YMCA growing under new director

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham YMCA has had a very busy 2014, seeing growth in participation, kicking off new programs and giving back to the community, all under the supervision of a new director.

Jason Beasley was hired as the executive director of the Pelham YMCA in early 2014. The Birmingham-native has been with the YMCA for 17 years, and prior to the job in Pelham, Beasley was working with the YMCA in Baton Rouge, La.

Beasley is excited to oversee Pelham’s busy and growing YMCA branch, which offers a wide variety of programs for both children and adults. The children’s programs in particular have seen an explosion in participation, increasing from 350 to 460 children in the past year. Beasley also foresees large numbers in the summer camps, anticipating “more than 400 kids each day.”

In addition, the YMCA recently introduced adaptive swimming for children with special needs. This swim program helps and instructs special needs children in 30-minute, one-on-one sessions with lifeguard certified and specially trained instructors.

“It filled a need in the community. Our goal is to get kids to a comfortable place in the water,” said aquatics director Jenny Dick. “So far they’ve really enjoyed it and have benefited from the one-on-one focus.”

The YMCA also funds various community outreach programs. Beasley highlighted the kindergarten readiness program for parents and children from non-English speaking families, and a partnership with the Shelby County Senior Center, which invites seniors to take classes and enjoy the warm-water therapy pool free of charge.

“Last year we provided $179,000 in services to those who would not normally be able to afford our programs,” said Beasley. “This is the very cornerstone of what makes us a community organization.”

While still “in the evaluating stage,” Beasley said he looks forward to continued growth and participation at the Pelham YMCA.

For information about programs and class offerings, visit the Pelham YMCA website at Ymcabham.org/Pelham.