President's Message

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Dear friends,

November is a busy month for our Ys and our Tampa Bay community! First and foremost, November is designated as National Veteran and Military Families Month. I want to take this opportunity to honor our Veterans and their families. They sacrifice much of what we take for granted in order to protect our freedom and general way of life. Thank you to all of our Veterans for your service.

The month of November also brings us what is probably one of my favorite holidays of the year. I really enjoy Thanksgiving, not just for the amazing food and time spent with family and friends, but also because it brings our 8th Annual Tampa YMCA Turkey Gobble road race. Taking place on Thanksgiving morning (November 24), this 5k, 8k, or 1 mile fun run is a great way to start the day while supporting a great cause! The race starts and ends at Amalie Arena as thousands of participants walk or run along Bayshore Boulevard to help support a great cause. The Y is proud to say 100% of the proceeds raised from the Tampa YMCA Turkey Gobble will support our healthy living programs, including fully funding our LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA cancer survivor wellness program. The 12-week program offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. This incredible program is truly life changing for cancer survivors and is made available to participants at no cost thanks to the success of this tremendous Thanksgiving Day event! Register today as this event will fill up.

LIVESTRONG and all of our healthy living programs help families get healthier and build new friendships, in a positive, enriching environment. For example, our Diabetes Prevention Program (which is featured in this month’s newsletter) helps educate individuals on lifestyle changes that they can make to decrease their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. November is also National Diabetes Awareness Month, and with over 7 million people living with undiagnosed diabetes, now is the time for you and your loved ones to take the American Diabetes Association’s quick, 60-second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test to determine your potential for developing this serious illness. Whether you are low risk, diagnosed with prediabetes or living life with type 2 diabetes, there are several steps you can take to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent the progression of the disease:  

  • Develop a healthy diet – while there is no “magic” diet for diabetes, choosing foods that help you maintain a healthy blood sugar will go a long way. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight – work with your doctor to determine an ideal weight for your body type.  
  • Stay active – regular exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help lower your blood sugar and promotes weight loss.  
  • Most importantly, talk to your doctor – if you think you are at risk for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, be sure to speak with your health care provider about what you can do to stay healthy.  

No matter where you are on your health journey, the Y has a variety of programs to support a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t been by one of our centers lately, I encourage you to stop in for a visit and let us help you on your road to healthy living.   

Lastly, I want to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am so very thankful for your continued support of this great organization. Our collective impact is truly helping our community live healthier and happier lives.

With appreciation, 

Matt Mitchell
President & CEO