Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino and former Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino and former Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino

The Santa Maria Valley YMCA is offering local residents a jump start to healthy living in 2017 with a “January is on Us” promotion. For the entire month of January, the Y facility at 3400 Skyway will open its doors and offer access to its heated pool, dozens of classes, weight rooms, and new, outfitted outdoor exercise area.

Participants are encouraged to make plans now to begin January 2 and enjoy the facilities for a full month, with only an initiation fee and donation of one book to the Y’s “YReaders” literacy program that supports youth development in the community.

The recently renovated Y features a fully equipped weight room and outdoor weight training area, brand new cardio equipment and heated, full size pool, steam room and sauna, in addition to a remodeled locker room. More than 65 fitness classes, including Zumba, yoga, body pump and body sculpting, senior fitness, PiYo and more offer options for every age and interest area. A half-court basketball court is popular with area youth.

According to Shannon Seifert, CEO of the Santa Maria Valley YMCA, the “January is on Us” promotion reflects the organization’s three-pronged focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and provides an opportunity for residents to easily participate in Y programs. “We know the first of the year is always a time of resolution and new plans,” said Seifert, “and we want to be part of them. We welcome residents to give us a try and let us help them stay on a healthy path.”

The Y enlisted one of Santa Maria’s most prominent local families, longtime Y supporters the Lavagninos, to help promote the January special.  On a recent Saturday morning, four generations of the family gathered at the Y for a spirited video and photo shoot.  Patriarch and former Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino and son, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, donned “Throwback Thursday”-style workout wear and were joined by spouses Donna and Marian and two more generations of family, including a trio who had travelled that morning from Southern California to participate:  Desirae and Kristin, plus Kristin’s two year-old daughter Arianna (Dad Gabriel had a schedule conflict).  Youngest family member, great granddaughter Siena, daughter of Fabian and Yesenia, showed off her three month old-style in an infant sized, pink Adidas warm up suit and high top tennies.

The group had fun promoting the Y’s universal appeal, and between takes Larry and Steve entertained the assembled group with antics that included lobbing good natured barbs at each other and, in Larry’s case, performing the Santa Maria High fight song.  “This is nothing,” laughed Larry’s wife, Donna.  “You should see them when the whole family is together.”  TV commercials, a postcard mailer and social media campaign with the Lavagninos extolling the Y will be released in late December.

Seifert said the Y brings families and communities closer together by fostering connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests, supporting the mission with services like childcare. “We make it easy for parents to grab time for themselves by providing on-site childcare for their convenience,” she said. Financial assistance is available to help residents with a “hand up to economic health.” Seifert added the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the Y makes it popular with both fitness newcomers as well as long time members.

“We have been a big part of the local community for over 37 years,” she said. “We are kicking off 2017 with a thank you to the community and a safe place for all ages to engage in healthy lifestyles.”

Additional information is available online at www.smvymca.org or by calling 805 937-8521.