LIVINGSTON, NJ — After closing its facilities in March due to health concerns and Governor Murphy’s stay-at-home order surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the West Essex YMCA is welcoming members back and waiving the fee for new members to join during the Labor Day weekend.
“The Metro YMCA of the Oranges has served the community for 135 years, during which we have made it through many challenging times together, none perhaps as impactful for our community and our Y as this COVID crisis,” said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, which includes the West Essex Y. “We are thrilled to be reopening our facilities, welcoming back our members and the community, and getting back to what we do best – helping everyone reach their full potential.”
From Sept. 4-7, new members can save up to $50 on joining and cancel anytime within their first 30 days and receive a full refund on membership costs. Membership includes use of:
Indoor and outdoor fitness facilities, including cardio and strength equipment
Pools for lap swim, lessons, and aquatics classes
Over 70 free group exercise classes with on-demand videos
Savings on swim lessons, special events, and more
The Y is the only fitness provider to give members the option of canceling their membership with a 14-day notice. The Y also offers savings on membership costs through partnerships with insurance providers and employers, in addition to providing financial assistance to qualifying applicants.
While the state recently allowed indoor gyms to reopen Sept. 1 at 25 percent capacity, the Y has been safely providing both in-person and virtual options for members to reach their wellness goals. This includes outdoor exercise programs and personal training by appointment, as well as recreational swim opportunities.
The West Essex Y plans to reopen its indoor gym facilities on Sept. 2.
The Y is protecting members and staff by requiring health screenings, masks, and social distancing durings its programs. The Y cleans throughout the day using a hospital grade disinfectant, and requires members to also wipe down equipment before and after use. Members are required to reserve their space online for outdoor classes and weight training centers and will be required to do the same prior to visiting indoor gyms.
“When we closed our facilities in March, we did so to protect the health and well-being of all our staff, volunteers, members and participants. As we now reopen our facilities, we do so with that same commitment to keeping everyone who enters our doors safe,” said Gorab.
The Y has also opened its Early Childhood and School Age Child Care Programs to the public and is ending a successful summer camp season without a single reported COVID-19 case. The Y plans to offer more virtual academic support during the school year, in addition to virtual youth and adult enrichment classes.
More information about the Y’s phased reopening will be made available on the Y’s website at metroymcas.org.
“We are so excited to reopen our facilities to our community. More importantly, however, our Y has always been more than a building. Our Y is about people – people from all backgrounds and walks of life who come together to improve their lives, nurture their families and strengthen their community,” said Cheryl Tuturice, Executive Director of the West Essex Y. “We are so incredibly grateful to the people who have stood by us throughout these challenging times. You were here for your community when it needed it most, and we remain here for you.”
More than a gym
Even while its buildings were closed for normal operations, the Y, a nonprofit organization, continued to serve the community during COVID-19. With the support of members and donors during the crisis, the West Essex Y and its sister branches part of the Metro YMCAs have responded to community needs, collectively providing (as of Aug. 1): 1,160 hours of Emergency Child Care; 245 pints of blood from donation drives; more than 900 meals and 14,000 boxes of healthy food; and close to 2,500 wellness checks to seniors, teens, and chronic disease program participants. These are just some of the ways the Y has stepped up to assist those physically, financially, and socially impacted by COVID-19.
The Y also provides access to mental health support services, virtual enrichment, education and wellness programs, and opportunities to volunteer in the community throughout the year.
Thanks to generous gifts from the community, the Y is able to offer financial assistance to help eligible adults, children, and families access Y memberships and programs. Awards are distributed to applicants based on income.
For more information about reopening, membership renewal and reactivation and program registration, visit metroymcas.org.
ABOUT THE Y
Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.