(Front to back) Shirley Freeland of Westminster, Carol Bolesta… (Staff photo by Sarah Pastrana )
Martin K.P. Hill, his wife, Kelly, and their family were honored Nov. 8 at the unveiling of the Hill Family Center Y in Westminster.
In addition to the new name — the center on Washington Road was formerly known as the Carroll County Family Center Y — the ceremony also touted the center's renovation and expansion project.
The Hill Family Center boasts a new, 5,000-square-foot addition to the existing 24,00-square-foot center, with a new fitness room and renovations that provide another exercise room, a larger children's area and more visibility to the swimming pool.
"It feels really good to be standing in the Hill Family Center," said John Hoey, president and CEO of the Y of Central Maryland, to a gathering of guests at Tuesday's event.
"The enlarged Y is better equipped to focus on things that matter," he said, "healthy living and social responsibility."
Hill has been a donor with the Carroll County Y since its start, first with the building of the now 20-year-old facility; then eight years ago, when the Y first expanded; and now again, in the latest expansion, Hoey said.
"Very rarely in the course of 20 years, do you see the same handprint," Hoey said. "Thank you to you and your whole family."
Members and staff couldn't be more pleased with the new fitness room and renovated center.
"I exercise here as often as possible," said County Commissioner Dave Roush. "The new room, with all the equipment, is just terrific. It is so much bigger an area, and lighter. It really is very nice."
Eric Shugars, a fitness instructor at the Y for the last six years, said that besides being brand new and more ergonomically correct to fit one's body, the new equipment offered another bonus.
"It doesn't hurt that everyone has their own TV," Shugars said of the new exercise machines that include individual television screens. "Many stay an extra 10 or 15 minutes to watch the final minutes of a show."
For Jim Hopkins, who works out at the Y four or five times a week, the new features add to the benefits of the Y.
"They have such nice people here," Hopkins said. "It really is a nice atmosphere. It is a real pleasant place to work out."
The Hill Family Center has roughly 5,200 members, according to Karen Farley, director of membership and program development. With the renovations of the former fitness room into an exercise room, the Y will be able to offer more programs geared toward families, Farley said.
"By the new year, in time for all those New Year's resolutions, we'll have lots of new programs and classes to launch," Farley said.
"We want to be on the prevention side," she said, "to get healthy in the younger years so you can keep healthy."
The Y of Central Maryland still owns the former Westminster Inn off Main Street in Westminster. At one time, the organization planned to renovate it and move the Carroll County Y there. But that proved too costly, Hoey said, and the renovation of the Washington Road facility solidifies it as the Y's long-term home.
"We decided it didn't work," Hoey said of the Westminster Inn plan. "Our intent is to sell it."
Though Martin Hill lives in Lineboro near the state line — and is actually closer to a YMCA near Hanover, Pa. — he is proud to support the Y of Central Maryland, he said.
"This has just been a great program, from 20 years ago when I was involved with the first building to today," Hill said. "My family and I are so pleased to be a part of it."