Following is an excerpt from an article Lamanna wrote about her experience as a member of the Tempe Y!

“I moved to Arizona last June and instantly felt crushed by the nonstop heat. I worried about hot car seats burning my 2-year-old and was socially isolated—five-foot walls all around, no extended family or friends, and a home office. I was in bad shape physically and emotionally. I needed to get out of the house, and going to a pool for the child was a good solution.

I joined the Tempe Family YMCA and became active on a daily basis.

Joining the Tempe Y was the best choice. It was close to home and had an outdoor pool with some shade, childcare for two hours a day Monday-Saturday, and a family membership rate that pays back in a week in babysitting hours alone.

I had introduced my son to the water when he was 6 months old, and we were coming to swim at the Tempe Y almost daily. In a sense, I leveled up. I wanted to find my inner athlete and learn to be calm in the eye of the storm. I felt the electricity running through my veins. I slowly got back to the version of myself I used to be.

I thrived on music, creativity, and friends. I became active and even started to look my personal best. I felt empowered and reminded myself of the same brave person I knew years ago.

Although it felt like my child was the whiniest kid at the pool, the aquatics team worked with us proactively, and within two months, my son started swimming on his own. I felt elated. I had been working on teaching him to swim for two years. I was so thankful that my child was finally safe in the water, I wanted to give back. I did so through art.”

Lamanna was our No. 1 annual campaign fundraiser last year, and she achieved that through her art. Attached are pictures Lamanna painted to help raise funds for the Tempe Family YMCA. Lamanna’s creativity and passion for the Y led to her raising over $2,000 for the Y.

If you are looking to help campaign for the Tempe Family YMCA in the upcoming campaign, please email Executive Director David Burckhard at
Lamanna is now paying it forward by welcoming a new recent transplant to Arizona and showing them the ropes of the Y, from our swim lessons to group fitness programs and exercising together. Lamanna knows how hot the first summer in Arizona can be!