YMCA salutes military families with back-to-school bash


The First Coast YMCA on July 27 hosted its third annual Back-To-School Bash event to give back to active duty, guard and reserve military members and their families with a focus on fun, health and the well-being of families in attendance. The free military appreciation event offered a back-to-school backpack giveaway, swimming, group exercise demonstrations and additional family fun activities.

Participating locations included the Winston Family YMCA in Riverside, the Barco-Newton Family YMCA in Fleming Island, the Brooks Family YMCA on the Southside, the McArthur Family YMCA in Fernandina Beach, and the St. Augustine YMCA. 

“The First Coast YMCA recognizes the courage and sacrifice of those who selflessly serve our country,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric K. Mann. “The Y is proud to be a support system for our robust military community on the First Coast and as the first Armed Services YMCA affiliate in Florida, we are committed to providing vital programs and resources for military members and their families.”

The Back-To-School Bash was originally started by the First Coast YMCA in partnership with Building Healthy Military Communities, a Department of Defense initiative to better understand the unique challenges faced by geographically dispersed service members and their families. The experience is designed to help families come together, stay together, adjust and thrive.

Jacksonville is home to the third largest military population in the nation, with more than 40,000 active duty personnel, 6,000 active reserves and 170,000 veterans. YMCA of Florida’s First Coast’s affiliation with the Armed Services YMCA was established to cater to the needs of Jacksonville’s military members.

To learn more about opportunities for the Armed Services and Veterans at the First Coast YMCA, visit www.fcymca.org/join-the-y/armed_forces_veterans.



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