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Garner YMCA Celebrates 50 Years

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GARNER — Helping young people grow stronger bodies and minds is the mission of the Garner Road YMCA. After over 50 years, the Y is still meeting the needs of it's community.

The facility is conducting its annual campaign with a goal of raising $100,000 by May 8. But this Y wants to raise money on a continuing basis so that its work with children, families and communities can go on.

The Garner Road YMCA opened its doors on Bloodworth Street in 1945. The organization met a critical need at that time, helping African-Americans who were unable to participate in programs at othe Y's because of segregation.

While that issue no longer exists, this particular facility is still meeting the special needs of its community -- Southeast Raleigh. But it is now located on Garner Road, and its membership is more diverse. Director Reginald Towns says there is something for everyone at this Y.

Senior citizens participate in a Garner Road Y program designed just for people 65 to 85 years of age. They are encouraged to stay healthy through the facility's exercise and nutrition program. Program Director Patrice Lloyd says many of the participants have special physical needs, and appreciate the age-specific program.

Robie Burris, 70, participates in Lloyd's program says she gets individual attention.

One of the Y's financial goals is to raise enough money to expand on its current facility to make room for more programs.