the Make Every Day Better campaign call 734-282-9622. Also visit


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