News & Updates


The Cleveland County Family YMCA is the leading nonprofit organization in Cleveland County. Our community efforts reach as Kings Mountain, Shelby, through Boiling Springs and into Rutherford County. Check out the latest news and updates about your YMCA here.

2022 Candy Arey Scholarship 

The Robert Arey Family sponsors this scholarship for the purpose of assisting and supporting deserving female students with their college tuition.

Grants are awarded based on need and availability up to $1,000. Grants are disbursed to the college institution of the selected recipient.

• Applicants must be female

• Applicants must attend a high school in Cleveland County or be a member or employed by the YMCA

• Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7

• Applicants must have certain financial needs and assistance with tuition

For more information about the grant opportunity and application process, click here!

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Family


YMCAs have a long history of involving and serving families in ways that incorporate both continuity and change. There are many essential family needs that have remained constant, but as times change and needs evolve, the Cleveland County YMCA continues to develop ways to strengthen and support families.

Many families today are facing a new set of challenges than even the family of ten years ago faced. Families today are struggling to manage overwhelming schedules, fast changing technology and a powerful and dynamic media influence.

Here are 4 simple ways that you can strengthen your family:

1. Make sure your family knows they Belong at the Y. When the kids are young, give them the opportunity to learn how to scan their own card. As they get older, give them the responsibility of taking keeping their own card. Take advantage of opportunities when the family can visit the Y together.                                       

2. Connect with people that care. It is important for Y staff to learn member’s names. It is equally important for members to learn the names of the staff. It can be a powerful influence on a lifestyle goal when you meet a new workout buddy, racquetball partner, class instructor, youth sports coach or after school counselor. It can also provide a wonderful comfort to kids when they are welcomed and greeted by a caring Y staff person.

3. Participate in programs. Attend family swims or movie nights. Bring your young kids to special weekend events. Participate in a 5k by training to walk or run together.

Did you know that the prices for programs are much lower for Y members?

4. Have Fun! Make visiting the Y a celebration. Whether you are taking class, taking the kids swimming or to kid zone, coming to the Y should be fun. This will set up a wonderful healthy habit that can last a lifetime.

There are 4 great things for parents to do to strengthen their family. And I will throw in one more for FREE. Have dinner together at the kitchen table without the TV or cell phones! Just talk. -CAM


YMCA Announces New Staff

September 16, 2021

For Immediate Release

Key Contact: Cameron Corder, CEO 

704-484-9622 [email protected]     


The Cleveland County Family YMCA announced the additions of Shane Ruffin and Heath Walker to the Kings Mountain YMCA staff team.

Ruffin has been hired as the Operations Director for the branch. He is a Charlotte native and was most recently working with the United Way of Central Carolinas. Prior to his work with the United Way, Ruffin has had a distinguished YMCA career in the southeast. He has been an Executive in Nashville, Savannah and Columbia. He also served as the CEO of Calhoun County in Alabama.

“We are tremendously excited about adding Shane to our staff team. He is a dynamic leader who had glowing references on his leadership skills. He has a wide variety of experiences and will add so much value to our entire YMCA,” noted Cameron Corder, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA.

Mr. Ruffin is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and started his YMCA career in Nashville. “I can’t express how excited I am to join this organization. I look forward to helping shape the future for kids and families,” added Ruffin.

Heath Walker has been hired to lead Sports and Aquatics for the branch. A native of Kings Mountain, Walker is a graduate of NC State with a degree in Sports Management. He most recently worked for Nabisco.

Corder shared about Walker, “Heath came highly recommended and after getting to know him, it became obvious that his character and values match up perfectly with the YMCA.”

Walker added, “I am honored to serve the community that means so much to me. I love sports and I am truly excited about sharing the joy of sports with kids and families.”

For more information about the YMCA please check out the web site at


Welcoming Week 2021

September 10-19, 2021

Welcoming Week, an initiative of Y-USA’s national partner Welcoming America, celebrates the growing movement of communities across the U.S. that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country. During Welcoming Week, communities bring together immigrants and U.S.-born residents to promote cross-cultural understanding raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone.



Five Days of Action June 7 – 12

Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse. We take that very seriously here at the Y and will be educating our members this week on how they can help protect our children. Check out more resources and information about Five Days of Action here.


In case you have not heard yet, our very own Debra Watson is now serving as the Director of Administration!
YMCA CEO, Cameron Corder, announced the promotion of Debra Watson as the Director of Administration for the Cleveland County Family YMCA. Debra will continue her membership work at the Dover Foundation YMCA and will also take on leadership and human resource work for the entire association.
The leadership and human resource work will encompass working with the new hire process, staff leadership retreats, staff satisfaction and training. She will also continue to assist with diversity and character development work.
Debra retired after a stellar 20 plus year career from Cleveland County DSS. For part of her career, she worked in training and leadership development. She is married to R.L. and is a member of Palmer Grove Baptist Church.
Debra began her YMCA journey in 2016 as a participant in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Soon after, she was hired to work at our welcome center. Over the last five years she has been a fast-rising star, not only at the branch but across the association.
She also has a large social media following encouraging people on their personal health journey. We doubt you will find many people more positive and inspirational than Debra.
“From day 1, Debra has proven that she provides a high level of excellence in her work. She has become a trusted leader and loyal employee,” noted YMCA CEO, Cameron Corder. “ Elevating Debra to this new role will help the Y meet our strategic goal of focusing more on our staff teams and being an employer of choice.”


Summer Camp 2021

We are so happy to welcome our campers back in the building this summer! We have summer camp locations in Rutherford County, Boiling Springs, Shelby and Kings Mountain. Summer Camp at the Y is special because you get to experience all that the Y has to offer, make new friends & go on awesome field trips each week! Financial Assistance may be available upon request. For more information about camp click here. 



Storytelling is a huge part of the culture and community at the YMCA. We love to celebrate and share milestones alongside our Y family. We would love to hear about your latest Y story, goal you achieved or accomplishment! Tell us how the YMCA has played a role in your journey. Share today!