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The Malden Y: A tradition dating back to 1883

By Keith Spencer

keith@nobomagazine.com

Whether you need the total package or a chance to get on the road to a healthier lifestyle, the Malden Y has something for you. It’s more than just a place to work out. It’s the perfect place to get help building a healthy spirit, a tradition that dates back to the nineteenth century.

“Our YMCA has been part of the fabric of Malden since a former mayor of Malden, George Louis Richards recognized the need for a YMCA back in 1883,” Executive Director Debbie Amaral said during a recent interview.

“Our YMCA has evolved as the community has grown and changed. Our programs fill the needs that the members of the community share with us. That is what makes the Y movement and our branch so special.”

Amaral is about to complete her first year as the head of the Dartmouth Street facility, but has been a part of the Y movement since taking her first part-time job in 1985. Before coming to Malden, Amaral was the Executive Director of the Salem Y.

While the actual YMCA mission is quite expansive, the Malden Y works in three core areas: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

“Our Y is always trying to nurture the potential of every child and teen, to improve our communities’ health and well-being, and to give back and provide support to our neighbors.”

The beautiful, six-year-old Malden Y has a large wellness center with state-of-the-art cardio & strength training equipment, amazing pools, with separate youth, adult, and family locker rooms, handicap accessibility, and ample parking.

The Y also operates a KidsZone, where children can enjoy fun, supervised activities while parents work out included in a family membership package.

The newer facility also includes a group exercise studio, group cycling studio, basketball court, a run/walk indoor track.

They also offer rental and party options, from the gym to the pool or their multi-purpose room. Rates vary depending on the duration, size, and facility, but are comparable if not downright cheaper than other area options.

As a former YMCA employee myself, this location offers opportunities to build new relationships, become healthier, and learn new skills.

The Malden Y has a teen leaders corps that includes 47 teenagers and 6 teen ambassadors that give back to the Malden community through community service.

“Our Y has been at the Newland St. housing development for close to 45 years and the park next door was named after Bob Miller, a long time YMCA member. In the last several months I have been moved as we’ve collected stories of adults for whom the Y has made a great difference when they were young.”

A former teen leader sent the Y a list of more than 300 names of past teen leaders and camp participants.

“I think that truly shows the difference we’ve made in people’s lives, and there are potentially hundreds and thousands more.”

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Upcoming Events at the Malden YMCA

February 25, 2012: Double Dare Family night from 4:30-7:00PM

March 9, 2012: Teen Leader Corps & Malden Fine Arts Club Dodge Ball Tournament

April 28, 2012: Healthy Kids Day featuring 30 vendors and lots of hands on activities

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To download the Malden YMCA brochure, click here.

To learn more about the Malden YMCAS, visit their website.

They can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

The Malden YMCA is located at 99 Dartmouth St in Malden, MA.

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