Laura Holmsted and her family have a passion for fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As longtime members of the Devos-Blum Family YMCA in Boynton Beach, it has become a way of life.
As the YMCA of South Palm Beach County celebrates its 50th anniversary, the generational family has continued the tradition of coming to the Y.
Laura’s mother, Sara Lynch, attends several workout classes each week. Laura’s daughter, Tiffany Peterson, works with a personal trainer and enjoys working out at the gym. Tiffany’s daughter, Aubrey, attends daycare at the facility, and her husband Jake also exercises there. Laura’s husband, Jan, is active and spends at least three hours a day at the YMCA while their daughter Trina is also a member.
“What I find cool is that our whole family trains every day,” Laura said. “We have instilled that we eat healthy and exercise, and that is part of our lives. I can’t even imagine not doing it. I think it’s a very good thing for us, especially since we train a lot together.
Laura and Jan have been members of the Boynton Beach YMCA for almost 15 years. Laura participates in Zumba, Pound, weightlifting and several classes while hitting the gym each weekday. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Laura has also shown her dedication by participating in classes from home via Zoom with YMCA instructors.
“I love it and love coming here and I’ve made so many friends,” Laura said. “We are very close to the instructors and the people we take lessons with here and everyone is very friendly. I feel like it’s a big family and I wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else. The Y brings family and friends together. They do a lot throughout the year for adults and children with events. We get together with the instructors and socialize. It’s a big part of my life, and it’s special.
Tiffany started at the Boynton Beach YMCA as a Saturday morning high school cheerleading coach. She also participated in Zumba classes with friends in college. After later becoming a parent, she realized she could exercise at the gym while her daughter attended the facility’s childcare program.
“I was walking past and the kids at daycare looked like they were having fun,” Tiffany said. “We were delighted for our daughter. She knows everyone’s name there. She plays and loves it. It’s the same staff all the time and they get to know the kids. They invest so much time in the kids, which is amazing. I’m with a personal trainer for three days and do my own cardio and workouts the other days. I train a lot with my father. It’s a morning routine and I have an hour to myself. It’s a nice break as a mom.
Laura, Sara, Tiffany and Trina started taking spin lessons together when they first joined as members. They were able to bond with the instructors and staff.
“It’s always been a very happy, positive, family-oriented environment,” Tiffany said. “The teachers have been there for a long time. We get to know each other outside of the YMCA and we are friends.
Sara participates in several different classes and enjoys cycling, weights and chair Pilates.
“I’ve made a lot of friends in the classes I’m taking,” Sara said. “It feels like family. I love it and I’ll never stop. At my age I can do a lot more than most people and it’s all because of exercise.
DeVos-Blum Family YMCA executive director Barry Davis said they were hosting 50 events for 50 years under the anniversary theme. They will also have an upcoming summer camp for nine weeks with over 200 children participating.
The Boynton Beach YMCA held its annual Healthy Kids Day last month. The free event, open to all ages, drew more than 2,000 people and featured climbing walls, a petting zoo, lawn games, biking and a color run.
“The YMCA is about mind, spirit and body,” Davis said. “It was a day to celebrate our community, our families and our children. It’s a pretty special event here in Boynton.
He said the staff enjoy interacting with members every day, including spending time with Laura and her family.
“Nothing is more special than seeing history here, and it’s amazing,” Davis said. “It’s more than going to the gym. It’s the community and the interaction that happens outside of this room that makes it special.
Laura said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the tradition and legacy as YMCA members in Boynton Beach.
“My granddaughter watches me do Zumba and she can hear the music and wants to dance,” she said. “I hope we can instill training in him to make it part of his life. I look forward to training with my granddaughter here one day.”
According to the Y, the South Palm Beach County YMCA began as a single branch in 1972. It operates programs and services in the South Palm Beach County area and includes the Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton , 6631 Palmetto Circle S and the DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach, 9600 S. Military Trail.
The Y allows all members of the community to participate in membership programs, regardless of their ability to pay the fees, and they provide a scholarship each year through annual contributions.