FAREWELL TO BOSTON
Dear Friends of the YMCA of Greater Boston:
After 36 years of working at the Y, I am excited to announce that I will be leveraging all of the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned to guide the Y on a national level. In February 2015, I will begin my role as the new President and CEO of the YMCA of the USA in Chicago, the national office of the 2,700 YMCAs in the U.S.
As a 10-year-old boy, the Y provided me with a safe place
to go where I could be myself and learn from others. The door was always open
to anyone. I am proud to say that with all these passing years that the Y’s
core values have never wavered, nor has my commitment to youth development,
healthy living and social responsibility.
To this day, the Y remains a place for all - from
campers, to after school children, to members, and staff - to learn and grow. The same way the Y raised me in my youth, it also raised me as
professional. I started at the desk, worked my way up to CEO, and never held a
job outside of the Ys doors.
things are happening in Boston. I am very proud to have been a part of its growth
and honored to have served as the 12th CEO of America’s first Y and
build upon its legacy. I am looking forward to seeing the work continue as the
13th CEO steps in to bring the 13 branches of the Greater Boston’s
Ys to the next level.
ROXBURY YMCA HONORS THE LEGACY OF DR. KING
The Roxbury YMCA celebrated the life of Dr. King at the 7th
Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Business and Community Breakfast on January 16.
At this year’s event, the Y honored two outstanding
- Keeper of the Dream Community Service Award was presented to Mrs. Thelma Burns. This
award is presented to someone who celebrates and honors the legacy of the late
civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thelma Burns has been an educator, organizer and activist in the Boston area for over 40 years.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corporate
Leadership Award was presented to Mr. Paul Francisco. As
Vice President, Diversity Consultant Global Inclusion at State Street
Corporation, Paul is an individual that positively affects our community and
exhibits the true meaning of corporate citizenship and the legacy of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In addition to the breakfast, the Roxbury YMCA is hosting a
day of service on Monday, January 19 in which 100 youth and
adults will give back through volunteer projects throughout the
“These events provide a wonderful opportunity to recognize the
contributions of youth and adults in our community who are committed to giving
back while raising the funds necessary to support the Y’s mission,” said Kathryn
Saunders, Executive Director of the Roxbury YMCA. “It is a wonderful way
to recognize the legacy of Dr. King.”
For more information, please contact Kathryn
GIRLS ARE ON THE RUN IN NEEDHAM
Except for their capes, they seemed like any other runners
preparing for the annual Walter’s Run 5K race in West Roxbury on a cold
December morning, but on this day this group of Needham girls was preparing for
a journey that started three months before.
These girls were participating in the Charles River
YMCA’s inaugural session of Girls on the Run – a national running program for
girls in grades 3 – 8 designed to build confidence and self-esteem while
preparing girls to run a 5K.
“Each girl learned so much during the program,” said Liz
Gregg, the Girls on the Run instructor. “They learned about team work, healthy
relationships and built an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits. Most
importantly, they learned that they can achieve a goal with hard work and
The Charles River Y’s long-term goal is to expand the
program reaching the maximum of 20 youth each year and create a greater
community of young runners who provide positive role models for each other in
the community. The Charles River YMCA is
actively recruiting girls for its second session. To learn more, contact Liz Gregg.
EGLESTON SQUARE YOUTH TAKE ACTION AGAINST VIOLENCE
On a recent Saturday morning, 17 Egleston Square teens
boarded vans outside the YMCA heading to the Berkshires for a weekend retreat. Over
the summer, two neighborhood youth fell victim to gun violence, losing their
lives. Following the tragic events, Y teens made a pledge to find ways to engage disengaged youth in the community and support the victims’ families.
Maria, the mother of one of the victims, said “I have always dreamed about owning land one day, but I
never imagined it would be a burial plot for my son.”
Once in the Berkshires, the 17 youth led by YMCA staff
members discussed the violence in their community and how they could
facilitate positive change. Their goal was to develop at least one action step
they could take in 2015 to make their community better. They ended the weekend
with a plan for an art show that would raise funds for the families of the two
young men murdered but also with a larger sense of responsibility to
themselves, each other and their community.
The Egleston Square YMCA provides over 200 youth each year with
a safe space away from the streets and its violence. For some, the influence
from gang life is too much for the Y to compete with but for most, they
find a path to a better life enrolling in college preparation programs, finding
employment opportunities and caring consistent adult mentors.
START OFF SMALL WHEN SETTING NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
The new year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen one’s
spirit, mind and body. While it’s tempting to make big goals, it’s essential to
start small. Set goals that are attainable, easy to sustain and lead to big benefits
over time. Here are five New Year’s Resolutions the YMCA of Greater Boston recommends for 2015:
1. Eat Healthy: Make water your
drink of choice (supplemented by age-appropriate portions of 100 percent fruit
juices and low-fat milk) and eat more fruits and vegetables. Keep it
interesting and create some variety by mixing and matching fresh, frozen and
canned fruits and vegetables.
2. Commit to
Giving back and supporting neighbors can benefit everyone involved. Not only is
it a personally rewarding experience to help others in need, but it’s also a
way to meet new people or discover an interest. Find an opportunity in your
community, such as cleaning the neighborhood park or distributing food at a
local food bank.
3. Unplug from
screen time (television, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an
hour or two for activities. If weather permits, go for a walk, bike ride, trip
to the park, or have a game night at home with family or friends.
4. Be Physically
important for children to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day
(30 minutes for adults). Incorporate physical activity into your daily routines
and spend more time walking to places instead of driving to improve your health
5. Put Extras to
Good Use: Do
you have extra canned goods or clothes that could benefit others in need? Clean
out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or
community outreach programs.
MEET THE YMCA'S 2015 BOSTON MARATHON TEAM
The YMCA of Greater Boston is pleased to announce its 2015
Boston Marathon Team. Each of these four amateur athletes have
agreed to raise a minimum of $7,500 to support YMCA teen programs across
Joanna Murphy, Roslindale, MA – “I want to run because I am going to be able to support the same community that has supported me for so many years.”
Mohaan Raaj, Westford, MA – “As a Type 2 diabetic, I have been able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise and without medication. I run to be a role model for others in my community.”
Ali Dallaire, Everett, MA – “To run on behalf of my grandfather, a former YMCA CEO and 40
year Y employee, who has taught me how to cherish family, value friends, and
find a place of work that changes my life for the better…well, there simply are
Kennedy, Boston, MA – “I consider
myself a Y kid. The Y has had such an impact on my life that the opportunity to
be a member of the YMCA of Greater Boston’s marathon team is icing on the cake.”
Support our amazing team members here. Already registered
for the Boston marathon? Contact us to learn how you can join our team.