August 15, 2010 2:15:00 AM
Jan Swoope - email@example.com
After 43 years, the YMCA''s logo is getting a facelift. The refreshed design, with its multiple color options and contemporary look, reflects the vibrancy of the Y and the diversity of the communities it serves, say local and national Y personnel. The former logo had been in place since 1967 and was the organization''s sixth since its inception.
In another notable change, the nonprofit will now officially be called the "Y," to align with how most people already commonly refer to it. The national resource office, YMCA of the USA, has already begun the transition to the new brand. Y''s across the country will transition fully within five years.
"I really like this new logo," said Andy Boyd, executive director of the Frank P. Phillips Y in Columbus and its branches. "But while that is changing, our mission is still the same."
The Young Men''s Christian Association''s original mission statement is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Even though "Y" will be used more often now instead of "YMCA," Boyd stresses the heritage remains intact. "Is the ''C'' in YMCA going away? Absolutely not," he stated.
At the downtown Columbus location at 602 Second Ave. N., Y art students have been painting the bold, new logo on several walls. When these are complete, they will include the three lines: For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility.
Kate Coleman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the YMCA of the USA said, "We are changing how we talk about ourselves so that people better understand the benefits of engaging with the Y."
More than swim and gym
The logo change offers an opportunity to talk, too, about the many Y programs available to the community. While many are familiar with the exercise classes, sports programs and camps offered by the Y, those are far from the whole story.
"The Y is much more than ''swim and gym,''" said Boyd, pointing out other activities like the Parkinson''s Aquatic Exercise Program, Kairos Outside, drama department, art classes, financial classes for teens, ACT prep classes and more
Nationwide, 2,687 Y''s engage 21 million men, women and children -- regardless of age, income or background -- to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation''s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Columbus Y and its branches serve about 6,000 members.
"We hope to be part of building a better, more caring, more loving, more engaged, more serving community," Boyd stressed. "People from all walks of life -- young and old, rich and poor, male and female, from many different races, Christian and non-Christian -- enjoy our facilities and programs.
"Our Y is about creating relationships with people, and should someone want our help spiritually, mentally or physically, we have programs and staff in place to provide them support."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.