Each year, at this time, I write a letter to the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press expressing my appreciation for the Maquoketa Area Family YMCA.

In the past I’ve talked about how special the “Y” is for the community. It is a beautiful building, with a great pool, many types of equipment, numerous programs to meet the member’s needs and has a wonderful staff. 

Last year after seeing all the activities that take place each day, one local business man said, “This really is a community center.” It is a place where friends and family of all ages can go to grow physically, mentally, and socially. Visitors and new members especially enjoy how welcome they are made to feel.

This year I decided to let others share their thoughts. So, I asked, “Why do you come to the Y?” and “What do you like best about the Y?” Here are some of their responses: “It’s a good start to my day.” “I feel better.” “Having a routine is important.” “I come for the smiles and the friendly people.” “I can exercise without weather problems.” “The weights make me stronger and my grandkids just laugh when I show them my muscles!” “The fellowship.” “The pool.” “The treadmill.” “Pickleball.” “Socializing.” “Coffee.” “It’s a stress reliever.” “I went back to a class reunion and several of my high school friends were using walkers. My friends at the Y who are my age can all still walk on their own.” One retired teacher shared, “I come for the balance it gives me in my life. These include physical, mental, social, and intellectual growth.” “The friendships have given me opportunities to participate in more community activities and pursue new interests and I also really appreciate that the Y is open to everyone regardless of their financial ability to pay.”

I hope you have enjoyed these answers as much as I have.

Each spring the YMCA kicks off its annual campaign. If you are called, I hope you will donate generously to this cause. The resulting funds will benefit many children and their families in the coming year. If you are not contacted and would like to give, feel free to call the YMCA at 563-652-6566.

Bill Mueller

Rural DeWitt