YMCA Impact Tours


Rebirth of New Orleans Impact Tour: See the City, Tour a Heritage YMCA, Enjoy Dinner at Cafe Reconcile (for early arrivals)

Monday, April 23 
3:15 - 8:30 pm
(Bus boards at 3:15 and returns to Hilton by 8:30 pm) 
Fee: $75 (Includes city tour guide, Y tour, transportation, dinner)
Advance sign-up and payment required

Experience parts of New Orleans that visitors rarely see on their first trip to the city and learn much of its storied, 300-year history.  The city tour begins with the sights and sounds of the oldest and most recognizable part of New Orleans - the famous Vieux Carre or French Quarter. Then you will travel to the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. The nearby area was the Dryades YMCA's Pontchartrain Park facility prior to Hurricane Katrina. Learn the history of the levee system so critical in a city built below sea level. Stop at the site of the most well known Katrina levee breach at the 17th Street Canal, that flooded City Park and neighborhoods. In City Park, one of the ten largest urban parks in the US, enjoy the beautiful 300-year old oak trees that survived. Follow Bayou St. John, once a shipping channel in the early 1700s, and the path of the St. Charles streetcar past the antebellum homes of the mid 1800s, where former Kings and Queens of Mardi Gras dined and danced. No tour would be complete without an explanation of New Orleans' unique burial systems which are above ground.  Though the city tour ends at this point, the tour of the Dryades YMCA begins. A Heritage YMCA founded during the era of segregation as a place for African Americans, the Dryades Y played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, recovered from a devastating fire, and took a leadership role in the city's rebirth after Hurricane Katrina.


Next stop is dinner at Cafe Reconcile, a non-profit restaurant that operates a Life Skills and Workforce Development Program for at-risk youth in the local community. You will be dining in the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center, enjoying a buffet menu that includes some of New Orleans' signature entrees.

Impact Tour B: Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay 

Wednesday, April 3   1:30 am - 3:00 pm 
Fee: $25 (includes transportation)  Advance sign-up and payment required

The $24 million Irsay Family Y at CityWay opened in December 2015. Construction was made possible through the generosity of individuals and many downtown corporations, most notably Eli Lilly and Company, whose headquarters sits adjacent to the center. In October of 2016, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis announced the naming of this prominent downtown location in recognition of a multi-million dollar lead gift from the family of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

The Irsay Family Y at CityWay provides access to residents of Indianapolis near South Side neighborhoods that have traditionally been underserved. As the Association's flagship YMCA, this center also serves as headquarters for Y staff who lead a coalition with over 100 local partner organizations dedicated to improving the health of the city. The three-story, 100,000 square foot YMCA is just blocks away from Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. It boasts two indoor pools, a state-of-the-art wellness center, three gyms and an elevated running track. The Irsay Family Y at CityWay also features a demonstration kitchen where nutritionists teach individuals and families how to prepare healthy meals, as well as two green roofs totaling 12,000 square feet in space. Franciscan Health occupies 13,000 square feet in the building, offering physical therapy, lab and imaging srvices and primary and specialty care.

YMCA Impact Tour & Lunch at Cafe Reconcile

Tuesday, April 24
11:30 am - 2:00 pm

$50 (includes transportation, Dryades YMCA tour and lunch)

Though now open to all, Heritage YMCA denotes a YMCA initially created for African Americans prior to desegregation. Heritage YMCAs, like the Dryades Y served as gathering places for leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. Among those leaders is former UN Ambassador Andrew Young who grew up at the Dryades YMCA and went on to become the first African American US Congressman from the Deep South since Reconstruction.

Appreciative of its rich history, focused on the future, knowledgeable of its social responsibility and committed  to the Y mission, the Dryades YMCA remains steadfast in its cause to strengthen the lives of the people and the communities it has served since 1905. From its recovery from a tragic fire in 2000 to its role in post-Katrina recovery when its charter school was the first to open its doors after the storm, the Dryades Y continues to impact the community in traditional and unique ways. 

Following the Y tour, enjoy a buffet lunch at Cafe Reconcile located on Oretha Castle Haley (originally Dryades Street). At Cafe Reconcile you will enjoy a Po-Boy along with other menu options. Po-Boys are a New Orleans tradition first created when streetcar workers went on strike and local bakers provided sandwiches to those "poor boys." Ask for a sandwich "dressed" and expect lettuce, tomators, pickles and mayo, but at this event you can "dress" it yourself.

Impact Tour D: OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA -
First-of-its-Kind Service for Veterans

Thursday, April 4 (During Round 3 Workshops)
Fee: $30 (includes transportation)  Advance sign-up and payment required

The new OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA, opening in December 2018 on the northwest side of the city, is part of the Y's investment in urban Indianapolis. Built on land provided by the local school district, the facility functions as a community center for the growing and ethnically diverse township. This Y also serves as a national model for the partnership between the YMCA and the Roudebush V.A. Medical Center. It is the first Y in America to house a V.A. medical clinic, with professional staff from Veterans Health Indiana providing on site physical and occupational therapy, counseling and pain management services. Veterans also benefit from the Y's traditional wellness programs, financial literacy, military-style fitness training, adaptive sports and job placement in partnership with other organizations. This center embodies efforts by the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to actively serve American heroes. These include a 20% subsidy in membership fees for veterans, military service members and their families, and a beautiful "Salute" sculpture at the facility's entrance. Donors, motivated by a mission that emphasizes support of military heroes, include the OrthoIndy Foundation, which provided the $3 million naming grant.

Impact Tour E: Laurelwood Apartment Complex-Serving Those in Need

Friday, April 5  3:30- 5:15 pm (During Round 7)
Fee: $20 (includes transportation)   Advance sign-up and payment required

Designed for Program/Membership Network but open to anyone.

Comprised of college students from six nearby universities, the Intercollegiate YMCA provides those students with civic engagement opportunities and leadership development programs. One of those programs, a partnership with the Indianapolis Housing Agency, provides free after school programs in four public housing apartment complexes, one of which is in the Laurelwood Community. Other programs offered at this site include free meals for kids in need, family night and neighborhood clean-up days. The partnership will be explained in the Round 6 Workshop at the JW Marriott while the tour will focus on program details and seeing the Laurelwood site.