Family Y opens at Hitchcock Healthcare

Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Jim and Rae Szathmary try out the treadmills at the Aiken County Family Y. The center, which opened March 31, shares space with Hitchcock Healthcare on Medical Park Drive.

Rae Szathmary believes some changes are for the better, and the Aiken County Family Y opening at Hitchcock Healthcare is one of them.


"The equipment is good," she said as she walked on a treadmill. "We love it."

The Aiken County Family Y officially opened in the space March 31, according to Katie Lyle, branch director.

"We have really been trying to get something going in Aiken," she said. "We have got some Prime Time (an after-school program) at locations here."

The Family Y is the result of a merger between the YMCA and YWCAs in Augusta several years ago.

This year, the YMCA is celebrating its 150th anniversary in Augusta, and in 2009 the YWCA will celebrate its centennial.

It was time for a move into Aiken, Ms. Lyle said.

A full slate of fitness programs are in place.

"All of the equipment is new," she said.

Treadmills come with televisions installed. A variety of classes are in place, and a spinning class is on the way.

More programs will be available as the staff gets settled, said Ms. Lyle.

Children's programs are on the horizon.

"The Y is the largest provider of child care in the country," she said. "A large part of our scholarships go toward child care."

Ms. Lyle said plans are in the works for a full service Child Development Center on site.

The ages and number of children who can be served depend on licensing, she said.

"There is a large need for it," she said.

Officials are looking into the possibility of day camps in the Aiken area this summer. They may be held off-site the first season, Ms. Lyle said.

"The Y is all about day camp," she said.

The Family Y is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise money to build the Wyatt Family Y in the Trolley Run subdivision in Aiken. The center is expected to open in 2011.

The Aiken County Family Y is sharing space with Hitchcock Healthcare. Hitchcock is still running its rehabilitation center, and members of Hitchcock Health Solutions have become members of the Family Y.

For more information, call (803) 293-4200.

Reach Charmain Brackett at