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April 2019

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Rain showers, blooming flowers, end-of-school-year fun: these are some of the things that might come to mind when you think of spring. But did you know that sun protection should be in that list as well? It’s easy to think that kids (and adults, for that matter) only need to practice sun protection in the summer, but the sun’s rays can be just as damaging in the spring and fall months, even on cool or cloudy days.

For eight days in April, TownLake Community Engagement Director Erin Walter represented the YMCA of Austin on an exchange to trip to Togo in West Africa. Funded by a grant from the Mandela Washington Fellowship and the U.S. Embassy, Erin facilitated a three-day training for Togo fitness instructors, educators, and social workers on how to lead dance fitness classes with a focus on diversity and inclusion. 

Hey there! I’m Bridget Thomas, the Health and Wellness Director at the East Communities Branch. I wanted to shine a spotlight on one of our new, value-added (AKA free for Y members!) classes that we recently added to our group exercise schedule.

At the YMCA, volunteering is a cornerstone of all we do, from coaching youth sports to serving on our boards, fundraising to holding babies in Child Watch. We are so grateful for the contributions that our talented, diverse volunteers make to the YMCA and the greater community.

TownLake Y Volunteer Coordinator Michelle "Michie" Reid is pleased to recognize May 2019 Volunteer of the Month Eddie Coats. Michie writes:

YMCA Camp Moody Groundbreaking Ceremony

The YMCA Camp Moody Groundbreaking Celebration was a success! We were nearly blown away (literally and figuratively) with over 200 supporters in attendance and nature's power and beauty to impress us all on Saturday, April 13. It was a memorable day of reflecting on all the generosity and hard work that has brought us to this point, and celebrating what is to come in the near future.

Austin Bats under Congress Avenue Bridge

There’s something about this time of year that puts a spring in your step and gives you a little extra energy. It could be the arrival of daylight savings time, the warming temperatures or knowing you still have a bit of time before summer heat throttles outside activities. So don’t wait till the air gets too hot and the mosquitos too thick.

Learn about five home plants that help you breathe easier

Spring has arrived in Austin—and along with it—the pollen. Millions of Ashe Juniper trees are creating thousands of runny noses and puffy eyes. Count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you aren’t among the many who suffer from “cedar fever” this time of year.

You’ll be hearing a lot this month about April being Autism Awareness Month. It’s great to learn more about the signs of autism (many and varied), the prevalence of it (1 in 59 kids) and the causes (still not nailed down). But I’d like to bring you a different perspective: how to be the friend that people with autism – and their families – really need.