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Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA at Buckhead
Brothers at the top of their game
“They thought of working at the Y as a privilege.” The Winborne brothers tend to conduct themselves just a little differently from other kids their age. Sure, they do normal teenager stuff, like hang out with friends and watch videos. They are big into sports. They’re into their church. They sing in musicals. OK, maybe they aren’t so typical. They stand head and shoulders above their peers, says Chris McMurtagh, Y sports director, because of what he describes as traditional family values. “They’re more polite than any kids I’ve met their age. If you ask them to do something, they never say no. You just don’t find kids as well mannered any more or willing to go the extra mile.” Those extra miles were put in at Y summer day camp, where Frank worked as a counselor after volunteering the previous summer, and Arthur volunteered after Frank
encouraged him to try it. Both brothers learned how much they enjoyed this kind of community service while also discovering more about themselves. “Working with kids is great,” Frank says, “because they all look up to you, and you try to be a good role model and be on top of your game every day. It’s good preparation for the real world.” Arthur became a role model for younger kids, while unexpectedly finding people he could look up to as well. “I got to know counselors and employees and made good friends with different people, many who’ve already been through what we’ve been through.” Now, they want to share their experience by helping to start a teen program at the Y. The goal, says Frank, is to let other teens know this place is here and to have teenoriented activities. “It’s about a place for kids to come and get away from normal school, busy life and have good, clean fun,” he says.
At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. The Y serves three crucial areas of focus to help individuals, families and communities learn, grow and connect.
THE Y IS FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, because we believe that all kids deserve opportunities to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, youth today are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to better health and educational achievement. THE Y IS FOR HEALTHY LIVING, improving the nation’s health and well-being. The Y brings families closer together, encourages good health and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests. THE Y IS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, giving back and providing support to our neighbors. Whether developing skills or emotional well-being, welcoming and connecting diverse populations or advocating for healthier communities, the Y fosters the care and respect all people need and deserve.
Investing in others
C.F. Bakker's spirit survives
C.F. Bakker's example and strength of character led thousands to improve their health. To get reluctant athletes moving, C.F. never bothered with pep talks, hand holding, barking orders or bribery. At the Buckhead Y, where he worked as a wellness coach for 10 years, his straightforward manner helped about 1,000 people each year change their ways, to get ahead of idleness and infirmity. Sedentary seniors began walking to their mailboxes. Businessmen rebounded from heart attacks. Frail churchgoers began standing up in their pews without help. When it came to dying, friends and students would have understood if their coach wavered. But his plain tone and focus on the task at hand remained unchanged, even as he dealt with inoperable liver cancer. Nearly three years after his diagnosis, C.F. Bakker died in November 2010, at age 67. By then, those he had tutored had learned to move ahead on their own. His teaching helped them to say their goodbyes. Two weeks before his death, there was a cold rain falling, but 150 members of the Y turned out for an event called the “Pay It Forward” party. A large banner, valentines and a cake with a rainbow celebrated C.F. and the power of investing in someone else, no payback required. C.F. passed away 12 days after the party celebrating his life. What he paid forward survives him at the Y. The people he coached moving ahead, just as he’d shown them.
Elizabeth Jump honored as 2010 Volunteer of the Year
“What makes the Y different from other organizations is the mission of developing spirit, mind and body,” says Elizabeth. “Healthy living incorporates those aspects into daily life, so you’re constantly learning: that’s your mind. You exercise: that’s your body. You give to others and volunteer, and that helps your spirit.” Elizabeth developed a passion for impacting others in our community through the Partner With Youth annual campaign.
“It’s important to me to help raise money for the campaign, because there are people all over the Buckhead area who are in need. As a volunteer, I get the satisfaction of knowing everyone I work with gets the same thing I’m getting out of the Y.”
Elizabeth’s community involvement extends to the Westminster Schools Alumni board, The Temple board and Odyssey Atlanta. She and her husband, Bill, have two children: Miller and Anna. Congratulations Elizabeth!
Finding something for everyone
“We have no family here: the first place we felt welcome in Georgia was the Y.” Mondays and Thursdays are Claudia Aguilar’s favorite days. Those are Zumba class days at the Y. “It’s fun, it’s really fun!” she exclaims. “I’m a Latina, and I love everything with music.” While not exactly night clubbing, it gets this wife and mother out dancing and socializing, in a workout sort of way. And that makes her feel great. But the Y means so much more than Zumba for Claudia, her husband, Sal, and her young sons, Abram and Alan. It means family. When
the Aguilars moved to Atlanta from California several years ago, they left behind a big, close extended family that socialized most weekends together. “When I went to the Y,” she says, “I was so excited.” Claudia found other families like hers. They quickly made friends with members and staff. “Now, I know everybody. They know my kids. When I go there, I really feel comfortable, because I’m welcome at the Y. It’s really nice.” It took only a few weeks for them to feel at home. Between the play center, Parents’ Night Out, Kids Rock, and soccer, her boys developed their social lives while staying healthy and fit. She
says, “You feel really good that your kids are taken care of. You feel ready to workout.” And workout she does, every day, if not Zumba, then weights. Her husband also comes to the Y. More so, he is thrilled to see his wife and kids getting so much out of it. The Y is part of their family life, offering something for everyone. Claudia, who spends most of her time looking after her kids, is happy her family is happy. “My lifestyle is better now. I don’t have a lot of money, but physically and emotionally, I feel complete. That’s big.”
Strengthening all family members
“The Y isn’t a second home, it’s a first home.” More than once, the Y has been the saving grace for Belise Michel. The first time was in Florida where, working as a public school teacher, she desperately needed child care for one of her three children. She came to the Y in tears with no money, and they told her not to worry, they’d deal with it later. “They took him in and took really good care of him,” she says. “They treated him like he was one of their own.” She started volunteering, then working part time at the Y. In 2002, after relocating to Atlanta, she started working in the nursery at the Buckhead Y. This was the second time the Y changed her life. “When I came here, I knew no one,” she says. She could barely afford to pay her bills. “I used to just come to work, clock in, clock out, go home. It was kind of lonely.” Then she learned about family scholarships. With her kids able to participate in so many programs, from Parents’ Night Out to swimming and basketball, the Y became a safe haven. Her family found a new home and new friends. And now, jokes Belise, “I see the Y more than I see my own house. It’s like having a giant backyard.” Though she hadn’t planned on a Y career, a few years and a few jobs later, she realized this was where she’s meant to be. She loves caring for children at the Y and loves that her children are cared for by others. “I know my children can be anywhere in the building, and I’m not worried about them,” she says. “I know they’re in safe hands.”
Connecting with caring and compassionate people
“To sum it up, the Y means companionship and motivation.” When you meet Melissa Algreen, it’s hard to see beyond her smiling eyes and know the hardships she’s faced. In 2005, Melissa was hit by a car on her way to work. Her injuries, including traumatic brain injury, were so severe doctors couldn’t say if she’d survive. After six months in a coma and 11 months in the hospital, odds were against her ever being independent of machines. But today, with therapy, determination, and her mother by her side, Melissa is swimming laps around expectations. She re-learned how to talk, how to eat, even how to swallow. Water therapy proved helpful in her ongoing recovery. The Y is where Melissa first learned to swim, and the Y is where, once again, she finds herself feeling alive in the water. Melissa had just moved from a wheelchair to a walker when she met Susan Nowack, a Y water aerobics instructor. Susan volunteered to work with Melissa on her strength, coordination, balance, and independence two or three times a week in the pool. “I was not able to stand in the water by myself,” says Melissa. “Now, I’m actually swimming.” She’s walking better, too. But that’s not all. Early in her recovery, Melissa went through a roller coaster of emotions: grateful to be alive, yet sad to have lost so much. Five years later she has embraced her second chance in life. So have the people she’s met along her path. “Every Y we go to, the same underlying concept holds true,” Melissa says. “It’s an environment of caring and compassionate people who just want to help.”
FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTHY LIVING FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
2010 BOARD OF MANAGERS
2010 Partner With Youth Donors
Donors and partners contribute to the Partner With Youth annual campaign which provides financial assistance for Y programs or membership. The Y is open to all regardless of income, and strives to make its programs affordable and accessible.
Board Chairman Maarten Kuik Euram, Inc. Lisa Bael Aman James L. Benjamin
John Long SunTrust Bank John Majors Harold A. Dawson Company Monika Majors The Giving Seed Duncan Miller Morris, Manning and Martin, LLP Sean Moynihan Grubb & Ellis Company Holly Rhodes
$5,000+ Anonymous Blue Cross Blue Shield of GA Michael and Janis Eckert Estate of Durward H. Fincher Governor Carl E. Sanders R.P. Spencer Company $1,000-$4,999 Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Nancy Blank Jim Benjamin Matthew and Kim Berry Buckhead Coalition, Inc. John Burch Capital Guardian Trust Co. Challenger Sports Chorches Family Philanthropic Fund Peter Coffman Richard W. Courts IV E. Stockton Croft Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Croft, Jr. Cybex Sandra Ecker Equifax Elisa Ezor Andrea Farley and Paul Carriere Elizabeth Feidler Finish Line Youth Foundation FitLinxx Chip and Dorothy Franzoni Adam Fuller Stephen and Melissa Gallant Stephen Gold Carl Hair Hardin Construction Co. Jack and Michal Hillman Homrich & Berg, Inc. Bunny and Kevin Hudson Elizabeth and Bill Jump
Maarten Kuik John and Margaret Long Kristin and Scott McEwen Duncan Miller Sean Moynihan Richard C. Munroe Foundation, Inc. Newmark Knight Frank Sadler Poe Publix Super Markets Charities Holly Rhodes Stephen Robison Andy Scherffius Comer Yates MJ and Courtney Severson Russell Sewell Jr. Sheldon Snipe United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Terri Jackson Wade $500-$999 Lisa and Peter Aman Alan and Honey Barnes Tommie Benefield Gilbert Benjamin Centrix Pharmaceutical, Inc. John Cook Eileen Fannon Andrew Feinour Jeff George Amy Grames Hands On Atlanta Lookout Foundation Joseph O'Donnell Holly and Will Rhodes Micki Robinson David Schofield Star Trac Allison Thompson Diana Tollerson Chris and Linda Trower
Jason and Suzanne Wallace Watkins Uiberall, PLLC John West and Cindy Stiles Alan and Tracy Wise Roy and Michelle Wright $250-$499 Abernathy's Cleaning Services Joseph Ambler Bank of America Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Briggs Margaret and Dick Deaner Mary DeWree David Eichenblatt Katie Felts Andy Golden Yvette Hassell R. James Properties, Inc. Gay Miller Kahn Keith-Massey Family Investments Holly King Carol Lipinski Kathryn Mauldin Peter McGaffigan Stephen McGehee Chris McMurtagh Toby Merlin Mosely-Kelly-French Corp. Nonami Foundation, Inc. Herb and Lou Norton John Oglesby David Plyler Francie Quigley Greg and Laura Rhodes Helen Selser Catherine Sisk Michael and Sandra Stresser TCA Windy Hill LLC Matt Wolf
William M. Carey Capital Group Private Client Services E. Stockton Croft Arcapita, Inc. Elisa Ezor Andrea Farley Troutman Sanders LLP Andrew P. Feinour Carter & Associates Chip Franzoni Adam Fuller Homrich & Berg, Inc. Stephen Gallant Carl M. Hair Jr. Hardin Construction Company, LLC Bunny Hudson Elizabeth K. Jump
Jace E. Rogers Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Russell N. Sewell Jr. Georgia Capitol Partners Terri Jackson Wade SJ Pharmaceuticals, LLC Willie A. Whipple Jr. Roy Wright Love Properties, Inc. Comer Yates Atlanta Speech School
“Yes, the Y is about fitness and health, but the Y's foundation is community... people who share, care and inspire others to acheive their potential and then pay it forward in countless ways.”
Terri Jackson Wade Board Member
Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. We apologize for any misprints or omissions. Please notify us of any corrections. Photos by LAPID Photography Stories by Susan Mittleman and Michelle Hiskey
Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA at Buckhead 1160 Moores Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30327 404-350-9292 • sby.ymcaatlanta.org
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