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YMCA offers summer programs

In an expansion plan, aerobics classes and youth summer camp are coming to Dade City.

By CHASE SQUIRES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 12, 2002

DADE CITY -- The little downtown YMCA annex is branching out this summer, expanding programs as the membership grows, east Pasco YMCA director Joe Mangione said.

With its first partnership with the nearby National Guard armory, the YMCA is planning to offer it's first Dade City aerobics classes beginning June 3 and running two nights a week, Mangione said.

The YMCA also is bringing its youth summer camp to the Dade City area, basing the camp at the Saint Leo University campus for 10 weeks beginning May 28.

"We're really making a membership push this summer," Mangione said. "There's still plenty of people who don't realize we're open."

The aerobics classes are expected to run Monday and Wednesday nights for an hour each night. There is no cost for members, and non-members are welcome to sign up at the YMCA office on Meridian Avenue and take a test class before deciding whether to join.

The summer camp is open to children 5-15 years old, but camp director Rick Callahan said the focus will be on children 5-12. The cost is $80 per week for members, $100 per week for non-members. The camp will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but arrangements can be made for $10 per week extra for drop-offs as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick-ups as late as 6 p.m.

Callahan said he is hoping for about 80 campers, with seven staffers, and said there is still space available. Activities will include games, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, swimming at the university's pool, field trips and sports.

"I'm pretty excited about it," Callahan said. "I look at it like I'm going to camp myself. I'll pack my lunch and head off to camp every day just like the campers. I'll just have a little more responsibility."

He said he wants to sneak in a few educational programs as well, while still making fun a priority.

"We're also going to hit the YMCA values during the day," Callahan said, refering to the group's message of faith, caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

The Dade City YMCA annex opened last fall across the street from City Hall. Mangione said it has about 300 membership units sold so far, with hopes to reach about 450.

Family memberships cost $61 per month, but discounts are available for families that can show a need.

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