YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
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The Kearney Family YMCA is helping people change today for a healthier tomorrow.

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Program and supported by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, aims to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

“We’re lucky that the city of Kearney has something like this,” said YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator Laura Aden. “Obesity and diabetes are an epidemic in our country.”

The Kearney Family YMCA is the first in Nebraska to offer the diabetes prevention program. There are 81 YMCAs in 34 states offering the program.


Rylee Bentz had tried swim lessons before, making slight gains each time, but experienced anxiety and panic. Each week she would have anxiety and cry about the dread of returning the next week to face her fear of swimming in deeper water. Rylee would have stomach aches, not sleep, cry, and stress out when the mention of lessons came up. It was horrible for her, and hard on her mom, but this was a skill mom wanted Rylee to have.


“You are a rock star,” Kearney Family YMCA Program Manager Ray Longoria said to a fourth-grader at Central Elementary School as he gave her a high five. 

Fourth-graders arrived at school early Thursday morning to work out. The early morning workouts are a collaboration with the school and the YMCA.  “We wanted to see how we can get kids more active,” Longoria said. 

Longoria hopes the collaboration will allow kids who may not be able to go to the YMCA because of transportation or cost to become more active.

Each Thursday morning before school, Longoria meets with a different grade level. He leads the students in active games such as Capture the Flag.


KEARNEY — Dan Newman will run his 10th Turkey Trot on the race’s 10th anniversary this Thanksgiving.

“I think it’s a great course,” he said. “It’s a great way to start Thanksgiving dinner out.

“If you’re not a runner, it’s a great way to work up to becoming a runner.”

The Gobble Wobble, a one-mile children’s fun run, a two-mile run/walk and a five-mile run will take place Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

“It’s a way for you to come out and burn some calories before you indulge,” said Kearney Family YMCA event coordinator Laura Aden.

“Families are already coming together. Why not get exercise together?”


The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.