The physical location of the Lake Houston YMCA may be unusable due to Hurricane Harvey flooding, but the Y’s unstoppable spirit carries on, bringing back a beloved, time-honored tradition for local residents.

The Lake Houston YMCA is celebrating its 26th Annual Bridge Fest Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 a.m. and will offer a 5K Family Run and Walk, a 1-mile Kid’s Race, and a 1-mile adaptive (special needs) race. The starting and ending points are at the Y parking lot and the race takes place on West Lake Houston Pkwy., which will be closed to traffic during the competition.

According to the Y’s website, the event began “as a celebration of the opening of the Lake Houston Parkway bridge. Bridge Fest continues to be an important event in our community. With three distances for runners, joggers and walkers to choose from, the race is designed to encourage participation from all abilities and ages.”
Chris Butsch, the new community executive director for both the Lake Houston YMCA and the East Montgomery County YMCA, said that last year the event raised $22,000.
“All the funds raised go to the YMCA annual campaign; 100 percent of all dollars donated are invested into programs serving children, families and individuals in our community,” he said.
One of the YMCA’s main goals is in promoting health and fitness, and running can be advantageous to the body, mind and spirit. The Bridge Fest serves this purpose while raising much needed funds for various programs.
While regular registration (free for the adaptive race, up to $75 for a family of four) ends Monday, Jan. 15 before midnight, late sign up is still accepted on the website for an additional $10 up until midnight on Feb. 15. Visit for more details or to register online.

Sarah Mertins
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I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.