Aaron New, Author at South Sound YMCA - Page 3 of 5


What is Welcoming Week?

We believe our communities are stronger when everyone feels welcome, and we work together for the common good. Created by YMCA of the USA’s national partner Welcoming America, Welcoming Week, which takes place each year in September, celebrates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country. It’s a chance for neighbors—both immigrants and U.S.-born residents—to get to know one another and celebrate what unites us as a community! 

From September 9 – September 18, the South Sound YMCA will be joining Y’s all around the nation in demonstrating inclusivity and accessibility to our community through Welcoming Week.  

At our Y, it will consist of a variety of activities, events, and learnings to promote cross-cultural understanding and raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone! Most activities will be woven into the day-to-day happenings at our facilities, ending with a big event on Friday, September 16. 

You can expect special additions to all of your regularly scheduled classes, special activities throughout the week for the kids, and presentations of all types from our community resource partners on September 16th! Don’t miss this valuable community celebration!


Shelton Family YMCA

Friday 9/9

  • Bachata dance lessons – 5-6pm
  • Free Community Dance – 6-8pm

Saturday 9/10

  • Native American art gallery – 12-5pm

Monday 9/12

  • Volleyball night – 6:30-7:30pm
  • Maraca making activity – 4-7pm

Tuesday 9/13

  • Real Talk: 3-7pm
    • Share your story and experience on what it was like being a newcomer to the states. Stories can be told anonymously by submitting a written account of your experience or can be done live in-person in a safe and supportive environment
    • Anonymous submissions may be emailed to hernandezk@ssymca.net or turned in at the Shelton membership desk
  • Research History Project – Mexico’s independence
  • Facility Tours available in Mum and Spanish – 3-7pm

Wednesday 9/14

  • Spanish Family Movie Night in the gymnasium – Encanto – 5:30-7:30pm

Thursday 9/15

  • Chip and Chat: 3-7pm
    • Meet our personal trainers, swim instructors, and group exercise instructors while trying salsa from Olympia Salsa Company
  • View the history research projects put on by our talented teen leaders club – all day
  • Multicultural story time – 4-7pm

Friday 9/16

  • Resource Fair – 3-7pm

Saturday 9/17

  • Dance Fitness Extravaganza – 11am-1pm
  • Touch a Truck (at Mason County Recreation Area, 2100 E Johns Prairie Rd, Shelton, WA 98584) – 9am-12pm

Sunday 9/18

  • Sugar Skull (Calavera) Display – all day


Falls at any age are dangerous, and as you age your risk for serious injury increases. In the United States, more than one out of four older adults fall each year, and one out of five falls result in serious injury (CDC). There are many factors that increase the risk of falling in older adults. These include mobility problems, balance disorderschronic illnesses, and impaired vision. Many falls cause at least some injury. These range from mild bruising to broken boneshead injuries, and even death. In fact, falls are a leading cause of death in older adults.

Join us September 18-24, 2022, for a nationwide observance to raise awareness of falls prevention to reduce the risk of falls and help older adults live without the fear of falling.

Events during Falls Prevention Awareness Week include:

  • Guest Speakers Donna Feddarn and Alison Lord from the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging – 9/19 at noon 
  • Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance demonstration day (open to all) – 9/20 at 10am
  • Fall risk assessment opportunity- 9/21 at 10am

By Lesli Baker

Hummus (also known as houmous) is not only easy to make, but can be inexpensive as well. I think home-made hummus is infinitely better than store-bought. Hummus can be eaten as a dip with veggies or crackers, or spread into a pita and eaten as part of a great lunch with lettuce, tomato, and falafel (or anything you want for that matter)! I even like it on toast with avocado for breakfast!

All you need are a few ingredients and a food processor:


  • 1/2 cup tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for garnishing)
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed preferred
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Puree everything together.
  2. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika, a swirl of olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and/or chopped parsley.
  3. ENJOY!



Over the course of Kolanye’s nonprofit career she has spent eighteen years working for YMCAs in Whatcom, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. During this time, her roles and titles have changed, but her focus on fostering youth voice, program innovation, and developing creative partnerships have remained at the center of her work.

One example of Kolanye’s visionary work, is the creation of a public-private partnership between the Y and Franklin-Pierce School District to supplement the district’s music, library, and physical education programs. Her success here led her to pursue a teaching degree at Pacific Lutheran University which she put to work teaching middle school. Most recently, Kolanye provided enriching educational programming for incarcerated youth at Echo Glen Children’s Center.

As Executive Director of Youth Development in the South Sound Y, Kolanye will utilize all her experience and skills to create more equitable outcomes for youth and families in our region.  

Please join our Y in welcoming Kolanye Bykoff to the South Sound! Reach out to Kolanye at bykoffk@ssymca.net.

Sugar appears in all kinds of foods, both naturally (think fruits) and artificially as added sugar. Trainer Steve Messman walks you through common grocery store foods that have added sugars, and explains more about what it all means in his newest video.