Katy YMCAs provide more than just a workout


The Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch and Mark A. Chapman YMCA at Katy Main Street have served the Katy area for 17 years, collectively, offering more than just a fitness center to Katy residents.

The YMCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with several free programs, including Operation Backpack, which provides school supplies and backpacks to children in need; Live Strong, a program for cancer survivors; and Moving Strong, a program for multiple sclerosis patients, in addition to serving as a fitness center.

Greg Coop, district executive director, said they anticipate raising about $475,000 this year for funding to their operations and programs.

The Cinco Ranch location has been open since 2001, but the Katy Main Street location opened in February 2017. Coop said they opened the second location due to overcrowding as the Katy Area YMCAs have more than 20,000 members.

“We really are a social organization that has a workout facility,” director of operations Michelle Steffes said. “We’re trying to change Katy, and we want Katy to be stronger—not just physically, but mind, body and spirit. In the end, our goal is not to be financially the biggest or the best. Our goal is to serve.”

The Katy Area YMCAs also went to 25 low-income apartment complexes in the Katy area this year, offering free water safety classes for children who live in the complexes.

“A lot of those pools don’t have lifeguards and/or they’re not staffed, and it’s a real fear that a kid will fall into the pool and not be able to get out,” Coop said.

Coop and Steffes said if nothing else, they want all Katy residents to know they have a place to belong at the YMCA.

“When you join the Y, you’re not just coming in for a workout. You’re coming in to be part of something that’s bigger than that,” Coop said. “We offer members opportunities to volunteer, to coach youth sports, to help us raise money for these programs. We earn that 501(c)(3) every day. It’s not just that you come in, work out and leave. We hope that you feel like you’re a part of something more.”

Mark A. Chapman YMCA

1350 Main St., Katy

Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch

22807 Westheimer Parkway, Katy

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Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the Tomball/Magnolia reporter in September 2018. Prior to CI, Kara served as the editor-in-chief of The Wichitan—Midwestern State University's student-run campus newspaper—and interned with both the Wichita Adult Literacy Council and VeepWorks.
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