YMCA GYMCATS Hit Milestone Fundraising Goal, Exceeding Expectations Both in and Out of the Gym

The YMCA Gymcats competitive gymnastics team gymnasts pose on the podium with their first place banner at a gymnastics competition.

West Chester, PA – The YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s (YGBW) gymnastics program and GYMCATS gymnastics team hit a major milestone in their quest to raise funds to renovate their West Chester training facility, raising over $50,000 in just one month.

In the past five years alone, more than 1,000 youth were introduced to gymnastics at the facility, located in the Oscar Lasko YMCA. Now, as our community continues to emerge from COVID, programs such as this have become even more essential in helping children to recover from the lack of activity and isolation they experienced during home- and hybrid- schooling. 

Over a hundred children are participating in gymnastics programs each week at the Oscar Lasko YMCA during the school year and with the new space, that number can easily triple.

Improvements to the training facility will bring many benefits to the program including adding a full-sized spring floor, two full vault lanes and a thirty-foot tumble track, improving the training options for our competitive gymnasts. The work will also add a permanent pre-school set up to ensure that the program can continue to teach preschool students and new gymnasts ways to safely move their bodies as well as building capacity to reach more young people. 

This past year YGBW’s competitive team, the GYMCATS, swept a national competition -- exceeding expectations both in and out of the gym.  The team, which serves all of Chester County, is poised for significant growth as it enters the new year of competition this fall. 

“We can finally serve even more gymnasts in the area” says Coach Megan Hartman, “This space has been in the making for 40 years!” To commemorate this growth and to honor one of its own, the new training center will be named after long-time coach, Donna Watters.

The campaign has started small, with a donation drive led by one of its own gymnasts but has blossomed into a full capital campaign. The program hopes to raise over $100,000 more before the end of summer. 

To learn more about the GYMCATS or to donate and help keep the momentum going, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/ygbwgymcats. For more information contact Megan Hartman at mhartman@ymcagbw.org or the Mission Advancement office at missionadvancement@ymcagbw.org