By Tamas Mondovics

eventsBrandon area residents were invited to a birthday party extravaganza this month at the Brandon Family YMCA, located at 3097 S. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner, to mark the organization’s 20th year of service to the Brandon community. Guests enjoyed great food, activities, family games, a bounce house, a special commemorative gift and, of course, a visit from the Y Guy, the organization’s mascot. “Since its establishment in 1989, the Brandon YMCA, has helped community residents to grow strong in spirit, mind and body,” said George Sorensen, executive director. “We are so appreciative of the support the community has given back to the YMCA over the years.” Some of the new additions at the Brandon Family YMCA, one of 14 facilities in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, include the supplementation of more family activities, better overall programming and facility and equipment improvement with the goal of focusing on providing the highest quality experience to all its members. One of the newest programs, having begun in June, is the facility’s indoor cycling program as well as a fall youth basketball season in addition to the yearly schedule. Sorensen wanted to emphasize that all programs at the Y are equally important. “Since whether the activity is related to health and wellness; youth, adult or senior, they all are important to our members, and we aim to provide the best service.” According to YMCA District Marketing Director Sarah Vincent, those who have missed the chance to come to the Brandon YMCA birthday party may visit any area YMCA facility, including the Campo YMCA and the FishHawk YMCA express, with no charge through Sunday, September 27. “We’re celebrating ‘America on the Move’ week with a week-long open house and tons of free activities,” Vincent said.Activities will include programs such as indoor cycling, Yoga, family fun at the pool and a teen wellness program for parents, just to name a few.Brandon Family YMCA also looks for volunteers to help with its various programs. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact the YMCA for more information. Prior to its anniversary celebration, the Brandon Family YMCA invited long-time donors, sponsors and volunteers to a VIP event to reflect on what the facility has been able to accomplish during the past two decades. “We wanted to recognize all those who are responsible for the Brandon Y’s success,” said YMCA District Director Cindy Sofarelli. “We can claim 20 years of great history here in Brandon and are confident of 20 more successful years to come.”For more information, call 685-5402. For a complete schedule of events, please visit

Caption: Brandon Family YMCA volunteer coordinator Diana Niles, right, holds up a commemorative 20th anniversary T-shirt in the company of YMCA representatives, including Brandon Family Y director George Sorensen, back right, and YMCA District Director Cyndi Sofarelli, back center.

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