News You Need To Know

Y Preps for Oct. 6 Opening

As staffers prepare for the first day of full public use of the Westport Weston Family Y’s modern new home at Mahackeno on Monday, Oct. 6, starting at 5:30 am, they’re getting assists from groups of Y members tapped to help test how the new facility functions.

The goal is to ensure that the transition from our longtime home downtown to our modern new home at 14 Allen Raymond Lane goes as smoothly and safely as possible.
It was a task our young Water Rat swimmers took to with eager anticipation and delight on Monday, Sept. 29, when they held their first practice in their new home waters – the Strittmatter Family Aquatics Center at the new Y facility.

Named for the critters encountered during early-morning practices at Longshore Club Park – back when the Town’s pool was filled with saltwater drawn from the Sound – the Y’s young Water Rat swimmers were thrilled to be serving more like Lab Rats this week.

“The facility we’ve been dreaming about for so long is finally a reality,” said longtime Head Coach Ellen Johnston as she led various age groups of the nearly 200-member team through their paces in the 10-lane lap pool. (at right, Water Rats Kira McCreesh, Cambell Rosow, Molly Duffy and Katie Akers gather poolside before their first practice.)

“It’s even better than we hoped for,” Johnson added, “More lanes – and wider lanes at that – an incredible new filtration and air-circulation system, beautiful new locker rooms just off the pool deck; this is the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in our swim program.”

Click here to see photos of the Water Rats' first practice.

Across the inlaid tilework in the adjacent warm-water shallow pool to be used for swim lessons, family recreation and aquafitness classes, Ruth Sherman led a Senior Aqua Fitness class through their paces.

“The shallow pool features a “zero-depth” entry with a gradual slope and adjacent railings; the lap pool is equipped with ladders as well as a motorized lift, which is also being tested this week.

Upstairs on the Main Level, avid spinners took the new Keiser M3+ indoor cycles for spin to see whether the sound system in our new Cycle Studio on the Main Level could be heard from the nearby Schine Family Meeting Room. (Nope!)

Fitness instructors are also conducting a series of trial group-fitness classes and sessions in the 5,600 sq. ft. Robin Tauck Wellness Center to check sound levels, WiFi connections and hone their introductions of the all-new, state-of-the-art fitness equipment. And later this week, Sports & Rec staff will conduct sample programs in the McMahon Family Gymnasium, some with the partition in place that allows two groups to use the multi-purpose gym at the same time.

“It’s ‘all hands on deck’ for Y staff this week, and we thank the Water Rats and other Y members for helping us test our systems and equipment,” says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves. “Monday the 6th will be a big day for all of us, and with the help of our members, we’ll be up and running and enjoying our beautiful new Y.”

Y members are reminded to shower before using the pools and to bring a towel if need be, as the new Y’s on-site septic system precludes the Y from continuing its on-site laundry service allowing for complimentary towels.

Other information about the Y’s new facility and its new policies, procedures and membership options may be found at http://www.westporty.org or by calling 203-226-8981.

Last, please be aware that the Y's downtown facility will close at 12:30 pm on Sunday, Oct. 5, in order to complete the transition. If you haven't already cleaned out your locker in our Health Centers or Locker Rooms, please do so!

Thanks. See you starting on Monday at our new Y!

See below for a short video clip of the Senior Water Rats taking their first dives into our new pools!


A User’s Guide to Your New Y

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to our new Family Y, starting Monday, Oct. 6, 5:30 am to 10 pm ... and beyond! To help make this monumental move go as smoothly as possible, we ask for your help -- both to finish up at our downtown facility in the best way possible and to get off to a great start at our modern new home at 14 Allen Raymond Lane.

Please be aware that our downtown facility will close at 12:30 pm on Sunday to help Y staff transition to our new facility. (Also, please know that no Youth Classes will be held on Friday after 6 pm or all day on Saturday in honor of the Yom Kippur holiday.)

Know that if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask. From the Membership specialists at the Welcome Center to our Program Directors and Instructors to the Administrative staff, we're here to help.

We've also prepared some move-in materials to give you complete and current information about our new facility and membership policies and procedures.

These include a set of Frequently Asked Questions about our new Y, as well as our Membership Handbook. They're available at the front desk, on the Membership page on our website and via the underscored links in this message. Please do take a moment to review them.

And here are the program schedules that will be in effect starting Monday, Oct. 6 at our new Y:

Aquatics
Group Fitness
Sports & Rec/Gymnasium
Dance Center

Allow us to highlight a few new amenities and policies worth special mention:

Nussbaum Kids' Club & Fort Mack
One of the biggest enhancements to our new Y is opposite our new Member Cafe: The Nussbaum Kids' Club is a bright, spacious room that will be the home of our babysitting service for Y members, as well as a fun and engaging haven for children up to the age 12.

The Kids' Club features Fort Mack, an innovative playscape for kids to use while their parents or caregivers are working out, swimming or taking a group-fitness class. Y staff will supervise the area and contact parents if needed.

The Kids' Club is free to Family Members and $5 per visit for Youth Members or Children of Adult Members. There is a 2-hour time limit per day.

The current scheduled times:

Mon. - Fri.: 8:15 am - 1:30 pm
Mon. - Fri.: 3:45 pm - 8 pm
Sat.: 7:45 am - 1:15 pm


For details about the Kids' Club, please contact Meg George, Camp & Family Services Director, at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Towel Service
We know some members are disappointed that we will not be able to offer complimentary towel service at our new Y. We understand. But one of the conditions imposed upon the new Y by the Town of Westport is an on-site waste-water treatment plant instead of a connection to the town sewer system.

Our on-site waste-water treatment plant cannot service the volume of water needed to launder the towels at the facility. As a result, we are unable to continue to offer this amenity. So we must ask you to get into the habit of bringing a towel from home if you expect to be swimming or showering after a workout. Thank you!

Locker Room Clear-out at Our Old Y
All Family Y members who are currently utilizing a locker in our Health Centers or Adult Locker Rooms are asked to remove personal belongings by Friday, Oct. 3.

You may continue utilizing your locker up until our last day of operation at our downtown Y, Sunday, Oct. 5 at 12:30 pm. And please know that our new Y has lockers for day use as well as Kit Lockers available for yearly rental -- please inquire at the Welcome Center for availability.

The Locker Rooms at Our New Y
We know that you will be very pleased with the locker rooms at our new Y. There are five in all, and they are totally accessible, wholly functional and wondrously brand new in every way.

Please be aware that no adults will be allowed in the Boys' and Girls' Locker Rooms. If your child needs assistance, please use the Family Locker Room.

The age limit for our Men's and Women's Locker Rooms -- both of which include steam rooms and saunas -- is 18 and older.

Also, please be aware that shampoos, conditioners and body washes containing certain ammonia-based compounds may inhibit the process that our on-site treatment plant uses to safely treat and discharge waste-water.

We ask that you check the ingredient labels of your personal-care products and please refrain from using products that contain any of the chemical compounds included on this list.

Thank you for your help in learning, and following, these new policies and procedures at our new Y. As always, our No. 1 priority is to ensure the safety and security of all our members.

That's the start of it! Please check our website for the latest details, and stay tuned for further updates and notices as we proceed with the opening of our beautiful new Y!

Find Your Fit in Our New Wellness Center

We can’t wait to introduce Y members to all the features and amenities of the 5,600 sq. ft. Robin Tauck Wellness Center at our new Y. Situated on the lower level of the Bedford Family Center, this state-of-the-art space offers an entirely new array of fitness equipment, including:

* 15 treadmills
* 15 ellipticals
* 15 exercise bikes (Espresso, Life Fitness, Keiser)
* 2 rowers
* 1 Upper Body Ergometer

There’s a free-weight area as well as the multi-purpose, multi-function Synrgy360, featuring pulley stations, pull-up bars, TRX mounts, monkey bars and other options for individual and small-group training.

“We’ve spent over $400,000 in equipment alone to create what we think will be one of the best workout spaces in Fairfield County,” says Wellness Director Alexei Bachuretz.

The Wellness Center also features full WiFi access, 5 large TV monitors and cardio console tablets that can be used as televisions and internet devices.

“And through our LF Connect system, Y members will be able to personalize and track their workouts, set up entertainment options right on the machine and sync up a smartphone, iPod or iPad device to bring your mobile world to your workout,” Bachuretz adds.

Those looking for some real-world inspiration for their workouts need only to gaze through the wall-to-wall windows for four-season views of our Mahackeno campus.

From the Wellness Center to the 100+ group fitness classes offered each week – not to mention our Aquatics Center and Gymnasium – our new Y will provide members new and exciting options to make healthier lifestyle choices.

The Personal Touch

More important, our staff of fitness instructors and Certified Personal Trainers are always available to help you achieve your goals.

Not sure how to use the machines? No problem! Our Y Wellness coaches will show you how, and even point you to the most beneficial machines if you’re in a time crunch or have specific health issues or concerns.

A fitness assessment and Personal Training session is free with your Y membership.

We also encourage new and existing members ages 16 and older to sign up for FitSTART, a complimentary six-week program that begins with an equipment orientation. After that, each week you’ll meet with a Y Wellness Coach by appointment. Each session is devoted to different tasks that you’ll complete between appointments to help you work out, eat healthier, reduce stress and take off body fat and promote lean muscle growth. Sign up for it at the Wellness Center!

For further expert help in continuing your fitness regimen, we invite you to take advantage of Personal Training, with flexible packages that can be tailored to your body, your goals and your schedule. A 60-minute session is $75; a package of 10 sessions is $65 per session.

Share the cost by bringing an exercise buddy! Discounted rates are available for two-on-one or three-on-one personal training sessions.

The Y also offers Small Group Training, which gives you the benefits of a trainer’s motivation and expertise while lowering your personal financial impact. What’s more, when you combine that “trainer push” with the energy from the group, you can expect to see your best results.

We will be offering a series of Small Group Training programs this fall. Participants will meet twice a week for eight weeks. The cost is $599 ($37 per session, a savings of nearly 50% over an individual Personal Training session!). For scheduled times or to register, please contact Alexei Bachuretz at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) – or simply drop by the Wellness Center.

Can’t make it during the week? Try one of our Weekend Warrior small-group training sessions. They’re offered Saturday and Sunday mornings; the cost for the 8-week session is $299.

As always, all fitness levels are welcome in any of our Wellness Programs. We invite you to find your fit at our new Family Y!

Shown below, a group of Y Personal Trainers get trained on the new Synrgy 360.

Great News! New Y Set to Open Oct. 6

It’s “all systems are go” for the new Westport Weston Family Y. On Wednesday, Sept. 24, the Town of Westport’s Selectmen, operating in their capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, unanimously approved the Operating Agreement as required by the Town ordinance for private on-site wastewater disposal systems.

The 3-0 vote, along with the completion of a related financial agreement, will enable the Family Y to receive a Certificate of Occupancy, allowing for the full public use of the Y’s new 54,000 sq. ft. facility at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus along the Saugatuck River just north of downtown.

“This is a critical milestone, and we look forward to members being able to use this facility in the very near future,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe at the meeting.

That future will begin on Monday, Oct. 6 at 5:30 am at the Y’s modern new home at 14 Allen Raymond Lane, announced Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

“We thank the Selectmen for their actions today, which completes a process that began more than a decade ago to create a new center of community life, wellness and fellowship,” Reeves said. “As our dear late friend Allen Raymond put it so memorably last spring, ‘Here at last, here at last, Thank God almighty we are here at last…’ ”

At right is a photo by Dave Matlow capturing the handshakes and smiles after the Sept. 24 Town meeting granting final approval for our new Y to open.

As classes, activities and programs continue at the Y’s current facility over the next 10 days, Y staff will complete the transition from the Y’s downtown home for the past 91 years to the Bedford Family Center, as the new $38.5 million facility is known.

“In addition to switching over our phone system and other last-minute logistics, we’ll be conducting a series of safety and security drills,” Reeves adds. “We are delighted to have hundreds of new Y members ready to join us at our new Y and want to be as fully prepared as possible for what will surely be a very big day on Monday, Oct. 6.”

The Town approval allowing the Y to activate its on-site septic system was the final hurdle to clear prior to opening, and in the end the Selectman’s meeting amounted to, in Marpe’s words, “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”

Assistant Town Attorney Gail Kelly thanked a number of town staffers and local experts involved in the process, including Mike Bartos of LandTech Consultants. She also praised the “cordial and cooperative attitude of the Y” during the negotiation of the agreement, which involved the Town’s Conservation Dept., Planning & Zoning, Public Works Dept., Water Pollution Control Authority and Finance Dept., as well as various State agencies.

Third Selectman Helen Garten echoed that sentiment, saying, “I’m very pleased how this came out and am delighted to see this [process] in operation and to know that the town is protected. I wish the Y the very best of success in the future.”

Second Selectman Avi Kaner likened the Y’s building project to the once-debated but now much-loved playground at Compo Beach. “Now’s the time to come together and celebrate this new crown jewel.”

The Y will continue its series of Open House preview tours of our new facility. No reservations are needed. The newly scheduled times:

Monday, Sept. 29 - Thursday, Oct. 2, 12 - 8 pm
Friday, Oct. 3, 12 - 6 pm
Saturday, Oct. 4, 9 am - 12

Detailed directions to the new Y, may be found on this page at http://www.westporty.org.

For information about membership options and benefits, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


New: Adaptive Swim Lessons

The Westport Weston Family Y is proud to introduce Aquafins, a new adaptive swim program specifically designed for children with special needs. Three classes will be offered at the Y’s new facility, beginning the week of October 6 and continuing on through mid-December. Our Aquafins coordinator is Erin Selke.

Erin has been teaching swimming to children with special needs for the past six years. She previously worked as a deaf-blind teacher at Perkins School for the Blind, where she also coached the swim team, and has been spent a total of 13 years in the field of special education.

“We’re delighted to have Erin help Y families and their children gain this important life skill,” says Nicole Turechek, Aquatics Director. “Erin has taught swimming to children and adults at all stages of the learning process, from 78-year-old ‘beginners’ to teaching triathletes. She’s also fluent in sign language and has a ton of experience working with visually impaired students.”

“With our amazing new warm-water shallow teaching pool at our new Y and Erin heading up our program, we’re very excited to be able to offer Aquafins to this underserved and very special group of children,” Turechek adds.

The Aquafins class schedule, beginning the week of October 6 at the new Westport Weston Family Y at 14 Allen Raymond Lane in Westport is as follows:

Mondays, 5:30-6:15 pm, Ages 6-10
This small-group class will work on basic water skills, coordination and safety skills. For students comfortable in the water, but who still need assistance to swim. Fee: $215, Y members; $245, non-members.

Friday, 4:00-5:00 pm, Ages 6-10

This is a “bridging” class designed for children with special needs who are ready to be introduced to a regular swim lesson format. Must be comfortable in the water and be able to swim at least 5-10 yards. Fee: $230, Y members; $260 non-members.

Friday, 5:00-6:00 pm, Ages 8-14

This lesson is designed for a stronger swimmer looking for a structured workout and focuses on technique, endurance and working as a team. Participants must be able to swim at least 25 yards. Fee: $230 for Y members; $260 for non-members.

All children must be evaluated by the Aquatics Department prior to registering to determine the appropriate class for them. Registration will not be accepted without director’s approval, and please be aware that each class requires a minimum number of participants to run. Also, participants must be toilet trained or wear swim diaper.

Private, one-on-one lessons are also available upon request.

For more information or to schedule a swim assessment, please contact Nicole Turechek, Aquatics Director, at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Below is a photo of the new teaching pool at the new Y facility. It features an aquatic playscape, a wade-in entry way, full handicap access and a bench with whirlpool jets. The maximum depth is 5 ft. and the temperature will be maintained at about 89 degrees.


teaching pool

New Y Awaits Final Town Approvals

The Family Y's new, 54,000 sq. ft. facility at our Mahackeno campus is now virtually complete. The pools have been certified for public use, and technicians are completing the hook-up of the new phone system and wiring of the HD monitors and high-tech fitness equipment in the Wellness Center.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, the Town of Westport's Selectman, acting in their capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, will meet to consider approval of the Operating Agreement as required by the Town ordinance for private on-site wastewater disposal systems.

A "Yes" vote will pave the way for the Town to issue our Y a Certificate of Occupancy, allowing us to open our modern new home to our members and the public.

"If all goes well on Wednesday, look for us to be able to open our doors in a matter of days," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves. "We'll set a specific date and also keep members informed about the transition process of moving out of our downtown facility to the Bedford Family Center."

With all safety and security measures and controls now operational, the Y has scheduled a series of Open House preview tours of its new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane in Westport. The scheduled times are 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm on weekdays, and 9am-12 noon on Saturdays. No reservations are needed. Please click on this link for detailed directions to the new Y, as well as the online calendar of scheduled Open House tours.

For information about membership, please call 203-226-8981 or visit this page at http://www.westporty.org .

To view the latest photos of the new Y facility, taken at the Aug. 28 Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, please click here.

new pool


Gala Celebration on Oct. 11 Sold Out

It will be quite a party at the new Westport Weston Family Y! After a decade-long quest to plan, design and gain approval for a much-needed new facility, after years of fundraising to finance our “Building What Matters” capital campaign, and following 18 months of construction, the time has come to celebrate a remarkable achievement: The completion of the Y’s $38.5 million modern new home at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus along the Saugatuck River just north of downtown Westport.

GalaWe will be opening our new 54,000 sq. foot Y as soon as the Town of Westport grants us our all-important certificate of occupancy. (Click here for info about scheduled Open House preview tours.)

On Saturday, Oct. 11, Y leaders, volunteers, members, staff and other supporters will “Celebrate What Matters” with a special Gala dinner in our spacious new gymnasium, specially decorated for the occasion.

“It’s an evening to express our gratitude to the philanthropic leaders who have inspired us, to thank our volunteers and staff for their efforts, and a night to celebrate our continuing cause of strengthening our community,” says Rob Reeves, Family Y CEO.

All proceeds from the Gala Celebration benefit the Y’s Annual Campaign, which allows our nonprofit charitable organization to provide camp scholarships, free or subsidized memberships and other financial assistance to local families and individuals in need.

Seating is limited to 300, and the Y’s volunteer-driven Gala Committee is pleased to report that the event is already sold out.

The Celebration at the Y’s new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane begins at 5 pm with the opening bids for our Silent Auction, which will feature dozens of beautiful items and extraordinary opportunities. (Think of an Heirloom Family Portrait by noted Weston artist Alison Wachstein, tickets to the Westport Country Playhouse, a 7-night stay at a beach condo in Cabo San Lucas, and much more…)

Following cocktails, at 7 pm, our Master of Ceremonies, award-winning actor James Naughton will welcome our guests. Dinner, catered by Ridgefield Prime, will be served at 7:30 pm. Dessert will be a delectable make-your-own sundae bar, provided by Saugatuck Sweets.

Music for the evening will be provided by the NYC/CT based trio Suit Ty Thurrsty. Tom (The Suit) Forst, Tyree (Ty) Pope and Pedro (Bigg Thurrsty) Johnson have created a band that rocks with the best of them, featuring unique, driving original songs with a blend of rock, blues, funk, soul and hop hop.

puppyA Live Auction, presided over by Seth Watsky from Christie’s Auction House, will follow dinner - think luxurious travel with Tauck World Discovery and some special opportunities, like an adorable 12-week-old Mini Goldendoodle puppy looking to become part of a local Y family.

Born July 19 at Country MiniDoodles in Indiana to a Golden Retriever mom and Miniature Poodle dad, this little guy has recently completed 4 weeks of training with Bill Miller of Smiling Dog Pet Services. Like the Labradoodle, Mini Goldendoodles are bred to produce a very low shedding pet, which makes them popular with many allergy sufferers. They usually grow to about 13-16 inches tall and weigh 25-35 fully grown.

Bill Miller says they are intelligent, friendly, usually like the water and are great with kids. Miller adds that these dogs have been easier to train and housebreak than any other breed he has worked with. Our Mini Golden Doodle is valued at $5,000 and may well fetch much more.

And, of course, it’s all for a great cause!

For further information about the Gala and the Y’s Annual Campaign, please contact Susie Haydon at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Highlights From Our Ribbon-Cutting

“I think this is awesome. I knew it was going to be a really big building, but I did not know it was going to be this big and this much fun." So said Ben Gault, 11, of Westport, who was taking a first turn on the new basketball court following the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Westport Weston Family Y on Aug. 28.

"I didn't like it, I loved it," said Erik Melingonis’ young daughter, after playing in the gym and Fort Mack, part of the new Y’s Kids’ Club playscape and child watch area.

Out of the mouth of babes …

Nearly 500 Y leaders, members and supporters gathered together on a beautiful summer evening outside the front entrance to the Bedford Family Center, as the 54,000 sq. ft. Y facility will be known, to celebrate the historic occasion. To view a photo gallery of the evening, please click here.

Also on hand were a number of local reporters and photographers. Allow us to share some highlights of their coverage…

From Jarret Liotta of the Westport News', “Westport Y cuts ribbon for new home, unwraps a dream”:
:
What began as a dream is now a brick-and-mortar reality.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening at the new Westport Weston Family Y -- now to be known as the Bedford Family Center -- gave hundreds of people a chance to spend time in the new $38.5 million complex and reflect on the sometimes-bumpy journey that got them there.

The 54,000-square-foot building, constructed on the Family Y's 32-acre Mahackeno camp property along the Saugatuck River, replaces the Y's longtime home downtown at 59 Post Road East. The facilities, however, are not yet open for use by the Y's 5,500 members because of unfinished construction work and needed town approval of the waste water system….

The plan for the new Y was first approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2008, but several lawsuits tied up the project until the final challenge was dismissed in 2011. Construction on the complex began in 2013, and officials now hope to have final details complete by sometime in September although no date has been publicly announced.

"We will open our new building at Mahackeno for use by our members as soon as all necessary town and state conditions are met and approvals are received," Reeves said in a recent statement. "We will announce that specific opening date as soon as possible."

From Dan Woog’s 06880 blog:

A video tribute featuring Allen Raymond was the emotional highlight of yesterday evening’s Westport Y ribbon-cutting ceremony. But there were many other memorable moments too, at the new Mahackeno facility.

The spacious new parking lot was filled. Y members, staffers, volunteers and friends gathered to celebrate the move from the 90-year-old downtown facility, to the one off Wilton Road.

Longtime benefactors were honored at a pre-dedication reception inside. The Gault, Mitchell and Tauck families headed the list.

Then the group assembled outside the west-facing front entrance. Replicating the work of his predecessor 91 years ago, Reverend Jeffrey Rider of Greens Farms Congregational Church delivered a prayer that invoked the first chapter of the Bible: Rather than dwell alone, mankind should be part of a community.

From James Lomuscio of Westportnow.com:

The spirit of the late Allen Raymond was present in the hearts of many—as well as on the huge, outdoor video screen—during tonight’s ribbon cutting for the new Westport Weston Family Y.

Raymond, a.k.a. Mr. Westport—and who was such a devoted Y proponent the road leading to the new facility is named after him—told the approximate 400 guests in a video recorded before his death May 1 at age 91 that he probably would not live to see this day. (See video here.)

“This crazy kid at the age of 91 had hoped to be the first to go down the great slide into the pool at this magnificent new Y,” Raymond said. “But that didn’t work out.

“However, let no one doubt that I am here rejoicing and cheering with all of you today, and when you see that splash in the pool when no one’s around, you’ll know that I am finally reveling in Westport’s jewel.”

Hearing that, Renee Van Heerden of Westport, who lives nearby on River Lane, began to sob.

“Watching Allen Raymond, someone who was so dedicated and couldn’t be here for the opening, it brought me to tears, and I didn’t expect that,” she said later.

More sweet than bitter sweet, however, the ribbon cutting at the Y’s Mahackeno campus off Exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway capped more than a decade of planning, fundraising, opposition, court battles, state and town approvals.

Still, after a decade of uphill climbs, proponents were bullish, feeling home free in their new home.

“On behalf of the Town of Westport, and as its first selectman, it is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome all of you to the newest crown jewel of Westport,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe, a former chair of the Y board of trustees and member before resigning upon taking office last November.

“After a long, arduous and at times contentious journey, this magnificent facility is about to be opened to the benefit of many individuals, family and community groups that partake in the myriad of programs offered by the Westport Weston Family Y.”

Community seemed to be the operative word of the evening. Invoking scripture, the Rev. Jeffrey Rider of the Green’s Farms Congregational Church said the new building “calls us to community ...not to be alone.”

Standing in front of the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Gymnasium, was Linda McMahon, the former U.S. Senate candidate and WWE owner whose family foundation donated $1 million to the new Y. She reiterated the theme of community.

“It’s nice to be able to do nice things,” McMahon said of her donation (shown here with Y Trustee Chair Pete Wolgast). “This is about the building of community.”

The Family Y building had originally been envisioned at about twice the size, but the Y had to scale it back because the nonprofit was unable to raise the required funding.

The architect’s plans provide for future expansion.

To view of photo gallery of photos from the evening by Dave Matlow of westportnow.com, please click here.

From the Westport Weston Family Y’s homepage:

Following our Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 28, the new Westport Weston Family Y at 14 Allen Raymond Lane will offer self-guided preview tours prior to its official opening later in September.

"With our punch-list shrinking by the day and key safety and security measures now in place, we've received permission from town authorities to switch from our current guided tours to being able to schedule a series of Open Houses for current and prospective members," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

The dates and times are:

Saturday, Aug. 30, 9 am - 12 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 4, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 5, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 am - 12 pm

Monday, Sept. 8, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 11, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 12, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 13, 9 am - 12 pm

This schedule is also available online.

DIRECTIONS: Situated at the Y's 32-acre Mahackeno campus, the new facility is at Route 33 and the Exit 41 Northbound interchange of the Merritt Parkway. Allen Raymond Lane is reached via the short connector road leading from Route 33 (Wilton Road) toward the northbound on-off ramp. Stay in the right lane and proceed past the Red Barn restaurant toward the Y's parking lot.

Y staff will be on hand to greet visitors at the Welcome Center, introduce them to the facility and answer any questions they may have about the Y's Fall programs. They'll also be able to process membership applications, including a special offer to waive the Join Fee for new members who join before September 30, 2014.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Open House Tours of New Y

Following our Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 28, the new Westport Weston Family Y at 14 Allen Raymond Lane is now offering self-guided preview tours prior to its official opening later in September.

"With our punch-list shrinking by the day and key safety and security measures now in place, we've received permission from town authorities to switch from our current guided tours to being able to schedule a series of Open Houses for current and prospective members," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

location map of new YThe dates and times are:

Monday, Sept. 15, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 18, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 19, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 am - 12 pm

This schedule is also available online.

DIRECTIONS: Situated at the Y's 32-acre Mahackeno campus, the new facility is at Route 33 and the Exit 41 Northbound interchange of the Merritt Parkway. Allen Raymond Lane is reached via the short connector road leading from Route 33 (Wilton Road) toward the northbound on-off ramp. Stay in the right lane and proceed past the Red Barn restaurant toward the Y's parking lot.

Y staff will be on hand to greet visitors at the Welcome Center, introduce them to the facility and answer any questions they may have about the Y's Fall programs. They'll also be able to process membership applications, including a special offer to waive the Join Fee for new members who join before September 30, 2014.

“We are encouraged by the interest of so many members and prospective members in visiting our new facility prior to its opening,” said Reeves.

Please check our website for the latest information about our opening status.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Below are the floor plans for the new Y facility. (To download a pdf version, please click here.)

floor plans

Register for Fall Programs Today

The start of the Westport Weston Family Y’s Fall Session is the start of something great – the first classes and activities to take place in our brand-new Y facility, the Bedford Family Center, at 14 Allen Raymond Lane on the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno campus.

Registration for our Fall programming, which begins Sept. 8 and runs through Dec. 7, is now under way. Please check this link to view our 40-page Fall Program brochure, and here's the link to register for classes online.

In addition to our many popular programs offered every fall, from swim lessons to soccer to travel basketball, we’re introducing a number of new classes and activities for Family Y members of all ages. Among them:

Twinkle Tots, a dance class for kids ages 2-3 to begin learning fun dance combinations and the technical skills in ballet and tap;
Cheer Clinic, a gymnastics class for ages 7-12 to work on jumps, stunts and tumbling skills; Sept. 14-Oct. 19, Sundays, 3-5 pm at our Y Gymnastics Center in Norwalk;
Pickleball, the fastest-growing racquet sport in America – offered at various times throughout the week in our multi-purpose gymnasium

Among the many new benefits of being in our modern new home is the full accessibility for all people, from moms with strollers to seniors with mobility issues. That access begins at our parking lot and front entrance, with a row of parking spaces nearby for those with handicap permits.
New Y Parking
With our elevator linking the facility’s two levels, it’s easy for all to get to any space within the Bedford Family Center. Our Wellness Center features an easy-access ramp, as does our warm-water shallow pool, with its “zero-depth” entry and convenient railings.

We’re also pleased to be introducing several new classes at our new Y that are designed to appeal to Y families who have children with special needs. These include:

Super Sports, a multi-sports program at which parents are welcome; 3-5 years old, Thurs. 1:30-2:30; 5-7 years old, 4-5 pm
Kidz in Motion, a Dance class for children with developmental and cognitive delays, down syndrome and slight autism; parent must attend first class; Mondays, 4:30-5:30 pm, starting Sept. 8
Special Needs Swim Lessons, offered Mondays, 5:30-6:15; Fridays, 4-5pm and 5-6 pm
Beginner Gymnastics, a half-hour of structured instruction and half-hour of open play; parents must attend. Oct. 5-Nov. 23, Sundays, 11 am-12 pm at our Y Gymnastics Center in Norwalk

What else is new at our new Y?

KayleySome new faces. Although our new Y is actually smaller than our old downtown location in terms of square footage, the more efficient layout and use of spaces has allowed us to expand our programs and services – and add new staff to make it all happen.

Kayley Gallagher joined the Family Y in July as our new Sports & Recreation Director. Kayley grew up playing basketball and soccer at the Hockomock YMCA in Franklin & North Attleboro, Mass. She played varsity for both sports all four years in high school, and continued with club basketball at North Carolina State University, where she obtained a BS in Sport Management. She then went on to receive her MS in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University.

Kayley’s professional career with the Y began in 2011 when she completed an internship with the sports department at the Wilmington Family Y in Wilmington, N.C. She stayed at the Wilmington Y for a year working in the sports & wellness departments before moving to Boston for graduate school.

At our new Y, Kayley will supervise our volleyball, fencing, pickleball, karate and travel basketball programs and will also teach our soccer and basketball classes.

Coming to the Westport Weston Family Y is a homecoming of sorts for Kayley. Her father grew up in Fairfield and her mother was raised in Trumbull.

“Westport and Weston are beautiful communities that perfectly embody the Y’s areas of focus in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” says Kayley.

“I am extremely fortunate to come aboard at such an exciting time for the Westport Weston Family Y,” she adds. “I got to spend the summer in the downtown facility and appreciate all the great history and memories made in the original Y. That being said, I am excited about the space and various opportunities that will be available at the new Y to enhance our Sports & Recreation offerings.”

If you have any questions or comments for Kayley, feel free to send her an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For more information about our new Y and the Fall Session of classes and activities, beginning the week of Sept. 8, visit our website or call 203-226-8981.

new gym