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Cary YMCA – It's a Team Effort

February 21, 2010 | Story by: | Categories: Community


Brad, Diane, Susan and John at the Cary YMCA. Photos by Hal.

Cary, NC – I’ve been a member of the Cary Y for more than 10 years. Besides satisfying my workout needs (modest), I’ve always been fascinated by the scale and efficiency of the operation. Last week, I had a peek behind the scenes.


I’m always intrigued by numbers. Here are some eye-popping figures:

  • 4827 member units
  • 12-13,000 people
  • 1,500 kids a day / 2,000 in the summer
  • Kids staff is 125 / 200 in summer
  • 475 total employees / 600 in summer
  • 800 people use the Y everyday

The building is opening and buzzing from 5:30 AM to 10 PM on weekdays, 7:30-6 on Saturday and 1-6 on Sunday. The facility has basketball and racket ball courts, extensive cardio and weight training, an indoor track and three pools (the big pool is under a bubble in winter).

The YMCA runs track-out camps, after school programs, swim teams and leagues of all types plus dozens of classes and wellness programs.



Coach Kristen and a Y volunteer.

Diane Hillsgrove runs the Cary YMCA and she was quick to tell me it’s a “huge team effort.”

The facilites side of the operation is managed by Brad Emory. The Y is just completing a massive renovation that included all new weights and cardio equipment, painting and refurbishing the big gym, an upgrade to the locker rooms and a new look for the lobby.

Susna Pattengill runs adult programs including wellness, membership and aquatics. Although you’d never know it from the weather, the swim season is just around the corner and Susan is sure to be looking for lifeguards soon.

John Collins runs the youth programs at the Y. Of interest is that the Cary Y spends have its budget on youth programs – that’s unusual among YMCAs. The Cary Y has got something for kids from 6 months to college. Over 100 teens work at the Y, many of them during the summer.

John, Brad, Susan and Diane all started as Y counselors.


y_4From time to time, we may have more stories about the Y. It’s a great connection point in western Cary where young and old, rich and poor, native and transplant all mingle in sweaty shirts and swap the news of the day.

Do you have a Y story? Are you one of those incredibly fit people with a short, simple workout even an editor could love? Do you volunteer or coach a team? Ever tricked out your car for Trunk or Treat?

If you have a good story about the Cary YMCA, drop us a comment or shoot us a note.