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YMCA gives some fun back to Waynesboro

October 05, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA.

One child running around the Waynesboro Area YMCA's Fun Day on Sunday stopped briefly to check his hair in a police patrol cruiser's passenger-side mirror.

He grinned widely when he saw the black paint stripes on his head that made him resemble a skunk.

That boy easily blended in with dozens of children with glitter and spray paint in their hair courtesy of the artists volunteering for the afternoon at Fun Day. The youngsters bounced on inflatable games, ate hot dogs, grabbed sodas, licked ice cream cones and scrambled up the rock wall at the long-standing annual event in Waynesboro.

"It's a fun thing, particularly for families, and we've really been focusing on families," said Alan Smith, executive director of the YMCA.

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The YMCA added the rock wall and a teen center during its most recent capital campaign. A new computer center is expected to open soon.

Tour guides showed off the facility throughout the afternoon, and visitors were invited to swim or try a spin class during the free event.

"Events like today's is the Y giving back to the community," Smith said.

"To see all the little kids come up and say their 'thank you's,' it's rewarding," said Scott Stine, a member of the board of directors.

Brandon Walters, 7, of Waynesboro, had never been to Fun Day before. His father praised the quality of the facility and said the family is considering joining.

"It's fun, and you get to go down the slide and stuff," Brandon said.

Bryson Shaull, 4, of Waynesboro, had soda and ice cream in the midst of his exploration of the inflatable games.

"I've been enjoying going down the slide," he said. "I jumped in the bounce house."

His brother, Tanyon Shaull, 3, said he'd tell other people to "come here."

Stine said he can appreciate the way that type of event brings the community together and affects children.

"Every year I see a difference that our young kids are coming around. They're more positive and cheerful," he said.

The YMCA saw its membership increase from 4,200 to 6,200 in the past year.

"Our growth has been significant, particularly in the family category," Smith said.

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