Y Wednesday: How ‘Pay the Day’ means more than membership in August

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – During the month of August, if you want to join the YMCA of Marquette, you don’t have to pay the typical $75 joining fee. Instead you only pay the amount that corresponds with the day. On August 1, you would pay one dollar. On August 31, you would pay thirty-one dollars. So you ‘pay the day.’

We spoke with Rachel Berglund who is the Membership Director for Marquette and the Negaunee YMCA. She helps sign up members, work with people on financial assistance, scholarship campaigns, and a lot more. She says one of the biggest roles she plays is getting information out to the community.

Rachel Berglund, Membership Director for the Marquette and Negaunee YMCA

“So pay the day is a way to just reduce a barrier that is sometimes there that we’re hoping to get the community back involved in the YMCA. The joining fee of $75 can sometimes be a barrier for folks.” Berglund continued, “A lot of the community just due to COVID and the pandemic hasn’t been involved here at the Y and we’re looking to make it easy to either come back or to come out and try the Y for the first time.”

Berglund said August is a good month to introduce or reintroduce people to the YMCA.

“It’s going to start getting colder out so we’re planning ahead for fall schedules. We also have the opportunity to sign up for all of our fall programming such as after school fit club, and gymnastics, and ninja parkour for the kids. So it’s a really good chance to plan out what the fall is going to look like for families and individuals,” said Berglund.

Besides the pool, the gym, and fitness classes, Berglund said the YMCA does a lot more that people might not realize. They provide support for cancer survivors, people living with Parkinson’s Disease, arthritis and other health initiatives.

“We’re also gearing up and adding another live strong session for cancer survivors. We basically say anyone who’s survived the diagnosis of cancer. We’re really looking at folks who are post treatment so we can help them rebuild strength and normal function. If it’s been a few years or you’re in a situation where you’re going to continue to be in cancer treatment, the Y is here for you as well.”

With two decades of experience in different roles at the YMCA, Berglund shared one of her favorite memories that showed her why the Y is so important.

“I just think of a child who used to come to Tot Watch. I used to work in our tot watch program which is our on-site drop in child watch area. Parents can come, drop their kids off.” Berglund continued, “But this little girl used to come here and I’d watch her in our tot watch program. Just seeing her 16 years later coming back and being on staff at the Y in the tot watch and I think that’s really neat to be able to see. We’re a lot of first time employers for folks in the community. It’s neat to see the involvement continue like that.”

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