Portage YMCA

The Portage Township YMCA, 3100 Willowcreek Road, offers numerous activities. For more information, call (219) 762-9622.

Preschool registration

Preschool registration for the 2013-14 school year is open for current students and siblings. Beginning Friday, registration will be open to the public. Register early to receive a spot. Financial assistance scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Child care, development center

There are openings in the child care rooms for 2- through 5-year-olds. Three-year-olds must be fully potty trained and independent in the bathroom. Ask for a tour by calling Sarah Senort at (219) 792-9622.


As part of the Y’s focus on youth development the Y offers gymnastics for young children through its Sparklers gymnastics team. Stop in for details or go to www.ymcaofportage.org.

Before- and after-school care

The Y offers Y-Care, before- and after-school care for children in grades one through eight enrolled in one of the six Portage Township elementary schools in Portage. The program provides guided, structured and educational activities in a safe and secure, fun environment with low child-to-staff ratio. Children can be dropped off before school as early as 6:30 a.m. and picked up after school as late as 6 p.m. Y-Care is held at Aylesworth (serving Aylesworth, Willowcreek, Central, Myers and Fegely schools) and Jones (serving Jones, Crisman and Kyle schools). Program fees vary according to hours of use. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y. The Portage Township YMCA also accepts CCDF vouchers.

Kids Fit and Fun

For ages 3 to 8, participants will take part in a high-energy mix of sports and fitness activities to get them moving for the first half of the class. The second half of the class will be hands-on activities including crafts, cooking, games and songs. This class meets 4 to 5 p.m. Mondays.

Stay and Play

For ages 18 months to 3 years old, children will make crafts, play games and listen to stories. Class meets from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Mondays.

Running Club

Free Community Running Club is for amateur runners who will meet in the YMCA lobby at 6 p.m. every Tuesday. Dress for the weather. All one-hour runs will be outside unless it is lightning or below 15 degrees. Participants will be running 3 to 5 miles with calisthenics and stretching. Must be 14 and older to participate. Fun Zone is only available to YMCA members.

Walk this Way

The YMCA, in conjunction with the city of Portage, is offering a walking club. This club will walk from 10 to 11 a.m. every Tuesday. This community club does not require a membership to the YMCA. Interested walkers/runners can meet in the YMCA lobby at 9:45 a.m. The “Rails to Trails” will be used for this program and led by YMCA Executive Director Dave Kasarda. During inclement weather, the YMCA track will be used. Membership not needed.


Thursday night volleyball free for Y-members 14 and older from 7 to 9 p.m. Nonmembers pay $10. Advanced court and recreational court available. Parent or guardian must sign in participant.

Singles Racquetball League

League begins Monday for those 18 and older. Cost is $25 primary plus, $35 primary, $50 nonmembers.

Y-Ball Basketball

Practices begin  Monday through April 26. Games played March 16 through April 27. No practice or games March 25 through 29. Ages 3-13 accepted. Practices one night a week with games on Saturday’s. Cost: $28.70 primary plus, $41 primary, $82 nonmember.

Pee Wee Prom

Pee Wee Prom is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Daddy/Daughter, Mommy/Son, adult/child event for children ages 7 and younger. Tickets are $15 per couple, $7 additional person. After Feb. 26: $20 per couple, $7 additional person. Tickets may be purchased at the Y Feb. 11 through March 1.

Time to bowl

The Y's annual Support Campaign “We Build People” begins at noon March 10 at Camelot Bowl in Portage. Teams of five are encouraged to pick up a packet at the Y and collect pledges for the community campaign.

Duneland Family YMCA

The Duneland Family YMCA is at 215 Roosevelt St., Chesterton. For information, call (219) 926-4204 or visit dunelandymca.org.

Y Middle

Every Friday night middle school students can hang out at the Y from 6 to 9 p.m. There is no cost for members; the cost for nonmembers is $3. Activities include dancing, sports, arts and media. A Dodgeball tournament will be held on Friday during Y Middle.

Indoor soccer registration

Registration is now open for indoor soccer registration. The cost is $40 for members and $80 for others. The season will run March 2 to April 13 for children ages 3 to 8 years old. Interested participants can register at the Member Service Desk.

Senior center

The Senior Center is now open 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays in the Teen Center for any senior who would like to participate in daily activities. There is no charge to visit the Senior Center. Games, activities and coffee will be available daily. Seniors are welcome to make suggestions for programming.

Spring Break Camp

The Duneland Y will be offering a Spring Break Camp for children in kindergarten through 6th grade while Duneland area schools are on break. Daily activities are planned to keep participants active and entertained. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. To make a reservation, call (219) 921-0183.

Boot Camp

Starting Wednesday, a military style class with calisthenics will be offered at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. This class is free to members and $8 per class for nonmembers. Visit www.DunelandYMCA.org to view the most up-to-date fitness schedule.

British Soccer Camp

Registration is now open for the 2013 British Soccer Camp through the Challenger Sports Program. The Duneland Family YMCA will host this program July 8 to 12. Participants will be coached by professionally trained British soccer coaches, receive a ball and T-shirt, and gain sportsmanship skills. The cost starts at $79 with several program options available. Ages as young as 3 are welcome. For more information visit www.challengersports.com or call Tim Welsh at (219) 926-4204.


Valparaiso Family YMCA

The Valparaiso Family YMCA, 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive, offers numerous activities. For more information, call (219) 462-4185, ext. 249, or visit www.valpoymca.org.

Fit for Life

Free for members, this program is for parents and middle school-age kids to work out in the Wellness Center. The program focuses on fit family time, wellness habits and healthy lifestyle choices. Hours are 7 to 8 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 7 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Can-Do Kids

Classes are from 4:55 to 5:25 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. This class is for 3- to 11-year-olds and provides activities for children with special needs. The cost is $20 for both members and residents.

Pilates mat-work

Core strengthening exercises with a focus on flexibility and posture class meets from 8:05 to 8:50 a.m. Mondays through Fridays; 6:30 to 7:20 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays. All classes are in Studio C.

Pilates personal training

The Pilates Reformer equipment improves strength, muscle tone, coordination and flexibility. These exercises can be customized to benefit every fitness level and body type. For further information, or for a free 30-minute consultation, call (219) 462-4185, ext. 249.

24 Hour InSWIMniac Challenge

How many laps can you or your team swim around a custom course in the lap pool? The Valparaiso Family YMCA will host its first 24 hours "InSWIMniac event from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. Participate as an individual or with a team up to 10 people. Teams will swim laps from noon to noon. Swim caps and T-shirts included with entry. Awards for team and individual with the most completed laps will win their respective divisions for most laps completed in 24 hours. Funds raised at this event will help buy a pool chair-lift that is required by the ADA and will also benefit the annual Changing Lives Campaign. Registration is $55 per person, $45 per team. Regular registration closed Feb. 20. Late registration will be allowed through March 1. Registrations will be done online or in-person at the Valparaiso Family YMCA, no mail-in registrations will be accepted.

2013 Ringing in Spring Race

Registration is open for the 2013 Ringing in Spring Race which will feature a 5K run, 10K run, and 5K prediction walk. The race begins at 9 a.m. April 6 at the YMCA. Awards will be offered for each division. Registration is online only at www.ringinginspring.com. There is no online processing fee. All fees and discounts are posted online. Gear check and free child care is available for the first 100 kids registered (must pre-register online). Free parking, subject to availability.

Y Full and Half-Day Preschool enrollment

Preparing children for kindergarten with the “Creative Curriculum,” this program includes swimming and fitness, walking field trips and the development of social skills and building healthy habits. For more information, call Diane Sonnenberg at (219) 464-9543 (YMCA location), Melanie Hoffman at 462-0040 (BridgePoint location) or visit www.valpoymca.org.

YMCA Summer Camp registration

This year’s camp runs June 10 to Aug. 16 and includes great field trips, swimming, arts and crafts, sports and games, cooking, movie days and more. Call (219) 464-9543 (YMCA location), 462-0040 (BridgePoint location) or visit website www.valpoymca.org.

Sports of All Sorts

Kids 4 to 6 years old participate in various sports learning basic skills and having fun. Class meets from 11:15 to noon or 2:15 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays  Cost is $36 for members and $62 for community.

Lil’ Rug Bugs

This is a gymnastics-based class for 4- and 5- year-olds and meets from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class will focus on listening skills, balance, coordination and very basic tumbling skills. Cost is $36 for members and $72 for community. Register at the Y Courtesy Desk.

Canning and freezing workshops

Discover the simplicity of canning food. Workshops will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. March 21 and 9 to 11 a.m. April 20. Cost is $3 for members and $6 for community. Register at the Y Courtesy Desk.


LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is now accepting new participants. Free for YMCA members and community, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12-week, small-group program designed for adult cancer survivors. This program fulfills the need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their "new normal.” The program is conducted outside of medical facilities to emphasize that LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is about health, not disease. YMCA fitness instructors work with each participant to fit the program to their individual needs. The instructors are trained in the elements of cancer, post rehab exercise and supportive cancer care. Call Lee Baker at (219) 462-4185, ext. 260.

Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.