By SHANNON WATKINS
Pulaski’s Hensel Eckman YMCA has declared its intention to address the health, fitness and nutritional issues of the community, stated interim director Dan Grubb at last week’s town council meeting.
But, he said, the Y will need help from council and the town manager to achieve its goal.
“Pulaski County is number one in Virginia that deals with obesity, health issues, quality of life, those things. And that’s something, personally, I don’t feel proud to be a part of,” said Grubb at the meeting. “Neither does the Y, and I’m sure neither does the town or the county. So I challenge us, how can we proactively together have a headline that says ‘Pulaski and the Hensel Eckman YMCA together want to fight this issue that’s facing our community.’”
Grubb then noted that in order to live up to this goal, the Y facility would need extensive work done, including, among other things, having the walls and ceiling of the pool area repainted.
Grubb explained that this would involve first having loose paint removed and then sandblasting done. The estimated cost, he said, is around $23,000.
Additionally, the Y needs staff resources or funding to provide instructors for senior fitness programs, and to plan and supervise youth activities like swimming, basketball, and youth nights.
The Y is interested in offering programs like the ones listed above, as well as creating free fitness programs for some citizens and membership for a number of low-income citizens, and discounted health and wellness memberships for employees of participating businesses.
What the Y still needs, however, is help from the town. “The last three years we’ve tried off and on to get the town and county to support the Y fiscally,” he said, adding that none has been given yet.
As far as his speech at the town council meeting went, “I’ve received very favorable reviews from the citizens,” he said, but noted that as of yet he has received no response from the town government.