Rye YMCA Blog

Rye Y WaveRyeders Celebrate a Spectacular Season

Regional Champs 2017

[RYE, March 24, 2017]  The Wave Ryeders still have one more meet to go, but already have reason to celebrate. Since September, the team has won six out of seven dual meets.

In early March, the Wave Ryeders won the Westchester Fairfield League Championships for the twelfth year in a row.  “As the defending champs for the past eleven years, we were nervous about the meet, but were able to have loads of great swims and come out on top!” said Coach Kate Tiedmann.

On March 17, the team traveled to Ithaca College for the New York State YMCA Championships, the largest YMCA swim meet in the country. The Wave Ryeders had their best finish in over fifteen years, winning the girls division by 100 points and placing third overall out of forty teams. “We had a spectacular meet, loads of best times, many finalists and lots and lots of State Champions.” Tiedmann remarked.  “The swimmers did a wonderful job!”

Cheering at States

As an added bonus, six swimmers qualified for the Sunkissed Invitational Jr./Sr. Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Individual State Champions
Lente Geelen
Lieve Geelen
Zachary Pestikov
Nate Baumstark

Relay State Champions

8 girls Medley: Kendall Konigsberg, Grayson Findley, Lieve Geelen, Lila Rupp

10 Boys Medley: Tripp Redd, Bas Van Berlo, Ethan Zhou, Zachary Pestrikov

8 girls Free:  Kendall Konigsberg, Lila Rupp, Grayson Findley, Lieve Geelen

8 Boys Free: Tyler Wels, Wilson Redd, Aidan Grant, Nate Baumstark

10 Boys Free: Tripp Redd, Bas Van Berlo, Ethan Zhou, Zachary Pestrikov

State Finalists
Jackson Haffner
Talya Appelbaum
Julie Tiedemann
Lara Geelen
Riley Haffner
Grayson Findlay
Audrey Li
Aidan Grant
Piper Tenney
Sophia Lord
Mauve Bruton
Ethan Zhou
Kendall Konigsberg
Ava Parento
Wilson Redd
Megan Tiedemann
Abigail Posner
Lila Rupp
Claire Hovers
Tyler Wels
Ellen Chen
Julie Hovers
Maddie Medico
Tripp Redd
Tate Robinson
Ellie Mackle
Isabel Hurley
Kamilia Roman
Mary Xu
Lilly Appelbaum
Adele Harshbarger
Julia Appelbaum
Lucy Liu
Giulianna Buglione
Billy Baumstark
Caroline Clark
Kayla Lombardo
Cate Lockton
Jade Van Berlo
Thomas Chen
Connelly Boyle
Bas Van Berlo

The goal of the Wave Ryeders program is to promote fun, camaraderie, new friendships, new skills, physical fitness and positive values that extend beyond the swimming environment. The Rye YMCA offers both a Spring and Fall swim team. The Spring swim team tryouts are April 4 and 6 from 5:15-6:15 pm with practice running from April 17 to June 16.  Pre-team is also available for swimmers not yet ready for competition.

Please visit www.ryeymca.org and view the program guidefor details. Please contact Vickie Tsakmakis, Senior Director of Aquatics & Safety at 914-967-6363, extension 107, for information on the swim team or any other aquatics program.



You Can’t Afford to Ignore Prediabetes

Fernanda Carillo, Program Participant

The Rye YMCA encourages Sound Shore residents to learn the factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes on American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

[Rye, NY. March 15, 2017] – March 28 is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day and with millions of Americans at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the Rye YMCA urges everyone to take action to prevent the disease. Diabetes affects nearly 29 million people nation-wide. An estimated 86 million additional Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 59,000 Westchester County residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to the health impact, diabetes puts an incredible strain on our health care system, costing billions of dollars a year to treat and manage.

Understanding your risk is the first step in preventing diabetes. Several factors, including family history, age, weight and physical activity level, can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the diabetes risk test at ymca.net/diabetes.

“Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” noted Tanya Stack, the Rye Y’s Director of Membership, Health, and Wellness. “The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can provide the support needed to make those changes.”

Facilitated by a trained Lifestyle Coach, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based, year-long program where participants work together in a small group to learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health. The goal is to help adults at risk for diabetes reduce their body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Studies have shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58 percent and by as much as 71 percent in those over age 60.

Since July 2011, 170 adults have enrolled in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program through the Rye YMCA.  Working in partnership with Open Door Family Medical Centers and Hudson River Healthcare, the Rye Y is able to offer classes in Spanish and English at locations in Rye, Port Chester, Ossining, Peekskill, and Yonkers.

Fernanda Carillo, 58, is currently participating in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and shares her story:

“I went to my routine doctor appointment, and unfortunately, I found out that I have prediabetes. As soon I listened to the word prediabetes, I thought of my two brothers that died of diabetes, and my cousin that is on dialysis because of diabetes. My doctor recommended the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention program. I knew that the program was going to be the opportunity to change my lifestyle if I don’t want to have the same the issues that my family went through. I thought I could do it; I can make a difference in my life. As my coach always reminded us, we are not on a diet; we are making life long changes for our health. I have lost over 20 pounds. Seeing my results keeps me motivated, and I’m eager to continue losing weight…  the most important thing that I learned in the program is portion control and don’t skip meals. What makes me happier is to see my family and friends incorporating my lifestyle changes into their lives. I am so thankful for the program. It has changed my life. Now I am an active, healthy person. I hope that more people get the same opportunity and give the program a try.”

To learn more about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or enroll in an upcoming class at the Rye Y, contact Tanya Stack at tanya@ryeymca.org or 967-6363, ext. 107.

The Rye YMCA is a family-oriented community service organization which welcomes all people and promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body.

Rye Y Members and Friends Make Cards for Hospitalized Kids

More than 45 children, teens, adults and seniors created 175 cards for the organization Cards for Hospitalized Kids at a Rye YMCA Togetherhood project held on Sunday March 19.

Togetherhood engages Y members and community residents in community service projects that have benefited a range of organizations, including Don Bosco Community Center, Bread of Life, The Sharing Shelf and Rye Nature Center. Togetherhood staff advisor Denise Woodin had heard about Cards for Hospitalized Kids through another YMCA and brought it to the attention of her committee. The organization works with a network of hospitals nation-wide to bring cheerful homemade cards to children who are facing serious illness.

Danielle Russo, a teacher at Osborn School, liked the project so much that she shared it with a colleague. Their first-grade classes created an additional 46 cards, which Russo dropped off at the Y on the day of the event.

Rye resident Kelly Bourassa chairs the Togetherhood Committee and also coordinated the “Cards” project. She remarked “This project provided a great opportunity for community members of all ages to come together for a wonderful cause. While making the cards, children and adults were able express their creativity while enjoying quality time with each other. This project was a perfect fit for Togetherhood, as we’re always looking for ways to engage volunteers in fun, meaningful community service.”

For more information about Togetherhood, contact Denise Woodin at denise@ryeymca.org or 914-967-6363, ext. 101.

Cardboard Boat Regatta Slideshow

Click below to watch the slideshow of our 4th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta (Friday, March 10)

2017 2nd Saturday Middle School Nights

An evening at the Rye Y  just for 6-8 graders – 7-10 pm on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Fun, food, camaraderie, activities, competitions and games.
Family/Youth Member: Free (except special events) Non-Member: $5 (except special events)
Click here to register

March 11: *Special Event* – Dare to jump with cliff jump inflatable and jousting inflatable. Family/Youth Members: $5; Non-Members: $10.

April 8:  Ultimate Dodgeball

May 13:  Behind the teen scene (music, dancing, karaoke and more)

June 10: *Special Event* End of the Year Bash! Hungry Hungry Hippo inflatable and Bungie Run inflatables $5.00 members $10.00 non-members

Also – join us for our next Paintball trip on Friday, April 14! We will travel to Liberty Paintball in Patterson, NY.
Click here to register.

To learn about our Teen Adventure Camps, Teen Fitness Camp, Leaders in Training and Counselors in Training, visit our camp site.

Best Summer Ever – 2017

Click here to view the 2017 Summer Camp Guide
Registration starts Jan. 4 at 10am for returning campers & siblings and Jan. 11 for all campers.  New this year – early bird rates through Feb. 28.
Summer camp guide


Rye Y Recognizes Winners of Distracted Walking & Driving Poster Contest

winnersHigh School Photography Exhibit Mounted at Rye Arts Center

The Rye YMCA, parents and local community leaders gathered at the Rye Arts Center on Wednesday, January 25 to recognize the winners of the 6th Annual Heads Up! Poster Contest. The contest, which is part of the Rye Y’s Safe Routes to School initiative, engages Rye High School students in creating posters that illustrate the dangers of distracted walking and driving.

The winners, who were notified earlier this month, include:

First Place:      Aidan Anderson
Second Place: Gracie Pemble
Third Place:     Kristin Chapman

In October 2016, the Rye Y invited students in Nichole Chiffriller’s Photoshop and Digital Photography classes to participate in the Heads Up! contest. Fifty-five students in three classes participated. After all of the posters were completed, the students narrowed the field to 17 finalists. The Rye Y then convened a panel of community judges who selected the three winners. The judges were:

  • Brian Dempsey- Chairman, City of Rye Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee
  • Danielle Tagger-Epstein- Rye City Council
  • Gregg Howells – Executive Director, Rye YMCA
  • Adam Levi -Senior Director, The Rye Arts Center
  • Christian Miller – Rye City Planner
  • Kelly Smith-Powers – Rye City School District Board of Education
  • Ilana R. Wagner – Associate Transportation Planner, Westchester County Department of Transportation

All of the posters will be exhibited at the Rye Arts Center until February 16, 2017.


Make Resolutions Stick in 2017

[RYE, January 13, 2017]  Along with singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the start of the New Year, making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. However, while choosing a resolution is easy, sticking to it can be impossible. A 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions. Many (71 percent) tried, but stated that they fell short of their goals, while 40 percent confessed that gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the New Year!

This year, the Rye YMCA is encouraging community members to give their New Year’s resolutions a boost by creating smaller, more manageable goals that can lead to success of a larger one. Re-framing your goals in a positive way can help you stick to them. If you aren’t active at all try to incorporate activity into your routine three days a week before telling yourself that you’ll work out every single day.

For example, you may want to limit your screen time in 2016, but that can be more manageable if you replace it with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. “Try not to think about what you’re missing, but rather what you’re gaining. This can make a resolution feel more positive, and therefore more achievable,” says Diana Vita, the Rye Y’s Senior Director of Member Wellness.

Here are a few programs the Rye Y offers to help you get started in 2017:

Family Time: The Rye Y offers many opportunities for members and non-members to spend time together as a family.  First Family Friday is a monthly fun evening with themed crafts and activities. Special events include a Family Ski/Snowboarding trip in February and in March, the 4th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta as well as a family camp-out at the Greenkill Retreat Center. Members can take advantage of family swim and gym time and have fun together in the interactive ExerZone.

Weight Watchers at the Rye YMCA:  Community members are welcome to join our weekly Weight Watchers group, Thursdays at 1pm.

Fitness and Aquatics Orientation: Would you like to change your fitness routine but don’t know how to get started? Both new and established Rye Y members can take advantage of a free orientation to learn more about the Fitness Center, Group Wellness and Aquatics offerings. The Rye Y also offers free 15-minute swim assessments to help you improve your stroke or pool workout.

Take Action to Improve Heart Health: Our new blood pressure self-monitoring program offers personalized support. Members may stop by our table near the Fitness Center to learn more. Monday: 3 – 4:30pm, Wednesday: 8:30am – 10am, Thursday: 1:30 – 3pm

Volunteer: Getting involved in our Togetherhood program is a great way to connect with the community and other volunteers in meaningful ways.

For more information about the Rye YMCA, visit www.ryeymca.org and view our program guide, call 914-967-6363 or stop by the Rye Y at 21 Locust Avenue in Rye.







Rye Y Welcomes New Development Director

[RYE, January 5, 2017] The Rye YMCA is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Olson to the position of Development Director. She takes the place of Sally Wright who retired in September after 20 years of service to the Y.

“Susan’s strong ties to the Rye community and her track record as a successful fundraiser make her a great addition to our team,” remarked Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells. “Under Susan’s leadership, we look forward to a new level of engagement with our members, donors and volunteers, one that will allow us to pursue new opportunities and meet any challenges that come our way.”

Susan comes to the Y with over a dozen years of experience in development and volunteer management. Most recently she served as the Major Gifts Officer & Capital Campaign Manager for Holmes Presbyterian Camp & Conference Center. Prior to her position at Holmes, she managed all development activities at The Osborn Retirement Community. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Virginia. She is a longtime resident of Rye, where she and her husband Tom are enjoying their empty nest with their Goldendoodle, Dewey.

“Having lived in Rye for almost 25 years and raised three children here, I recognize the important role the Rye Y plays in this community, not only in Rye, but also in Port Chester, Harrison, Mamaroneck and Larchmont,” remarked Susan. “The Rye Y has such a strong commitment to outreach and I am excited to be a part of the team that will continue to provide programs and activities that are accessible to all.”