My Y Story

Discovering So Much More at The Y.

You come to the Y for so many reasons – to get fit, lose weight or de-stress. Once you’re here, your Y story takes shape: on the neighboring treadmill, you find a coach; in Zumba class, you turn into a cheerleader; and on the basketball court, you become a team. Below are stories from some of those who have met challenges and achieved goals at the Y – and along the way discovered so much more.

Erin Croumbley is a busy working mom with sons ages 7 and 15, so finding time to work out is difficult, but she knew she needed to take the time to help herself. She had tried to follow fitness routines in the past with limited success. When she came to the YMCA at New Holland a year and half ago she was determined to make it work this time and she credits the people at the Y with helping her make that happen.
Read Erin’s story…

When Y member Jeremy Dovin was very young his father Kim would push him in a stroller when he went out for a run. It didn’t take long for Jeremy to get his own feet moving and by age 4 his natural running abilities become apparent.
Read Jeremy’s story.


For 90-year-old Alice Simpson the Y was not just a great place to regain health and wellness, but also a place to find friends and support. Read Alice’s story.


Y members Sarah Wei and her husband Wenxin are active people who are committed to living a healthy lifestyle. After the birth of their son Teddy, Sara knew it was important that they maintain their fitness routines; however, Teddy was having separation anxiety issues which made it challenging for Sarah to leave him.

When Teddy was 14 months old, she brought him to the L-S Y Child Watch room in the hopes it would help ease the separation anxiety and also give her an opportunity to work out and get some time to herself.
Learn how Miss Deb from Child Watch was the helping hand Sarah needed.


In 2013, Cindy Griffith decided it was time to make a change. She didn’t like the way she looked and wanted to be a better role model to her daughter on how to live a healthy lifestyle, so she joined her first Project Pounds Away (PPA) program at the Y and lost 20 lbs. But the transformation didn’t end there.
Learn more about Cindy and how PPA changed her life.


One difficult pull-up led to a very big goal for Bill Zimmerman!
When Bill Zimmerman retired he was looking for an exercise routine to help him get in better shape. He wasn’t overweight, but he didn’t have good muscle tone or endurance at that point in his life. A friend encouraged Bill to join the New Holland Rec Center – now the YMCA at New Holland. Bill says, “I was very athletic through my life, playing soccer in college and through my thirties. I like to hike and ski and run, but had never done training in a fitness center. When I tried to do a pull-up and could only get half-way up, I was pretty disappointed.”
Learn more about Bill’s accomplishment.


Recovery from cancer leads Gigi Rogers from the Y’s CaRE (Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise) program to making an impact on the lives of children in our Early Learning Academy. Learn more about Gigi’s journey and how these Y programs are changing lives.



Helping prevent chronic disease is a mission priority for the YMCA, and one of our signature programs – Project Pounds Away (PPA) – is leading the effort in changing the health and wellness future for so many folks. Don DeVinney, a recent PPA participant shares the great news he received from his doctor and how PPA changed is life. Read about Don’s PPA success...


Liam and Tara rounded

At the Y, we’re dedicated to helping all kids reach their full potential and to partnering with families to provide opportunities that help them achieve their goals and lead healthy lives.  For the Magee family, their son Liam’s experience with Autism and their desire to keep him safe around water has prompted a deep connection with the Y. Read Liam’s Y Story…


Ken Bray for web

“Becoming part of the Y has really opened our eyes,” explains member Ken Bray about he and his family’s experience over the past year. While Ken and his wife Brooke had worked out at a local gym franchise for some time, they felt something was missing from that experience. Read Ken’s Y Story…


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Active Older Adults

Active Older Adult class member Diane shares “When I first joined the Y, I was coming down household steps one foot on a step, joined by the other, unable to do alternate stepping! I was overweight, with high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose – the works. From the moment my friend Pat and I walked into the Y, we were met with smiling faces and helpful advisers – read Diane and her fellow AOA classmates’ Y Story…


Bob Lee and Ian My Y Story photo

Ian Ross

Ian Ross has been working closely with Y Trainer Bob Lee for over ten months.  Ian has Asperger’s syndrome and as he’s expanded the scope and intensity of his workouts over time, he’s also stepped outside of his initial comfort zone to benefit in other ways – read Ian’s Y Story…


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Kristen and Aaron Young

Kristen and Aaron Young have each lost a significant amount of weight through their participation in Project Pounds Away (PPA) at the Y; but this was not their initial goal. They were motivated to improve their health, set positive examples for their three daughters and regain balance in their lives. Read their Y Story…


Maddy Fritz rounded

Maddy Fritz

Although eleven-year-old Maddy had swam competitively for years, recently her confidence was lagging and she was struggling to achieve her goals in and out of the pool. Her family decided to give the swim team at the YMCA at New Holland a try, and it has been a transformational experience for Maddy. Read her Y Story…


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Kayla Stoltzfus

Kayla has spina bifida and has no feeling in her body from the waist down. Yet her mom Dianna shares that her daughter doesn’t see herself as disabled, and enjoys riding her hand bike, swimming, climbing and jumping on trampolines. In April, Kayla completed the Y’s Kids Marathon – read her Y Story…


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Cheryl Bevensee

Cheryl Bevensee doesn’t take a single moment for granted. Battling three auto-immune diseases, she faces a number of challenges. But she’s encouraged by the progress she’s made and is determined to keep working, concluding that “it’s a beautiful thing to be able to contribute to my own health.” Read Cheryl’s Y Story….


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A series of challenges unexpectedly led three-year-old Jordy and his family to the Y and our preschool program, but this turn of events now seems meant to be. Read Jordy’s Y Story…


Meagan Funk rounded

Meagan Funk

“Oh, the souls you meet here,” remarked 29-year-old Meagan Funk when talking about the powerful connections she’s made with her fellow participants in the Y’s Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise (CaRE) Program – read Meagan’s Y Story…


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The Brown Family

At first glance, the Fit Kids program at the City Center Y looks like a lively session of indoor recess. Yet within a few minutes, it becomes clear that this popular program is so much more. Kyle Brown and his ten-year-old son Mekhi attend almost every week – find out what the program means to them in the Brown Family’s Y Story….


Kelianna rounded


My three-year-old daughter Kelianna has attended “strictly” day care centers before, but now that she’s enrolled in the Y’s preschool program, she’s become a student – actively learning the alphabet and numbers, and exploring new ideas through stories, pictures and crafts. Read Kelianna’s Y Story…


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For five-year old Landon and his family, the Lancaster Family YMCA’s preschool is a truly special place where his individuality was appreciated and nurtured, and where he found the start to life-long learning and friendships – read Landon’s My Y Story…


Kelly Mallery & Daughter rounded

Kelly Mallery

Kelly Mallery joined the Y ten years ago, through her employer’s participation in the Y’s Healthy Workplace Program. She initially got involved with some group exercise classes and lost nearly 40 pounds, but it was several more recent life-changing events that would shape the important role the Y plays in her life today. Read Kelly’s Y Story…


Denise & Leilani Weaver rounded

Denise and Leilani Weaver

“The Y is family and always has been,” shares Denise Weaver, summing up her experience as a single mom who, for many years, has relied on the Y to help her provide safe, enriching and fun opportunities for her family, including daughter Leilani – read their Y Story…


Neil Gussman rounded

Neil Gussman

How do you compete in an Ironman triathlon when you don’t know how to swim? Take lessons at the Y! That’s what 61-year old Neil Gussman did, proving that it’s never too late to learn new skills and take on a challenge. Read Neil’s Y Story…


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Carolyn Null

Carolyn, Joey and Brianna Null took part in the Trick or Trot 5K and Monster Run for Kids for the second year in a row in October, having a blast along with other members of their “Y Family” – read about how they come together here for healthy fun and friendship in Carolyn’s My Y Story…


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Ed and Pat Frankel, Melissa Detrick

What prompted 76 year-old Ed Frankel and his wife Pat, age 75, to join the Y and enroll in Project Pounds Away (PPA) last February? “We were feeling fat, old and desperate,” Ed explains and “needed someone to give us a punch” – to jump start the kind of diet and exercise changes they needed to kick poor habits and lead longer, healthier lives. Read their Y Story….


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James Wright

The Y has helped James Wright to set the bar high and reach his goals –first with his 100+ pound weight loss beginning with our Project Pounds Away (PPA) program – and by supporting his continuing dedication to a healthy, energized life – read James’ Y Story…


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Peyton Krebs

Five-year old Peyton has been attending the Lancaster Family YMCA Child Care Center for about two months and her mom Janelle says she’s blooming from the experience – read Peyton’s Y Story…


Shelly Pierson rounded

Shelly Pierson

Lampeter-Strasburg Y member Shelly Pierson has competed in Special Olympics aquatics events since 1995, and most recently swam at the Summer Games at Penn State University on June 7. This year, Shelly decided that some extra instruction could help her to fine tune her technique and give it her all. A few days before heading to Penn State, Shelly’s mom Anne reached out to the Y for help – read Shelly’s My Y Story…


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Akilah Ingram

When Akilah Ingram first came to the City Center YMCA in May 2013, she describes herself as broken and in a very bad place. Her husband had recently passed away, she had lost her job and Akilah was struggling with grief and concern about how she would continue to care for her six children.  A Y Financial Scholarship made all the difference for Akilah and her kids, giving them a place to come together as a family and recover from loss – read Akilah’s My Y Story…


ed slaymaker

Ed Slaymaker

Seventy year old Ed Slaymaker has been a volunteer fire policeman since he was fourteen years old, keeping him on the move for decades. However, a staggering number of health issues – including six heart attacks and three bouts with cancer – have taken their toll over the years. Ed’s connection to the Y as a special event volunteer led him down a path to a major health and wellness transformation. Read Ed’s Y Story…

Kristin Rehder rounded

Kristin Rehder

When Kristin Rehder was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late spring of 2013, she turned to exercise at the Y to connect her to her core—to help her survive and thrive. Read Kristin’s Y Story…


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Three year old Javis is thriving at the Y’s Child Care Center. His Mom Nashiyah talks about all he’s learned and how the Y’s Financial Scholarship program helped her to provide this opportunity – read Javis’s Y Story…


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Jessica Tiedebohl

Jessica Tiedebohl wants you to get in the water! As a life-long devotee, she is passionate about swimming as good exercise and a natural mood booster, but also as a great way to achieve goals and connect with community. Jessica is currently training to take part in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4 mile open water race to take place on June 8, and is training at the Y. Read Jessica’s Y Story…


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Denise Harnish and Beca Stamp

Denise Harnish and Beca Stamp took part in the Y’s Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise (CaRE) program, seeking renewed health and strength after cancer treatment and finding encouragement, confidence and friendly support. Read their Y Story…


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Caroline Foltz

Caroline is a 10 year old competitive swimmer, currently training to compete in the 2014 Middle Atlantic Swimming Junior Olympics. With this event in mind, she wanted to fine-tune her turn techniques through private instruction. Read about her great experience and the goals she reached with the help of Lampeter-Strasburg Y swim lesson instructor, Elizabeth Reidenbaugh in Caroline’s My Y Story…

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Diane Lausman, Jude Sharp and Christine Kaufman

Cycling takes Diane, Jude and Christine out and about and back to the Y, where in 2013, they all helped Diane recover from a challenging year and achieve a fitness “first.” Read their Y Story…

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Pete Beckary

The social support Pete Beckary found in classes like Body Pump helped to fuel his 40 pound weight loss and more. Read Pete’s Y Story…


Glenda Buswell

Glenda Buswell hoped that 2013 would be the year she finally lost some weight and improve her health. Taking that first step was hard, but when her son joined the Army she decided to match his life-changing choice with one of her own. Read Glenda’s Y Story…

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Heather McLain

When Heather visited the Lampeter-Strasburg Y to register her daughter for swim lessons, she saw a flyer for Project Pounds Away (PPA) and signed up on the spot. This spontaneous decision was a life-changing moment for Heather and the beginning of a story about much more than weight loss. Read Heather’s Y Story…

Jen Reinhart photo

Jen Reinhart

People join the Y for many reasons – for Jen Reinhart it was first a place to exercise and meet new people after moving to Lancaster some twenty years ago. Since then, it’s become a place where connections, personal and professional, have had a powerful impact on her life. Read Jen’s Y Story…

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Tom and Dana Nixon

Dana and Tom Nixon are different people from when they first joined the Y in July of 2011… about 200 lbs. different! Read their Y Story…

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Joan Decker

Joan Decker has cancer.  Her journey with this disease first began in April 2010, after many rounds of medical tests finally detected the bladder cancer that was the cause of her health problems. What could have been a bleak future took a positive turn when Joan learned about the YMCA Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise (CaRE) program. Read Joan’s Y Story…

rick weymer - my y story

Rick Weymer

Lampeter-Strasburg branch member Rick Weymer took on our Swim Marathon challenge in January 2012, and then just kept on swimming! Read Rick’s Story…

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Charlotte Toney

It was the spring of 2009, and Charlotte Toney was tired. She hadn’t felt well for quite some time and couldn’t shake the exhaustion that had plagued her for weeks. What Charlotte soon discovered following a doctor’s visit was quite a shock and the start of a journey that would bring her to the City Center Y and a life transformation. Read Charlotte’s Y Story…

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Scott Lingo

Scott Lingo shares how time in the Y pool – from swim lessons to water aerobics – has made a difference in his family’s life. Read Scott’s Story….