With a goal of making health and wellness accessible to everyone in Bismarck and Mandan, Mandan’s Family Wellness is a place where everyone can thrive. After nearly a decade of discussion about the possibility for a YMCA in Mandan, the Missouri Valley Family YMCA together with the Mandan Park District completed a community market study to determine feasibility and identify the impact that this organization could potentially have on the community. After that assessment, a collaborative partnership between Sanford Health, the YMCA, and the Mandan Park District was formed, which resulted in the Mandan Family Wellness Center. Without these partners, the project would not have happened.
Family Wellness, which has now been open for three years, has made a huge impact says YMCA Executive Director and CEO Bill Bauman. “We really thought this was a way to serve Mandan and south Bismarck to a much greater degree.” From the addition of this new facility, thousands of new members have joined Family Wellness. With members being able to use either facility with their membership, nearly two-thirds of the Family Wellness’s membership units are from the Mandan zip code.
As a non-profit organization, Family Wellness and the Y rely on charitable dollars to make a capital project happen. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust was a major gift donor and helped us make this (Family Wellness) a reality by supporting youth programming and sports areas,” says Bauman. With much local support including Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T), they are able to promote healthy living for youth, families, and seniors in the Bismarck-Mandan community. “We really wanted Dakota Community Bank & Trust to be a part of the project. We just needed to find the right fit. I think we found that in working with the youth program area.”
Bauman mentions that while Family Wellness has helped to create a better future for Bismarck-Mandan, another impactful aspect is that Family Wellness has brought an additional two full-time preschool classrooms to the Mandan community. “We know that quality childcare is in high demand, and that family’s need good quality childcare. Our program is education-readiness focused.”
Family Wellness and the Missouri Valley YMCA Center have both provided opportunities for a brighter future of Bismarck-Mandan, including the recent addition of a Family Splash Center to the Bismarck location. Bauman recalls, “The Family Splash Center was brought to the Bismarck YMCA because one six-lane and one eight-lane pool, which was built to meet the needs of the competitive swimming program in the 1980s, was no longer utilized to their potential. We found that the community’s needs shifted and found these lap pools weren’t being used as much as we would like. We realized, if we were building today, that we lacked more of a splash center concept with a zero depth entry, which makes accessing the pool for all ages so much easier. It is a great backdrop for us to use for all ages, swimming lessons and for a fun factor for families to come together and spend time together. It modernized everything for us.”
DCB&T was, once again, a large partner in this quest. “The YMCA has had a strong relationship with Dakota Community Bank & Trust for years. Most recently, Dakota Community Bank & Trust helped us with the Family Splash Center. We really appreciate the community banks, how they invest in the community, the local involvement and the desire to really give back and support,” Bauman says of DCB&T and all of YMCA’s other local supporters. The new splash center has seen an increase in usage and the number of open swim times and family time, but also in the area of private swimming lessons, group swimming lessons, and older adult exercise classes. Bauman closes by stating that the YMCA’s goal is to serve and strengthen the community, “Everyone needs healthy places to be where they are welcome, safe and comfortable, and can be involved in positive healthy activities. It is vital for our youth and our families.” For more information on Family wellness visit: http://www.familywellnessbisman.org/. For additional information on Missouri Valley Family YMCA, visit: https://www.bismarckymca.org/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director