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YMCA celebrates Memorial Day with exercise Allison K. Sampite | Sat, May 28 2011 12:00 PM

If you are wondering how to celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, the South Bay Family YMCA has a creative way to do it.

The organization is having their first Memorial Day Workout Blast Monday to support military veterans and families of the Chula Vista Veterans Home.

The idea is to encourage community members to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while honoring past and present military members.

The YMCA's health and wellness department wanted to give back to those who sacrificed their livelihoods and in some cases, their lives, so American's can have freedom.

"What we wanted to do was celebrate these individuals and their families," said South Bay YMCA community relations director Rebecca Kelley.

Kelley said this event is significant for the South Bay community.

"We're so fortunate to have the veterans home in our backyard," she said. "We want to thank them and not forget about them."

The YMCA will open their doors from 7 to 11 a.m., offering adults and kids ages six and up the opportunity to participate in various group classes including Aqua Zumba, family yoga and indoor cycling for a small donation.

The lap pool will be open from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The Chula Vista Veteran's Home is the largest in Southern California and serves at least 8,000 every year.

One in every five individuals that the South Bay Family YMCA serves is either active, retired or dependents of military members.

Gene Pellerin is a retired Navy captain and the vice president of The Chula Vista Veteran's Home Foundation, a group that supports the Chula Vista Veterans Home in raising funds to provide fitness equipment for military veterans.

"I think it's a very neat concept," Pellerin said of the event. "We're delighted that they've offered to do this."

There are approximately 300 residents at Chula Vista's veterans home, many of whom use the South Bay Family YMCA, specifically the swimming pool for rehabilitation.

Kelley said the YMCA is hoping to see as many as 100 people show up to support the local veterans home.

"We love our Chula Vista veterans home," she said.

All YMCA staff is volunteering their time for the event.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Chula Vista Veteran's Home and also benefit the Y's youth fitness programs.

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