Visitors and members play in the gym during the September 2016 grand opening of the Stanwood-Camano YMCA in Stanwood. The facility is now 1 year old. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Visitors and members play in the gym during the September 2016 grand opening of the Stanwood-Camano YMCA in Stanwood. The facility is now 1 year old. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Stanwood-Camano YMCA celebrates its first year

STANWOOD — A celebration is planned to mark the end of the Stanwood-Camano YMCA’s first full year.

It’s a year that has exceeded expectations, Executive Director Mary Bredereck said.

The Stanwood-Camano Y opened last summer after six years of preparation. The project drew support from donors and advocates, many of whom emphasized the need for an aquatic center and healthy activities for children and seniors. Of the $23.2 million price tag to build the Y, $17.2 million came from donations.

“We wouldn’t be here without the community, that’s for sure,” Bredereck said.

There’s been a YMCA office in Stanwood since 2012, with programs that included summer meals, camps and health classes. For years, the community and the nonprofit pushed for something more: a dedicated space and a chance to expand offerings.

When planning was under way for the new Y, the nonprofit figured there would be about 3,200 members. The actual sign-ups have shattered that.

A year in, the Stanwood-Camano YMCA has more than 4,000 members. Of that, about 1,200 are seniors.

“This is a really healthy-minded community, so people welcome the opportunity to have places to go, work out and swim, connect with friends,” Bredereck said.

Programs are being added and expanded as staff learn what people in Stanwood and on Camano Island want, she said. Before and after school childcare is new this fall, and teen programs continue to grow. Last year, the location saw up to 85 young people visiting after school each week day.

With the high number of older members, a senior advisory group, hiking group and senior outings have been added. The Y also aims to increase participation in adult sports leagues.

“We’re kind of in the process of looking at what programming will look like in 2018,” Bredereck said. “Really, we want to hear from the community. That’s the cool thing about a Y. We have our signature programs, but it’s really about what the community needs and wants.”

A public celebration is planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Y, 7213 267th St. NW. Admission is free, and prize drawings are planned throughout the day. Those older than 7 should bring a swimsuit for the unveiling of a surprise new feature for the pool. Hot dogs and cupcakes are on the menu.

Also on Sunday, people can sign up for the Y without paying a joining fee. That offer only is good in person at the Stanwood-Camano Y.

The 47,000-square-foot club includes an aquatic center, weight training area, exercise studios, meeting spaces, a full-size gym and a family area with a kitchen and children’s rooms.

For more information about the YMCA, or the celebration, go to or call 360-629-9622.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

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