YMCA could offer discount to veterans

The YMCA is in the midst of a membership drive; imagine if they offered a 50 percent discount in membership to all veterans and their families. These are men and women who volunteer to serve in the armed forces to protect our freedom, our way of life in the United States. They are willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve, protect and defend us. The YMCA in Fulton County can’t offer them a discounted membership?

Right now, you could fire a cannon down the hallway of the Y and you wouldn’t hit anyone. Last year at this time, during the week, it was packed with people: Zumba classes, Zumba tone, aerobics, cycling (the dreaded spin class) were all bustling with people having a blast. Not anymore; membership is way down. There used to be waiting lists for these classes.

So I’m asking, why not offer a 50 percent discount to all veterans and their families? There are 10 Capital Region YMCAs that do just that, from Troy to southern Saratoga, Schenectady to Albany, they offer half-price memberships to all veterans and their families, not just disabled veterans.

With membership down, what, around 1,000-plus memberships, isn’t 50 percent of a membership better than nothing? I know I will probably be given some reason why the YMCA’s board can’t possibly allow this; they always have an answer for “no.” Just once it would be nice to hear “yes” and see smiles and excitement instead of negative responses.

Imagine the children who would have the opportunity to come and be a part of the YMCA, and the veterans who could come and work out, help themselves and meet other people and not worry so much about how to pay for it.

I was told last year the YMCA is first and foremost for children; well, aren’t we all children at heart?

BETSY THOMAS

Caroga Lake