PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg Family YMCA took the opportunity to show off its membership and many programs last week.

Kansas Senator Richard Hilderbrand and Representative Monica Murnan visited the Y as part of its advocacy day. The two learned about programs offered for area children, toured the facility and looked in on youth programs in session.

“It’s a day to tell the story of the YMCA,” Pittsburg Family YMCA Director Jack Bache said. “We show them what we do for the youth, and the success of our programs, which have around 2,000 children involved.”

The advocacy day was set up by Executive Director of the Kansas State Alliance of YMCAs Jennifer Bruning in order to showcase the importance of the YMCA to a community like Pittsburg, and to discuss with legislators what the “Y” needs from them.

“The alliance works with all the people up in Topeka,” Bache said. “Advocacy day shows those people what we do here, how we help the community.”

The Pittsburg Family YMCA has around 9,000 members, and 37 percent are subsidized in some way — meaning they receive financial assistance for their membership or enrollment fees into certain programs. The advocacy day hopes to express the importance of being able to offer that assistance to children who want to take part in the Y’s programs.

The YMCA’s legislative priorities include controlling chronic disease and health care spending by helping to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more, as well as investing in youth by supporting early learning, after-school and summer programs, and preserving the tax-exempt status of charitable, mission-driven organizations, such as the Y.

According to Bruning, Pittsburg YCMA has one of the most successful gymnastics programs in the state of Kansas. The Y also offers an academy of dance, swim team and much, much more.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.