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Focus Stories

J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center

by Jill Cousins

Featured Photo from J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center

Summer is in full swing, and there is no better place to spend a hot, sunny day than poolside at the J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center in Lake Mary. The sparkling, six-lane swimming pool went through major renovations earlier this year, and now it’s bustling from sunup to sundown with members enjoying a workout, taking swim lessons, or simply relishing a cool break from the summer heat.

The pool renovations were the beginning of what will be a year of major improvements at the YMCA, thanks to more than $1 million in donations from Wayne M. Densch Charities, Leonard and Marjorie Williams, and the Williams Family Foundation.

“We are very excited to serve our Y members and neighbors better than ever before,” says Dan Ickes, YMCA of Central Florida’s chief operations officer. “We are thrilled that Leonard Williams and his family have taken this on, as part of their kindness to the community, by supporting the YMCA. We are so grateful for all they do for the YMCA of Central Florida, specifically the J. Douglas Williams YMCA and the Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center in Pine Hills.”

The two ongoing priorities for the YMCA in Lake Mary will be to resurface the entire parking lot at the front entrance and to take care of some major water issues. Most of the gravel in the current parking lot will be replaced by paved and painted parking spaces. Rainwater has caused many problems over the years, including erosion in parts of the parking lot and flooding at the front entrance during summer storms.

“The goal is to pipe water underneath parts of the parking lot so that the water will roll into a retention pond,” Dan says. “This will mitigate a lot of the water issues that we’ve had. This is something we know will help improve our member experience.”

The J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center will also get some internal improvements, including the installation of storefront doors to the current group exercise room.

In addition to the pool, home to Olympic gold medalist and Lake Mary resident Rowdy Gaines, the YMCA also offers a variety of exercise equipment, group exercise classes, and sports leagues for children. And when you join the Y, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re helping others in need.

“The people of Lake Mary put their dollars to great use when they give to the YMCA,” Dan says. “When you work out at the Y, you’re part of something bigger. You’re part of a nonprofit movement that’s creating a better community, a better us.”

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