Following Thursday’s YMCA annual dinner, I followed up with a few of the award winners and key players in the event. Members of this esteemed group were all too willing to speak of their wonderful experiences at the Tom A. Finch YMCA.
Below are the responses to the question — What does the YMCA mean to you?
I grew up playing soccer, basketball and baseball there. The Y had such an influential on my childhood that I wanted to make sure my nieces, nephew and basically every kid, gets to have those same positive memories. That's why we decided to volunteer and coach. Even now as adults, there's that sense of community and that's definitely something that is very important to me. The Y is very important to me. I have a lot of fond memories there.
— Becky Johnston
For me, the Y is a place of not only physical health, but community and social health. It's a place where I can go work out physically, but it's also a place I can go to hang out with people. Our kids are also learning about health. They see my wife and I going and working out, and they know how important that is. But they also enjoy being there to socialize with the kids' club and also with the sports. It just means a lot to me to have that community where I can go work out and benefit socially, as well.
— Josh Apple
Service to Youth Award
From the time I was a kindergartner, when Sara Faulkner was a great influence in child care, the Y has meant the world to me. Not too many organizations like this exist around here, where they actually practice what they preach. It's family-oriented. I grew up with it my whole life, with these great people. It influenced me to coach. What they gave me, I want to give back to the community in any way possible. It builds character, gives confidence and stands by its Christian principles.
— Alfonso Alcazar
Marine, former coach and YMCA board member