This is Yours – New Riverside YMCA Invites First Coast Residents to Celebrate August Grand Opening

Flagship branch aims to serve the most diverse community in Jacksonville 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July 25, 2016 – After serving Jacksonville’s downtown and riverside communities for more than six decades, the Yates Family YMCA will pass its torch to the new Winston Family YMCA, which is named after local civic leader and philanthropist James H. Winston. Located on the same property on Riverside Avenue, the upcoming flagship branch will host a ribbon cutting event on Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m., followed by the official grand opening with festivities taking place throughout the weekend. Coinciding with the grand opening, the Y’s 10th annual First Coast Games will also host its closing ceremony and 5K event at the new facility on Saturday morning, Aug. 27.

“We are incredibly excited for all First Coast residents to experience the new Winston Family YMCA and witness the unwavering commitment the Y has for our community,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric Mann. “As we open the doors of the facility, we unlock the endless potential of this city to cultivate a better, healthier future.”

Since its inception, the Yates Family YMCA has been one of the area’s most diverse branches, both in terms of race and socioeconomic status. One out of every three members receives some form of financial assistance from the Y to take part in programs and activities. The Winston Family YMCA will carry out that same mission in enhancing people’s lives, showcasing the inclusiveness and welcoming spirit of the city.

“The First Coast YMCA touches the lives of thousands of our citizens in so many ways, and that is why I am so excited to see Riverside being rejuvenated with a brand new health, wellness and rehab facility.” said Winston. “In my mind, the new Y is destined to become a regional center and the flagship of the First Coast YMCA’s 15 branches, and a beacon to the public reaffirming the Y’s dedication to this community and to a healthier future for the First Coast.”

The 72,000 square-foot, riverfront facility will serve as a hub for the Y’s community-focused efforts to reduce chronic illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the new Y will foster connections, create new opportunities, and provide the encouragement and support that will positively change the lives of area residents through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

What to expect and why it matters:

  • Swimming is a healthy activity for everyone. All ages will enjoy the Newton Family Aquatic Center.
  • The Florida Blue Wellness Center is designed to be welcoming and usable by all, no matter where they are on their wellness journey.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars Gymnasium is a place for youth sports, adult fitness classes and recreation for all ages.
  • Serving the whole family means taking good care of our youngest members. At KidZone, youth can play under careful supervision of trained adult staff.
  • A dedicated Spiritual Wellness Center not only lifts up the Christian mission of the YMCA, it’s also a place to nurture a healthy spirit through small groups, Bible study, quiet reflection, spiritual renewal and meditation.
  • The café will offer healthy food choices for busy families and a great space for nutrition and cooking classes.
  • Family and special needs locker rooms will ensure that the Y is truly accessible for people of all ages and all abilities.
  • Through key partnerships with the medical community, the Luther and Blanche Coggin Family Healthy Living Center will offer a one-stop shop for meeting a spectrum of health and wellness needs.

The existing Yates Family YMCA will remain fully operational until the grand opening of the Winston Family YMCA. Once the new facility is completed, the Yates building will be demolished and replaced with parking for Winston members.

For more information about the Winston Family YMCA, visit


The Y
For more than 100 years, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has been providing men, women and children of all ages, and from all walks of life, opportunities to build stronger bonds, live healthy and become more engaged with their communities. Learn more:


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