Featured Story of the Month
YMCA OF THE CHIPPEWA VALLEY
The YMCA: A Safe Space for the Whole Family to Stay Active and Healthy
The Berrier Family:
Michelle & Josh and their children Sydney (16), Landon (14), Ivy (3), Ryle (1)
“The YMCA supports a healthy lifestyle, which is something that has been important to us for the last couple of years. It's a place where my big kids and little kids can be active and not sit around watching TV or on their phones. The Y is a great organization, and we're glad we're a part of it. It helps us stay healthy and hang out together as a family while achieving our own goals,” Michelle Berrier said.
The Berrier family moved back to the Chippewa Valley two years ago, and recently joined the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley to focus on living a healthier lifestyle and provide their children with opportunities for socialization and activities. The YMCA has become a safe and enjoyable space where they can all spend time together, make good decisions, and improve their overall health.
“We've been trying to be more active as a family, and the YMCA has been a great place for us to do so. We use Child Watch and Family Fun Zone, and we're excited for the Parents’ Night Out events once our little kids get a bit older. The YMCA provides an opportunity for my teenage son and daughter to be responsible, respectful, and to make good choices. It's a great place for my kids to hang out and just be kids,” Michelle shared.
The Berries visit and participate in offerings at the Chippewa Falls YMCA, the Eau Claire Downtown YMCA, and L.E. Phillips YMCA Sports Center. “We travel to rural communities a lot, and we feel lucky that the Chippewa Valley has not just one, but multiple YMCA facilities for people to attend and enroll in classes and programs. The variety of offerings is really cool, and everyone has been so nice and helpful getting us connected with the services available with our membership,” Michelle said.
Josh uses the weight room as his work schedule allows. His job is physically demanding so being able to lift and stay-in-shape helps keep him from injury. Michelle's preferred workout is running, running outside can be challenging in Wisconsin with the varying weather conditions. The Child Watch services have been a huge help for her, as she can leave her children in the care of YMCA staff while she gets her run in. This way she doesn’t have to rely on family or friends to watch her children and she gets time to exercise.
“As a mom who stays home, getting out is essential, and I'm thankful for the Y and the opportunities and resources it has for me. I recommend the Y to others because it's functional for the entire family. My family ranges from ages 1 to 43 and there is something for all of us to do. The variety of activities truly caters to all ages. My little ones can participate in things like Family Fun Zone, or we can participate in things like open swim all together as a family. It is a safe place for my kids to come with their friends and make healthy choices,” Michelle shared.
Sydney participates in gymnastics and track at Chippewa Falls Senior High School and goes to the YMCA to run and lift weights. Landon enjoys meeting up with friends, lifting weights, and playing basketball at the YMCA. In school he participates in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. Having access to the YMCA is helpful for Sydney and Landon to exercise and stay in shape for their sports. The YMCA is a safe place for them to go and be active year-round. Michelle is grateful that both Landon and Sydney ask to go to the Y instead of staying home and playing video games or watching movies.
The Berrier family is grateful for the YMCA's contributions to their family's health and well-being. “The Y is more than a facility; it's a community. We appreciate the support we have received from the Y which has enabled us to foster friendships and build memories while working towards our goals. Overall, the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley has been an excellent resource for us, and we would recommend it to anyone seeking a safe and nurturing environment to achieve their health objectives,” Michelle shared.