Avery Villines (left), the branch director of the Columbia County Family Y, and Dan McConnell, the
president and CEO of the Family Y, stand in the new facility on Washington Road.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Columbia County will get its own branch of the Family Y when the Marshall Branch holds its grand opening Saturday.
At 4534 Washington Road in Evans, in the Eagle Pointe Center, the Columbia County Family Y's grand opening will begin with a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. and continues with a horde of other family-oriented activities until 5 p.m.
"The Augusta Lynx will be here signing autographs and playing some in-line hockey with the kids," said Avery Villines, director of the new branch of the Family Y. "We're going to have a caricaturist, a moon bounce, free food, live music (from local band Redbelly), and a whole bunch of other things going on."
The event-filled day, emceed by anchorman Brad Means of WJBF-TV (Channel 6), will feature yoga and pilates demonstrations, performance teams, gymnastics programs, pony rides, children's activities, the Martinez Fire Department Firehouse, the Rhythm and Class Cloggers, rides, carnival games, prize drawings, facility tours and membership sign-up opportunities.
Anyone wanting to establish a Family Y membership at the grand opening, on Jan. 11, can do so without paying a joiner's fee. Other rates vary based on age, number of individuals joining, and type of membership.
Construction workers are working on the facility, adding the finishing touches. Workers also will be constructing a gravel parking lot across from the Family Y that will hold at least 70 vehicles.
The 3,300-square-feet facility boasts 11 pieces of cardio equipment, including three elliptical machines, three recumbent cycles, a stair climber, seven pieces of selectorized equipment, four free-weight benches, and four treadmills.
"We like to call these the Cadillac of treadmills," said Villines. "They come with fans, a variety of options, cup and CD holders, book holders, and you can program your workout into the treadmill. You set it up how you want it, create a (personal identification number), and the next time you use the treadmill, type in your number and it automatically goes to your workout cycle.
"We have some real state-of-the-art equipment here. I'm very proud of this facility and what it will bring to Columbia County."
The facility also features shower and locker rooms, an aerobics room and a children's station that will include a play room and reading area.
The new Family Y also will play host to several community-oriented programs such as summer camps and team-sports registration. In fact, Villines said that they will begin soccer registration Monday, Jan. 13.
Villines will be the facility's only full-time employee, but they will staff 25 part-time workers. They also will be actively recruiting volunteers.
"We're always on the lookout for good volunteers," said Dan McConnell, president/CEO of The Family Y in the CSRA. "Anyone who wants to volunteer can call (Villines) to see what volunteer opportunities we have available."
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