Programs and activities for all ages and abilities abound at the Litehouse YMCA
The YMCA of the Inland Northwest has been operating in the greater Spokane area for over 100 years. Most recently, they expanded their community services to impact Bonner County by opening a YMCA in Sandpoint, Idaho, in December of 2018.
The YMCA is a nonprofit organization that aims to serve and impact communities in a positive way. Their three areas of impact are Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. “The programs we offer always loop back around to these three areas to ensure we are meeting the needs of our communities,” shares Heidi Bohall, Litehouse YMCA branch executive. “At the Y, we are committed to helping people and communities learn, grow and thrive by empowering everyone to reach their fullest potential.”
In alignment with YMCAs across the nation, at the Litehouse YMCA, they truly focus on serving everyone in the community regardless of age, faith, race, ability or income level. They believe that strengthening a community begins with the individual. When people become healthier, more confident and connected, it ultimately creates a stronger, healthier overall community.
Our strength is in the people we bring together.
At the Litehouse YMCA in Sandpoint, they pride themselves on offering programming and activities for all ages and abilities: childcare, swim lessons, sport clinics, art workshops and other healthy activities for ages 6 months to 8 years. They also offer a competitive and noncompetitive swim team for those kids who want a more challenging activity. SafeSitter babysitting courses are offered on a bi-monthly schedule to ensure young adults of this community have the skills to watch over younger children safely and confidently. “We are hoping to add a Jr. Lifeguarding course in the fall of 2022, which could assist in providing certifications and jobs for teens who are interested in getting started on a career which involves lifesaving skills,” Heidi says. Teens and adults have access to the entire facility where they can swim, use workout equipment and take group exercise classes. Families can enjoy use of YMCA’s racquetball, basketball and pickleball courts.
“Our staff are not only great instructors who help our members reach their health goals, but they create community by connecting members to one another,” affirms Heidi. The YMCA also places a large focus on serving the active older adult community in Bonner County by offering insurance-paid memberships as well as several classes geared toward this specific demographic such as water aerobics and YMCA’s signature Stay Strong class.
Working for the Y is an extremely rewarding experience. Each day is a new opportunity to assist members and the community in reaching their fullest potential, as well as building connections with one another. Heidi shares that “listening to the stories of how the YMCA positively impacts lives in Bonner County is a priceless incentive and encourages our staff to come to work every day.”
This year, one of their goals was to further collaborate with the community, whether it be local businesses or other nonprofits to serve Bonner County. Thus far, the Y has partnered with the City Parks and Recreation department to offer healthy activities during the spring UNPLUG event, as well as lead family games and activities for the CHAFE 150. Additionally, the Y worked with the school district and The Long Bridge Swim to offer safety around water classes to all third graders in the LPO School District. This program has been so impactful and successful that they hope to extend it to the Boundary County School District soon.
Whether you are a member, a visitor, or on staff, being a part of the Litehouse YMCA is a blessing. Becoming involved at the Y allows you to connect with others who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and make friends. It truly is a welcoming place of encouragement, growth and community for all.
YMCA of the Inland Northwest
1905 Pine Street