YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

Exercising Cancer survivors

Joyce Munnell never had used a fitness machine. She’d never even attempted to swim. But after she was treated for cancer 18 months ago, she took the plunge and signed up for the new trademarked program call Livestrong at the YMCA, a 12-week program for cancer survivors at the Kearney Family YMCA at 4500 Sixth Ave.

At age 80, Munnell was the oldest in the class. She completed it Dec. 12. Along with her course certificate, she has nine new friends and a new determination to stay fit. “If you’re going to do something, you need to do it as good as you can,” she said. “But you’re never expected to do more than you can do,” she said.

The free program meets for 90 minutes twice a week for 12 weeks. Its focus is fitness and wellness, with a focus on cardio and lifting, diet and nutrition and even shoes. “This is so important because cancer survivors can have numbness in their feet,” Brooke White, the instructor, said.


Exercise Facility Design

KEARNEY — A gym and swim. An indoor neighborhood. The Kearney Family YMCA will be even more after its $6.6 million Healthier Tomorrows capital campaign funds an ambitious 20,000-square-foot addition.

The campaign, ongoing quietly for the past year and set to begin publicly in early 2019, will finance a spacious ground-floor Wellness Center with a wealth of fitness equipment and large windows. A new main entrance, a Learning Garden and a Cafe Corner gathering area will be created. On the second floor, the current fitness center will be replaced with classrooms and child care space for grades 4-6.

Plans were drawn by Donor by Design, a Minneapolis company that works with YMCAs across the country. The Y expects to break ground in 2019 and complete the expansion in 2020. The Y will remain open while the work is progressing.

“This project will help us tell our story,” Executive Director Denny Placzek said.


Delay the Disease ProgramKEARNEY — Neil Jochen has sold advertising for small businesses. He has served as the executive director at YMCAs in Ohio and Michigan. But for the past 15 years, he’s had to funnel his energy into dealing with Parkinson’s disease.

In recent weeks, the 80-year-old Jochen has more energy, thanks to Delay the Disease, a new fitness program at the Kearney Family YMCA aimed at delaying and easing physical disabilities caused by Parkinson’s disease. Those disabilities include tremors, stiffness, slowness, behavioral disorders, sleep problems and functional decline. Since the pilot program began three weeks ago, “I’ve seen improvement,” his wife Beth said.

 “We want to help change lives,” Dillon Nelson, the Y’s community engagement manager, said. “We want anyone to come who has any kind of movement challenges.”

 Delay the Disease began as a pilot program in July. Nelson expected five people to show up for that trial run, but 18 came and gave it enthusiastic approval. It officially kicks off Aug. 21. Classes will be from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursday. The cost is $5 per class.


The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.