New Updates to Y Policies


Dear Y Members and Friends,
We are thrilled to announce some changes coming next week to our usage and reservation system. We want to make sure it’s as easy as possible to use your YMCA. As we prepare for some adjustments, please be assured that your safety – and the safety of all our members, program participants, staff, and volunteers – is our number one priority. We will continue to follow guidelines from health experts and local officials to ensure that our facilities meet the highest standards for hygiene and safety. In fact, since re-opening on June 1, the county health department has lifted us up as bringing members back in a safe way.

Beginning on Monday, August 24th, we will be making the following adjustments to our usage policies:

  • No more reservations required for the Wellness Center. Come at any time. We will maintain a capacity of 30 members in the Dahl Wellness Center and 40 members in the Houser Wellness Center. Check in at the front desk gate when you arrive.
  • Reservations are still required for the pool but two individuals per lane will be allowed, opening up more opportunities in a high demand area. Please limit your time in the pool to a 30-minute or 60-minute reservation per day.
  • The overall one-hour time limit for visiting the Y will be removed. However, we still recommend that you limit your time at the Y but you are welcome to participate in multiple activities.
  • The time limit in Y Child Watch has been moved back to 2 hours. A reservation is still required by the hour (i.e. if you want the full 2 hours, you can reserve 2 – one hour time slots for each child). We will now allow 15 children per hour. Please drop your child off when we are open and enjoy some “you” time at the Y.
  • The gymnasium will be open for use during designated times. Reservations are not needed but there will be 20 members max allowed in the gym at one time. Designated open gym times can be found on our website by clicking the ‘reservation’ button (even though no reservation is needed). Bring your own ball. Pick up games are not allowed at this time. A gym supervisor will be onsite during open gym times.
  • Children ages 7-13 will be allowed to use the gymnasium during designated times while a parent or guardian is in the facility (parent can be working out in the Wellness Center but must remain in the facility). No reservation needed but a capacity total of 20 youth and adults will be maintained. Designated times can be found on our website by clicking the ‘reservation’ button (even though no reservation is needed). Teens ages 14 and older can continue to use the Y without a parent or guardian in the facility.
  • Singles (one-on-one) racquetball matches will be allowed. Please continue to reserve your court online. Reservations will be in 1-hour time increments for Court A and for Court B (to be labeled soon). Only 1 member needs to reserve a court. Both members should check in at the front desk gate.
  • Virtual Fitness at the Y will not require a reservation. Virtual Fitness at the Y will be on-demand with over 1,000 classes to choose from at your convenience.
  • Masks are still required (per state guidelines) for all members 5 years of age and older.
As a nonprofit dedicated to keeping our community healthy, safe, and thriving for all, Y members like you make our impact possible. For our members who have stayed with us during these challenging times, thank you! As we reflect back on the past five months, it’s with an incredible sense of gratitude that we say thank you to our members, donors, and the community. 
As you continue to support the Y through your monthly membership dues and through donations, I want to encourage you to think about the Y in terms of our ability to positively impact 30,000 of our neighbors annually (during normal times), and that we have been strengthening our community for 137 years. Your support has made our programs and services available to all members, young and old, and for generations. It’s not just what the Y can do for you today, but rather, what has the Y meant to our community for all these years.
Of course, the Y is a great place to be active and healthy, but it’s so much more. Your continued membership support and donations mean programs for teens, mental health support for our community, programs for cancer survivors, safety around water for young children, and more. Please stay with us! We need to ensure that the Y is here in the coming months and years.
Again, thank you for being members of the Y and for your continued support. We look forward to seeing more of you back at the Y in the coming weeks.
Best regards,
Bill Soper, CEO



Updates to Kids Tri, Maple Leaf and Walk with Warriors

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 spread, and recommendations from the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the La Crosse County Health Department, we have made changes to our 2020 special events.

The Kids Tri will not take place in 2020. This decision was not an easy one to make, as it offered a great opportunity for the kids and families to focus on staying active and healthy. We felt like this decision was for the greater good of our community, helping protect our vulnerable populations and healthcare workers.

The Maple Leaf Walk Run will be offered as a Virtual Event this year. The race will still offer the Kids Maple Mile Fun Run, 5K, 5 Mile and Half Marathon distance. A t-shirt will be given out to all participants (curb-side pickup at the Y or mailed) and a medal will be awarded to half marathon finishers. Registration prices will be adjusted accordingly and current registrants will be sent a separate email to manage their registration.

Walk with Warriors was hosted in early June as a Virtual walk. Due to the severity of the COVID-19, we will not be hosting an in-person Walk with Warriors this year. Thanks again to everyone who participated virtually!

As part of our mission and cause, we will continue to explore opportunities to keep our community active, connected and engaged. We strive each and every day to serve our community and make it a better place for all.
We look forward to offering this event in 2021.
-The Y

Summer Programs Return



Help your kids be active this summer. 🏃🏻 ☀️ 💦 🏃🏿‍♀️

Learn life-saving skills in swim lessons 🏊, meet new friends in soccer ⚽, gain confidence in gymnastics 🤸🏽 or have fun in the sun at outdoor day camp 🌞.

Registration begins Monday, July 13th. This will be a 5-week session beginning July 20th.

The safety of our participants and employees will be our top priority

For class dates, times and location, please visit our website:

Steps we’re taking to help keep your family safe:
☑ Reduced class sizes
☑ Additional time between classes for disinfecting and cleaning
☑ Daily temperature checks and screenings for Y staff

💻 Online registration opens at 5:00 AM
📞 Phone registration opens at 7:00 AM

*We will update our Y website and Facebook page with any changes as decisions are made throughout the upcoming weeks.

Reopening Our Facilities


YMCA Phase 1 Reopening: June 1st

Our staff and entire Y family are preparing and getting ready to reopen our Y’s under a new normal. YMCA Phase 1 Reopening will begin on Monday, June 1, 2020. As we make plans to see all of you again, we want to thank our wonderful members and donors who have stuck with us and supported the Y during this unprecedented time.
The support for the Y and our work in the community has been simply amazing. When this experience is in our rear-view mirror, we will look back with a sense of pride for the way the Y quickly responded to the critical needs in the community, and a sense of deep gratitude for those members and donors who supported us.  
We will be reopening in phases in order to keep our members and staff safe while adhering to guidelines from the CDC, our County Health Department, and the State of Wisconsin. We are working on finalizing the plans for the phased re-opening and we will be sharing those with our members in the coming days.
As we finalize these plans for the phases of our reopening, we want your feedback! I hope that you will take a couple of minutes to take the survey in this newsletter to let us know how you feel about our reopening and what we can do so you continue getting the most out of your YMCA membership.
We will continue reviewing these guidelines regularly and we will communicate reopening plans through email, our website, and social media. We cannot wait to see our members in our facilities again, and we know you can’t wait either!
Stay well, and see you soon.
Bill Soper

Free Supper Program by the Y

The YMCA will hand out suppers at 3 locations in a collaborative effort with the School District of La Crosse and the Boys and Girls Club.

La Crosse, WI April 15, 2020—The Y is stepping up to the plate. In response to a critical need in our community- feeding children, the Y will provide free ‘grab and go’ supper at three locations beginning on Wednesday, April 15th:

  • North Community Library (1552 Kane St) 4:00-4:20 pm

  • YMCA Community Teen Center (1105 King St) 4:30-5:00 pm

  • Poage Park (500 Hood St) 5:10-5:30 pm

This food program is similar to the Y’s Summer Food Service Program, serving meals to anyone 18 and under. The food provided will be a meal that can be reheated at home.  Meals will be served Monday-Saturday. Saturday’s distribution will include a meal for Saturday and Sunday. So weekends included!

Many children in our communities depend on meals they receive during the school day, but when school is out on weekends and school breaks they still need food.   Throughout the school year and summer months, the three partners work together to identify families and places in the community where there is a need to get food in the hands of children. Our current collaboration efforts during this unprecedented time are no different. The School District of La Crosse will be preparing the meals and the Y will be delivering and handing out the meals at the three sites.  The Boys and Girls Club has assisted in identifying locations and families and will be promoting the locations.  

For questions and information, please call 608-769-2946.

To support this program and additional emergency child care services, please consider a donation to the Y.


“This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”

COVID-19 Update


Dahl and Houser Y's to Close - Will Become School Age Childcare Sites

For over 137 years, the La Crosse Area Family YMCA has always been an organization that walked in the direction of a challenge. Today we must focus our resources on those who need us most during this unprecedented time.

As we share additional news and updates with you, you will continue to see that your Y is committed to being there for those who need us most and we ask you again to join us in the effort. We ask that you continue to invest in your membership so that we can maintain vital life-changing and life-saving programs in our community.  At this time, we invite you to join us in service to others needing our help. If you prefer to put your membership on hold, please contact us at [email protected] and we will do that for you, but we invite you to join us in service to others needing our help.  We know your membership is meaningful to you and that meaning lies in the relationships you have built at the Y. Those relationships are based upon how much you care about our community and want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive – no matter what our world is facing. Thank you in advance for joining us.

As we indicated yesterday, we are pivoting our resources to best support the most pressing needs in our community. We are aligning with our community partners to serve parents who must work including health care workers, first responders and “essential” employees protecting our community. These families need safe and reliable places for their children and we will be there for them.

Please note that due to updated recommendations from the CDC, Governor Evers, in concert with what most Wisconsin Y’s have decided, and in an effort to slow community spread, we have made the decision to close both Y facilities.  As of the end of business on Tuesday, March 17, both of our Y facilities will close to members so that we can repurpose our facilities in order to provide emergency school age childcare, in support of Governor Ever’s push for childcare, which is a critical community need during this time.  Additionally, childcare is exempted from the Governor’s orders. 

An important note about emergency childcare:  Emergency childcare is an absolutely essential service for our community.  We have received many amazing responses from our community regarding this service including donations to support this critical service.  While it would be ideal if every parent was able to stay home and shelter in place, it is simply impossible.  Many families in our area must work.  They are employed by hospitals, they stock your groceries, they are doctors, nurses, and the important people who support local medical teams.  Many of these people have children who deserve to be in safe care while their parents provide these critical community services. 

The YMCA is planning emergency childcare for approximately 200 children.  The local school districts serve approximately 16,000 students in total, so the community can assume that the vast majority of children have other options.  The Y is here to serve the group that does not have other safe options.  In preparation for offering emergency childcare, our experienced and professional staff are taking serious and appropriate precautions:

  • Health aides on site during drop-off to screen children and staff.
  • Small groups of students spread out in our Ys.
  • Parents will drop off and pick up children in the entrance area in an effort to limit movement throughout the facility.
  • Children will be monitored throughout the day for symptoms.
  • All CDC recommendations are being followed.
  • Our staff team for this critical service, are not in the group of compromised individuals (due to age and health history).
  • Of course, if mandated by the County Health Department or the State of Wisconsin, we will close down these programs.

We plan to restore full operations at both Y’s as soon as we are able.  Of course, we will continue to make day to day decisions as we receive updates from the La Crosse County Health Department, the YMCA of the USA, Governor Evers, and the CDC.  Please visit our YMCA website at

Finally, to support your health and wellbeing goals we are offering Y360, an exciting new YMCA on-demand fitness program for adults and kids to do at home. You and your family can exercise together and have some fitness fun! You can access it today at Y360 On-Demand. Also, for your wellbeing and mental health, watch for Mindful Minutes from Sarah Johnson, our Mental Health Director.

In the meantime, we invite you to join us in service to others needing our help through your continued membership.  Again, if you prefer to put your membership on hold until operations are restored, please contact us and we will do that for you, but we invite you to join us in service to others needing our help.  Thank you for your support as we work diligently to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Best regards,
Bill Soper