Wednesday, November 28, 2007

?It?s fun to go to the YMCA?

Express Staff Writer

Hailey resident Doug Nelson helps his daughter Liv try out the new warm-water pool at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum on Saturday, during the official grand opening. Photo by David N. Seelig

Like the Village People preached, lo, these many years ago, "It's fun to go to the YMCA." That was apparent Saturday, Nov. 24, as more than 500 folks poured through the doors of the newly opened Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum.

Free activities, demonstrations and special classes were held during the afternoon. A special dance instructor came up from Boise to teach two deep-dance classes. There was a party for everyone who worked on the construction of the 55,000-square-foot recreational facility. Albertsons donated food and supplied more at cost for refreshments. Visitors also took a gander at the huge climbing wall, where demonstrations and an open climb were offered. In the kids' and teen rooms, activities continued through the day.

"And of course the pool was opened," said Executive Director Teresa Beahen. "It was a great community celebration and a lot of people who hadn't had a chance to see it did."

Beahen said she and the 21 board members conducted hundreds of tours over the course of the day.

"We never stopped," she said. "The biggest thing people are saying to us is, 'Thank you for bringing this to the Wood River Valley.'"

As of Tuesday, there were 700 membership units sold, Beahen said.

"We're already at next July's membership goals," she said.

Out of the 12 full-time employees and more than 50 part-time employees, there is a huge staff of teens having their first work experiences.

"It's a great healthy place for people to have a new job experience," Beahen said.

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