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Scores visit YMCA during open house

January 06, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

Margaret Kraft has been taking her 5 1/2-year-old daughter, Annie, to swim at the Hagerstown YMCA since she enrolled her in an infant swimming class at about 6 months old.

Until Sunday afternoon, however, Kraft said she had no idea how much the YMCA had to offer her whole family.

"There's a lot more things," said Kraft, one of more than 100 people who toured the huge building during a four-hour open house.

The Hagerstown YMCA usually holds about two open house events each year, said membership director Pat Geiman.

"People don't realize the facilities we have, that we have two swimming pools, one indoor running track, two weight rooms, a day care center," said Geiman.

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While many of the estimated 130 people were newcomers, others were former members who came to see how the facility has changed over the years, she said.

The North Potomac Street fixture, which opened in 1922, still has two floors of single rooms for rent to men only, Geiman said.

But the rest is open to both sexes, with a wide range of programs and activities for children ages 6 months and older through late adulthood, she said.

"We offer the gamut for the community," said Geiman, who said the downtown location, affordable prices and long hours - 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily - make the YMCA's offerings very accessible.

Families get a discount on memberships, which can be paid monthly or annually, Geiman said.

There are about 3,000 members, with about as many non-members participating in programs and activities, she said.

Early January is a good time for an open house because many people are trying to fulfill New Year's resolutions to lead healthier lifestyles, Geiman said.

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