resident's Letter by qbk17881

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									 YMCA OF GREATER BOSTON EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER
 Volume 8, Issue 6                       December 18, 2009


       resident’s Letter                                    •	 The Y is a partner with the Boston Foundation
         In a world of bad news those of us who are            initiative called “StreetSafe,” supporting teens and
   fortunate to work for the YMCA have a lot to be             young adults, creating safe havens, and preventing vi-
thankful for as we enter the new year of 2010. Here are        olence in city neighborhoods. Our teen dances have
a few things I’m personally celebrating. Please add to my      resumed at the Dorchester and Roxbury Ys after the
list!                                                          tragic August shooting death of Aaron Brown.

•	 More than 600 Y employees have generously                •	 Our North Suburban YMCA Plympton After
   pledged $102,000 for the Y’s 2010 Reach Out Cam-            School Program has been selected as a “model pro-
   paign through payroll deduction, helping us provide         gram for including children with Autism” by Boston
   more than $3 million in financial assistance for Y          Mayor Thomas M. Menino as an example of inclu-
   services for low income members and families next           sion for child care programs in the city.
   year.
                                                            Please join me in celebrating these and dozens of other
•	 The YMCA is a financially healthy non-profit             examples of exemplary service by those who work and
   organization in a difficult economy, providing more      volunteer for the YMCA of Greater Boston. I’m looking
   services with fewer resources, thanks to the caring      forward to our annual recognition event at the Newton
   commitment of our 1,800 staff and many volun-            Marriott on January 14. See you there!
   teers.

•	 Federal stimulus dollars have made it possible
   for our Training Inc. program to provide health
   care career training for low income, unemployed im-
   migrant citizens who need intensive English and job
   skills, and to offer a new pilot training program for
   careers in the insurance industry, through a partner-
   ship with the Mass Association of Insurance Agents.
                                                                           John M. Ferrell
•	 Thanks to very generous donors, the renovation                          President & CEO
   and expansion of the 1902 Hyde Park YMCA is
   well underway, creating a new state-of-the-art facil-
   ity for Y programs serving kids and families in Hyde
   Park, Mattapan, and other surrounding communities.        REMINDER: December is Open Enrollment for
                                                              2010 Benefits. Please contact Carol Ringquist for
•	 The Wang YMCA of Chinatown celebrated their                         more info: 617.927.8039 or
   26th annual Christmas party this past Sunday, with                  cringquist@ymcaboston.org.
   over 650 attendees and 130 volunteers, who distrib-
   uted toys, books and gift bags to every child.
The Pulse      Page 2                                             December 18, 2009                Volume 8, Issue 6
            YMCA of Greater Boston                           A Summer Camp Reflection
        Locations and Executive Directors
                                                           - Michaelagh Shea, past Pleasant Valley
Black Achievers YMCA: 316 Huntington Avenue,                      Camp Sr. Staff Member
Boston. Willie Shellman, 617.927.8031
                                                         The Gift of Camp: I tell people about camp all the time.
Burbank YMCA: 36 Arthur B. Lord Drive, Reading.          Family, friends, colleagues- I’ve babbled to them all, filling
Kathleen Walsh, 781.944.9622                             them in on the crazy stories, the ridiculous yet wonderful
                                                         costume combinations, the dance moves, the spontaneous
Camping Services YMCA: PO Box 10, Mirror Lake,           celebrations… all those small little things that made me
NH. Artie Lang, 603.569.2725                             want to fast-forward the school year and drive right back up
                                                         to that silly, wonderful place.
Charles River YMCA: 863 Great Plain Avenue,
Needham. Kathy Lozano, 781.444.6400

Constitution Inn YMCA: 150 Third Avenue,
Charlestown Navy Yard. Steve Telesmanick. 617.241.8400

Dorchester YMCA: 776 Washington Street, Dorchester.
James Lozano, 617.436.7750

East Boston YMCA: 215 Bremen Street, East Boston.
Joey Cuzzi, 617.569.9622

Education and Training YMCA: 18 Tremont Street,
Boston. Elsa Bengel, 617.542.1800
                                                         Thinking of all the good things that have come into my life
Huntington Avenue YMCA: 316 Huntington Avenue,           because I chose to go to camp, I smile. It’s been a place
Boston. Wendy Zinn, 617.536.7800                         where I’ve laughed, cried, and fallen in love. It’s where I’ve
                                                         bonded with friends over late-night helpings of chocolate
Hyde Park YMCA: 1137 River Street, Hyde Park.            chip cookies, had the best “girl talks” of my life, and spent
Sandy Morander, 617.361.2300                             hours of fun creating overly-complicated ways to ensure we
                                                         escaped wild animals in the dark.
Metropolitan Offices: 316 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
John M. Ferrell, President. 617.536.7800                 At camp, I wasn’t just a camper, or a counselor, or a
                                                         member of the senior staff. Instead, I think of my years at
North Suburban YMCA: 137 Lexington Street, Woburn.       Camp as the days of a dancer, a full-time singer, a make-up
Amy Turner, 781.935.3270                                 artist, an outdoor chef, a sister, a friendly neighbor, and a
                                                         jokester, all wrapped up in one. It’s been a place where I’ve
Oak Square YMCA: 615 Washington Street, Brighton.        not only learned to be myself, but I’ve learned what “being
Jack Fucci, 617.782.3535                                 myself ” actually means. At camp, I’ve discovered what
                                                         makes me happy, what’s important to me, and what I want
Roxbury YMCA: 285 Martin Luther King Boulevard.,         out of life. I consider it to have been the most special gift,
Roxbury. May Vaughn, 617.427.5300.                       offering me some of the greatest moments, opportunities,
                                                         and memories I could have imagined. Whether I am 13,
Waltham YMCA: 725 Lexington Street, Waltham.             19, 45, or 60 years old, camp will always be nestled into my
Patricia Barnwell, 781.894.5295                          life, as full of its madness and crazy loves as ever, there to
                                                         make me smile and laugh whenever I need it. In my own
Wang YMCA of Chinatown: 8 Oak Street West, Boston.       small, special way, I can be a kid forever. I can’t wait till next
Karen Gately, 617.426.2237                               summer.
                                                         As employees of the YMCA of Greater Boston you receive 25% off
West Roxbury YMCA: 15 Bellevue Street, West Roxbury.     the cost of sending your child to Camp. As you can see from Mi-
Marion Kelly, 617.323.3200.                              chaelagh’s article, Overnight Camp is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
December 18, 2009              Volume 8, Issue 6                                                           The Pulse          Page 3

                                             Triumph Over Tragedy
                                   - Pattie Geier, Huntington Avenue YMCA
On October 13, 2009, Nadine Walker Mooney, a Hunting-              desk staff are always so friendly, kind, helpful and even very
ton Avenue YMCA member, received the 2009 R.O.S.E.                 protective of me, from the time I enter the facility until the
Fund $10,000 Scholarship Award. Nadine received this               time I leave.”
award at a lavish fundraiser gala held at the beautiful and
historic Fairmont Copley hotel in Boston. Nadine was               Nadine adds, “I’ve always been a very active person. Now
honored along with Academy Award winning actress Olym-             that I am blind, my workouts are even more important to
pia Dukakis, Attorney Diane Patrick, wife of Governor De-          me. In addition to keeping me healthy, my workouts allow
val Patrick and Attorney Sarah M. Buell. All four women            me to escape from my house, so that I do not become
were honored for being survivors, as well as for their fight       sedentary and depressed over what has happened to me. In
in the campaign against domestic violence.                         addition, the YMCA gives me a social outlet and a protec-
                                                                   tive environment for my workouts.”
Nadine was among many victims/survivors statewide who
submitted their personal stories of domestic abuse. Na-            The R.O.S.E. Fund organization, who provided the schol-
dine’s story was chosen as this year’s winning essay. In it,       arship award to Nadine, aggressively fundraises in order
Nadine describes in vivid detail her 11 month relationship,        to help pay the costs associated with surgeries and dental
how it quickly went from good to bad, her attempts at              repair that victims of domestic abuse need as a result of
ending this relationship, and the aftermath of her estranged       the abuse they have suffered. Many of these surgeries are
boyfriend’s attack. Nadine survived the attack but she suf-        performed by a network of highly skilled surgeons, from
fered through months of facial surgeries and rehabilitation.       the Massachusetts General Hospital and dentists from
She is now blind in both eyes. In Nadine’s words, “This            across the state.
was a tragic and unnecessary life altering event.”
                                                                   The R.O.S.E. acronym stands for “Regaining Ones Self
Prior to this tragedy, Nadine was a member of the YMCA             Esteem.” Regaining one’s self esteem allows victims to
for several years. As a result of this assault, she states that,   return to the work place or to school, and keeps them from
“One year after the assault, I was back to working out,”           hiding away at home, due to their embarrassing injuries
says Nadine, “But I was in no rush to return to the YMCA           and emotional anguish. Says Nadine, “Although I was not
to resume my exercise program. I was too uncomfortable             on the receiving end of these surgeries, I wish my essay
to have my old YMCA friends see what had happened to               had been won under different circumstances. But I refuse,
me.” Nadine goes on to say that, instead, she would travel         however, to travel this new life as just a walking example of
to a small gym in Jamaica Plain to workout. After one              how ugly physical abuse can be. Instead, I will use this new
year at this gym, Nadine says that she made the decision to        life to lend a powerful and moving voice in the campaign
return to the YMCA. “The YMCA is much closer to my                 against domestic violence. I appeal to all of you reading
home. I really missed the awesome classes that I so much           this to join me and the R.O.S.E. Fund and organizations
enjoyed in the past.”                                              like it, in this important and necessary work, via donations,
                                                                   fundraising activities, volunteerism, job hirings, job refer-
She adds that her return was met with an outpouring of             rals and by making your voices heard in creating or sup-
love from the staff who knew her prior to the incident. In         porting laws that will make a difference in this campaign.
addition, she was embraced by many who did not know                Together, we can triumph before tragedy strikes. My essay
her. “I am so happy that I made the decision to return to          is not a feel-sorry-for-me story. But rather it is a guide for
the YMCA. I have received nothing other than love and              prevention and/or escape from the clutches of a domestic
kindness by old and new staff and many of the Y’s mem-             violence situation.”
bers. Management has been very kind and accommodating
and helpful in offering me whatever I might need to make
my return to the YMCA a pleasant one. The instructors              Editor’s Note: The R.O.S.E. Fund (Regaining One’s Self Esteem)
have been extremely helpful in assisting me, if needed,            is a national non-profit, based in Boston, chartered to break the
during class exercises. Members of the YMCA have been              silence and the cycle of domestic violence (DV). To learn more about
so helpful in helping me to set up or dismantle the equip-         them, visit www.rosefund.org.
ment needed in the classes I take. I am never at a loss for
a member, or an instructor or staff person lending me an
arm to escort me into or out of a class. Finally, the front
The Pulse        Page 4                                                  December 18, 2009             Volume 8, Issue 6

                                         Women’s Health Forum
                        - Maria Di Stefano, East Boston YMCA Board Member
On Thursday, October 29,                                                                  lifestyle. After the presentation,
2009, I accompanied Michael                                                               many of the audience members
Streby, East Boston YMCA                                                                  approached the YMCA table to
Health & Wellness Director, as                                                            attain more information about
he spoke to over 120 women                                                                our classes and programs. Speak-
about health and wellness top-                                                            er of the House Deleo awarded
ics at a Women’s Health forum                                                             both Ms. Lucchino and Michael
in Winthrop. The event was                                                                with certificates of appreciation
sponsored by Speaker of the                                                               from the Massachusetts House of
House, Rpbert Deleo. Michael                                                              Representatives.
was the opening speaker for
our very own Greater Boston                                                                 During this fall of 2009 Michael
YMCA Board Member, Stacey                                                                   has also helped out with teaching
Lucchino, who herself is a very                                                             at the YMCA Regional Train-
                                        Maria Di Stefano, Speaker DeLeo, Mrs. DeLeo
dynamic health activist and                                                                ing events here twice in Boston
the wife of Red Sox President                         and Michael Streby.                  and once in Manchester, NH for
Larry Lucchino.                                                                            Healthy Lifestyle Principles, Foun-
                                                                  dations of Group Exercise, and Foundations of Strength
During Michael’s presentation, which included educational         and Conditioning. In addition he was recently a Co-Key
Powerpoint slides with visually appealing pictures and in-        Note Speaker for the Virginia American Alliance of Health
formation, he created an amazing dialogue between himself Physical Education Recreation and Dance (VAAHPERD)
and the audience. He discussed fitness related topics such        conference in Norfolk, VA speaking about creative ways
as obesity demographics in the United States, goal setting,       to introduce dance in the school systems to help fight the
and nutritional pitfalls, but more importantly he did so in       youth obesity epidemic. We are very fortunate to have
a way that was fun and engaging. With Michael the audi-           Michael as an involved leader on our team here at the East
ence quickly became intrigued, then began to ask questions, Boston YMCA.
and then finally left feeling inspired to seek a healthier

                                            2009 Oak Scare 5K
                                    - Jacob Hanson, Teen Center Director
On Saturday, October 24 the                                                                  many other family friendly ac-
Oak Square YMCA held its                                                                     tivities. Magic 106.7 provided
seventh annual Oak Scare 5k                                                                  the soundtrack as costumed
road race. The run, walk and                                                                 children and their parents had
wheel event helped raise funds                                                               their faces painted, joined in
for the YMCA Reach Out                                                                       arts and crafts and danced in
campaign. Reach Out helps                                                                    the castle bounce house. The
provide financial assistance                                                                 Halloween spirit was alive and
to neighborhood children to                                                                  well as the day concluded with
participate in swimming les-                                                                 announcement of the winners
son, sports programs, summer                                                                 of the costume contest.
camp and after school pro-
grams. Over 280 individuals                                                                  The real winners of the Oak
and families braved the rainy                                                                Scare were the families and
weather to take on the U.S. certified track and field course.   children who will benefit from the contributions of com-
While some challenged themselves to beat their best times,      munity businesses and race participants. Because of their
many were running their very first 5k.                          kind generosity, more people will receive the opportunity to
                                                                improve their lives through the many programs offered by
While the 5k was certainly the focus of the day, there were     the Oak Square YMCA.
December 18, 2009             Volume 8, Issue 6                                                   The Pulse        Page 5

                       Association Wide Teen Camping Trip 2009
                                        - Joseph Gaeta, Program Director
During the weekend of October 3rd, the                                       break from their day-to-day lives and relax for
YMCAs of East Boston, Waltham, Dorches-                                      a weekend.
ter, Wang, Roxbury and Hyde Park sent 27
teens and ten staff to Northwood’s Camp for                                  They had such a great time they didn’t want
an overnight trip.                                                           to leave and cannot wait to return again next
                                                                             year. The staff and volunteers also did a great
The teens braved the elements and had a                                      job making sure the teens were safe and hav-
blast doing activities that included charades,                               ing a good time! We would also like to thank
Pictionary, spoons, archery, SMORES, arts                                    Camping for doing an incredible job making
and crafts, dance contests, trust building                                   the teens feel welcome, engaged and com-
activities, dodge ball, ultimate Frisbee and na-                             fortable. We are looking forward to our next
ture walks. The teens truly appreciated their                                trip in 2010!!
surroundings and the opportunity to take a

Happy Birthday!
Please join the Human Resources department in wishing the
following staff a belated and happy birthday greeting. We hope that
you enjoy(ed) your day and wish you many happy returns!
November                                    Barbara Mofford, November 21
Martha Langley, November 1                  Rebecca Peluso, November 22
Jodi Rich, November 1                       Diane Coots, November 23
Jacob Hanson, November 2                    Cecilia Leung, November 26
Gladys Martinez, November 2                 Mavis Riley, November 26
Katie Klepinski, November 4                 Michelle Matuszak, November 28
Gina Frey, November 5                       Susan Arida, November 30                Jerri-Lynne Pratt, December 13
Roberta Marchi, November 5                  Ludmila Levkovich, November 30          Patricia Barnwell, December 16
Melisa McInnis, November 5                  December                                Marvin Harris, December 18
Yannet Munoz, November 6                    Mary O’Leary, December 2                Erik Hendrickson, December 19
Juliet Brush, November 9                    Ann Glora, December 4                   Paul Baker, December 21
Kelly DeCola, November 9                    Glenn Culver, December 5                Lawrence Barry, December 21
Frances English, November 10                Keri Person, December 7                 Madeline Figueroa, December 21
Russell Lamberti, November 10               Luz Gallego, December 8                 Amanda Pavone, December 25
Jeanette Dumas, November 11                 Olga Kulakova, December 8               Anna Topalidou, December 28
Emily Goretsky, November 13                 Awilda Santiago, December 9             Arthur Doherty, December 29
Jillian Griffith, November 14               Lisa Ayala, December 10                 Ann Wardlow, December 30
Hayley Yaffe, November 14                   Gail Klimas, December 10                Curtis Williams, December 31
David Huber, November 21                    Michael Stone, December 10

                                  Waltham YMCA in Spelling Bee
                              - Laurie Spindler, Associate Executive Director
                           The Waltham YMCA once again participated valiantly in the Waltham Partnership for Youth
                           Annual Community Spelling Bee. Unfortunately, we were once again deprived of the cham-
                           pionship title. Our team, John Fish, Aquatics Director, Patrick Ferdinand, Sports & Family
                           Director and Jeffrey Levy, Personal Trainer put forth a tremendous effort. Our spelling team is
                           already planning our 2010 strategy and studying our dictionaries now!

The Waltham YMCA is proud to be one of the many community sponsors of this fun community event. The winning
team was the League of Women Voters with the word “braggadocio.” The Waltham Partnership for Youth supports col-
laborative programs built by the WPY that support healthy youth development.
The Pulse       Page 6                                                     December 18, 2009             Volume 8, Issue 6

                                      Wang YMCA Legacy Event
                          - Richard Chin, Community Development Director
On October 4th, the Wang                                                                      Honorary Co-chairs of the
YMCA of Chinatown celebrated                                                                  event were Boston Mayor
its 95th birthday by hosting                                                                  Thomas M. Menino and Ellen
the Legacy Event. This event                                                                  Zane, President and CEO of
honored four Chinatown athletic                                                               Tufts Medical Center. The
clubs who have been a part of                                                                 Legacy Event Committee was
the Chinatown YMCA athletic                                                                   co- chaired by Wang Branch
program for more than 25 years.                                                               Board members: Dr. Bobby
                                                                                              Guen and Dr. Bak Fun Wong.
A Chinese Lion Dance opened
the evening festivities that                                                                  The event was attended by 240
honored the Hurricanes, the                                                                   people who enjoyed a delicious
Knights, the Hoy Ting, and the Dr. Bob Guen, Bill Moy, David Wong, Joyce Wong, Karen          10 course Chinese banquet,
Gung Ho Clubs for their social, Gately, Richard Chin, and Bak Fun Wong                        music, silent auction, and visits
civic, and athletic services to the                                                           by mayoral candidates Michael
youth of Chinatown.                                                                           Flaherty and Sam Yoon.

A community recognition award was                                                        Approximately $29,000 was raised
also given to David and Joyce Wong,                                                      for the Reach Out Campaign, and a
owners of the Empire Garden Res-                                                         fun and memorable night was had
taurant in Boston for their commu-                                                       by all. Thank you to everyone who
nity and charity work.                                                                   made this party a success!




                                               Wellness @ the Y
                        - Jerri Pratt, Association Health & Wellness Director
      Priority One: The YMCA will play a key role in Greater Boston helping individuals and families make positive,
     permanent lifestyle changes to prevent obesity and resulting chronic diseases, through better nutrition, increased
                physical activity, health education, and participation in medically-based wellness programs.
     Hopefully, this statement is familiar to most of us as it is a crucial piece of the five year strategic plan to provide
                                medically-based wellness programs in all branches by 2011.

      Where are we now? Take a look at some of the numbers from 2009. Participation has grown over the past year
                 and will continue to grow in 2010 with more class offerings at more branch locations.
                      Program                          # of participants                      # of classes
                        Pink                                  29                                   4
                  LIVESTRONG                                  22                                   2
                       Vtrim                                  35                                   3
                   Total Control                              40                                   5
                   Diabetes-Pilot                             15                                   1
                   Asthma Swim                                45                                   4
                  Arthritis-aquatics                         650                                  63
                Kelly Packowski-MS
                                                         25 recipients                             n/a
                scholarship program
                   Fantastic Kids                             135                                  n/a
              Wellness @ the Y lectures                 175 participants                           n/a
                  Thanks for all your help this year. I’m looking forward to working with you in 2010 to
                                 bring medically based wellness programs to your branch.
December 18, 2009               Volume 8, Issue 6                                                           The Pulse         Page 7

                                       North Suburban YMCA News
                                           - Julie Brush, Marketing Director
North Suburban YMCA Annual                                                                   To Hill And Back Trail Race
Gala Raises Over $10,000 For                                                                 Raises $3,300 For Reach Out
Reach Out                                                                                    Over 70 runners came out the day
The 2009 North Suburban YMCA                                                                 after Thanksgiving to run for a
Gala held on November 6th raised                                                             great cause. These ambitious run-
over $10,000 for the Reach Out                                                               ners completed a 4.25 mile trail run
Campaign. The event was held at                                                              to the top of Horn Pond Mountain.
the Winchester Country Club and                                                              David Taranto of Burlington was
included wine and food pairings,                                                             the overall male winner with a time
raffle prizes, and a silent auction.                                                         of 27 minutes and 22 seconds and
We are already looking forward                                                               Jessica Seber of Reading was the
to next year’s Gala! Thank you to                                                            overall female winner with a time of
everyone that made this event a success!                              32 minutes and 13 seconds. Congratulations to all the run-
                                                                      ners and thank you to our sponsor, The Tanner Tavern.

                  Will You Help Keep Someone Warm This Winter?
    - Joanne Auguste, Dorchester YMCA and Cindy “Gucci” Ho, Teen Member at the
                             Wang YMCA of Chinatown
For many, this time of year is                                                                      As a Teen Leader at the Wang
filled with excitement from visit-                                                                  YMCA of Chinatown, I’ve learned
ing family, and spending time with                                                                  about caring for others. For me,
loved ones to school vacations and                                                                  this clothing drive has been a great
presents. In all the excitement, it’s                                                               example of how we can show
very easy to forget those less-fortu-                                                               our love for our community. The
nate then ourselves and our family.                                                                 Wang Teen Leaders helped by hyp-
However at the YMCA, we believe                                                                     ing up the clothes drive and bring-
in not only serving our members;                                                                    ing in some of our own clothes.
we believe in bettering the quality                                                                 We posted flyers in the lobby and
of life within our community.                                                                       talked to people about donating.
                                                                                                    We’ve already brought in 26 big
The Teen Directors of the YMCA                                                                      bags and are going to keep collect-
of Greater Boston have joined                                                                       ing through Christmas. We really
                                           Wang YMCA Teen Leaders, including Cindy Ho (in
forces to host our first annual                                                                     want to help provide more families
                                           hat), posing with some of the bags of clothing they have
Clothing Drive. It is our hope that                                                                 with warm, nice clothing for the
                                             helped collect so far. All the bags are threatening to
our young people and the commu-                                                                     holidays.
                                                      overflow the Wang YMCA lobby.
nity-at-large will take just a mo-
ment to recognize the needs of our community and help                                           I am very happy to see that so
keep someone warm this winter. People have generously                 many of our YMCA community members—seniors, adults,
donated toys, clothes and food. Donations are still being             teens and even staff—donating their clothes to the Salva-
accepted at the Dorchester, Chinatown, Roxbury, Waltham               tion Army. So far we’ve collected leather jackets, tons of
and East Boston branches. The items we collect will be do-            blue jeans, swim trunks, sweaters, t-shirts and even a Hello
nated to the Salvation Army. We felt this was an appropri-            Kitty backpack! One person brought in six cans of soup,
ate time to actively engage our young people in community             even though that wasn’t on our original list. I myself have
outreach and the gift of service and giving.                          donated many pairs of pants, and practically brand-new
                                                                      t-shirts. It makes me feel really good to contribute what I
--Joanne Auguste, association-wide clothes’ drive organizer & Teen    can to less fortunate people.
Coordinator for the Dorchester YMCA                                    - -Cindy “Gucci” Ho, 14, Teen Program Participant at
                                                                      the Wang YMCA of Chinatown
The Pulse       Page 8                                                 December 18, 2009            Volume 8, Issue 6

                                Huntington Affordable Holidays
                             - David Tavares, Assistant Director of Housing
While it’s widely opined that the                                                       were passionately resolved to host
holiday season represents the                                                           and serve our 13th Thanksgiv-
most depressing time of the year                                                        ing Dinner, to not only foster and
for many people, there can be no                                                        facilitate a sense of community, an
denying the fact that this malady                                                       atmosphere of merriment, and a
is exacerbated for those who are                                                        reservoir of hope to the over 200
impoverished, isolated, alienated,                                                      men, women and children who call
disenfranchised and, worst yet,                                                         the Huntington Avenue Branch
homeless. As Christmas and New                                                          their home…but also because
Year’s rapidly approach, many                                                           there can be no price placed on
of us are forced to contend with                                                        the catharsis that these meals
circumstances, situations and lives                                                     and events offer our community.
that, euphemistically speaking, can
                                        Participants at the Thanksgiving dinner. Whereas many of these families
be defined and described as lone-                                                       and individuals have no friends
some, unfulfilling, disenchanting and daunting.              and families with whom to connect during the holiday sea-
                                                             son, the YMCA of Greater Boston’s extended family steps
To be sure, the YMCA of Greater Boston is acutely aware      up to provide this community not only warm meals with all
of this unfortunate reality, for while many of us fall into  the fixings…but an invaluable environment of fellowship
one or more of the categories listed above, nowhere is the   and a renewed sense of connection, of belonging, that bind
aforementioned more apparent than it is with the residents us all together through not only the good times but, more
of our Huntington Affordable Housing Development, a          importantly, the trying times, as well.
LIHTC property that both serves as the home and address-
es a host of needs faced and endured by our residential      Special thanks to all the staff members and volunteers who
community. Operating under the auspices of the YMCA of took time out of their busy schedules to not only execute
Greater Boston’s Huntington Avenue branch, Huntington        the YMCA core values and mission, but to also provide a
Affordable is comprised of our emergency shelter program, source of love and hope to many who are beset by feelings
Families in Transition, which is funded by the Department    of societal withdrawal and spiritual hopelessness. So much,
of Housing and Community Development and supplies            in fact, that we would be tremendously honored if these
nightly lodging and supportive services to 22 homeless       same volunteers would be so kind as to help us host and
families, and Huntington House; a permanent housing          serve our annual Christmas Dinner on December 22, 2009.
component subsidized by the Boston Housing Authority,        If anyone else would like to volunteer, please free to con-
offering 66 single room occupancy units to formerly home- tact me at (617) 927-8270, or at dtavares@ymcaboston.org.
less men and women from throughout Greater Boston and
beyond.                                                      On behalf of the individuals and families of Huntington
                                                             Affordable, may you and yours enjoy a memorable and lov-
Notwithstanding the difficult economic crisis in which we    ing Christmas…and a prosperous New Year.
are currently mired, on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, we

                                                                 Chittick Family Night
                                                          - Allison K. James, Multi-Site Director
                                                The Hyde Park YMCA’s after school sites each hosted family nights re-
                                                cently. The Boston Teacher’s Union School held a successful pasta night
                                                where many of the families stayed and decorated a tile to bring home with
                                                them. The Greenwood and Community Center sites each enjoyed a Fall
                                                Festival where the children tried to guess what was in mystery boxes, deco-
                                                rated pumpkins and had their faces painted. The Chittick families enjoyed
                                                dinner and the students showed their families some of the games that they
                                                use as part of their homework time. All the staff looks forward to doing
                                                it again soon!
December 18, 2009            Volume 8, Issue 6                                                     The Pulse        Page 9

             First Team Training Challenge at the Burbank YMCA
                          - Diana Ganz, Sr. Membership Experience Director
                                                                       the health and wellness center. There was a new
                                                                       buzz at the Burbank YMCA and in our community.
                                                                       The feedback from the team training participants
                                                                       has been so positive: “You pushed me to do things
                                                                       I would’ve never done on my own like running,
                                                                       chin-ups and push-ups?! NEVER!! I can’t express
                                                                       in words how grateful I am!”

                                                                       At the end of eight weeks 481 pounds had been
                                                                       lost, 330 inches had been shed, push-ups and sit-
                                                                       ups improved on an average of 300 percent. Most
                                                                       importantly, 65 people are healthier, feel more con-
                                                                       fident and best of all they are addicted to fitness at
                                                                       the Burbank YMCA.

                                                                       Watching this progress over the past eight weeks, I
                                                                       can’t tell you how proud I am of each participant
                                                                       and every trainer. This program would have never
                    Team Training Boot Camp Day
                                                                       been possible without Olga Arnold and Joanne
This September the Burbank YMCA invited individuals,                   Waterhouse.
friends and couples to participate in the first ever Burbank
YMCA Team Training Challenge. The response was over-           We plan on offering another Burbank YMCA Team Train-
whelming, with 65 people divided into 11 teams, each lead      ing Challenge in April. Many of the teams are continuing
by a Burbank YMCA personal trainer. Teams met twice a          to train and each week, those that didn’t sign-up for the
week to train and motivate each other to become more fit       challenge ask me when we will be offering it again because
and achieve their health and wellness goals.                   they do not want to miss out on what has truly been one
                                                               of the best, most effective health and wellness programs I
The Team Training Challenge did more than encourage            have ever had the pleasure to be a part of!
people to become more active. Individuals were given nu-
tritional guidance and quickly made friends
that became a support system. All 11 teams
participated in an all team boot camp chal-
lenge and many woke up early on Saturday
mornings to train for our annual 5K road
race. More than 20 individuals from this
challenge participated in the 20th Annual
Burbank YMCA 5K Classic and for the ma-
jority of them this was their first road race!

One team training runner commented, “As
I was running to the finish line it brought
a tear to my eye as I thought, WOW, I can’t
believe I just ran a road race AND I’m not
going to faint!”

If you were to pull up to the Burbank
YMCA on any given weekday you would see              Team Training Group after completing the Burbank YMCA
teams in different color t-shirts working hard          5K Classic with Training & Welcome Center Director
in the field across the street, running on the                        Justin Cammarata (left)
track, climbing the bleachers or training in
The Pulse        Page 10                                                 December 18, 2009            Volume 8, Issue 6

                                              Multicultural Feast
                          - Laura Potts, YMCA Kids Stop, Child Care Director
                               YMCA Kids Stop hosted its annual Multicultural Feast on November 25th. Our infant/
                               toddler classroom invited their parents to come in and enjoy lunch with their child. Many
                               parents attended and it was great to see such parent involvement. Our preschool and tod-
                               dler classrooms combined to enjoy the variety of dishes that the parents prepared for the
                               event. The children enjoyed a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trim-
                               mings such as: traditional turkey, fried turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, peas and
                               Thanksgiving would not be complete without mac & cheese. The staff was grateful to all
                               the parents who took the time to prepare this wonderful meal.


                                         Oak Square YMCA News
                              - Donna Sullivan, Associate Executive Director
                                      Jack Fucci (left) was nominated for the AYP Tri-
                                      angle Award for Support Services. Unfortunately
                                     he did not win, be he is always a winner in our eyes
                                                 at the Oak Square YMCA!

                                   The staff at the Oak Square YMCA participated in
                                      an international initiative called “Red Shirt Fri-
                                   days” to show our support for our troops overseas
                                    (right). The staff dressed in Red shirts on Friday
                                     December 4th and took a picture outside the Y.
                                   The picture will be posted on a website so that the
                                    troops overseas from the Boston area will be able
                                   to log on and see how the local businesses support
                                    them. The mission of the orginization is to show
                                   support for our servicemen and women regardless
            of whether or not you support the war. Let your Y participate by going to www.redshirtfridays.org.

                                            A Teen Thanksgiving
                                 - David Mashburn, Teen/Aqautics Director
    Karen Gately (center), Wang YMCA of Chinatown
Executive Director, serves up stuffing to Dhalia Williams at
 the 3rd annual Wang YMCA Teen Thanksgiving Dinner.
Every year the Wang YMCA of Chinatown teen
department and management team dish out homemade
turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, salad,
pie, and, of course, pork fried rice, to the Wang YMCA
teens. From lifeguarding to camp counselors, from
Youth & Government delegates, to volunteering in the
community with Teen Leaders, the staff recognizes that
Wang teens are deserving of thanks.

This year about 15 teens dined with the management
team on Monday, November 23. Needless to say, the
teens are always thankful for the free, home-cooked
meal.
December 18, 2009           Volume 8, Issue 6                                                  The Pulse        Page 11

                            Lights On After School Celebration
                                - Andrea Baez, Senior Program Manager
                                                              October 22, 2009 was no ordinary day at the Fifield
                                                              Afterschool program. Children enrolled celebrated
                                                              “LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL,” a national day of
                                                              celebrating the work and programming happening after
                                                              school hours across the country. Dorchester YMCA
                                                              Executive Director James Lozano attended the event
                                                              and participated in activities with the children. The
                                                              kindergarten and first grade children created and
                                                              performed their own song dedicated to YMCA after school
                                                              programming as well. Jillian O’Neil, Site Coordinator,
                                                              worked tirelessly with her staff and her children to make
                                                              this event a success. Many thanks to the Fifield afterschool
                                                              for their hard work.

                                    What is Activate America?
                           - Sandy Morander, VP of Program Development
Activate America is the YMCA’s response to our nation’s       • 161 people have enrolled in our medically based wellness
growing health crisis. Here in Boston we have taken on this   programs- Vtrim, Diabetes, Total Control, Pink, LAF for
challenge and seen progress in the following areas:           Cancer Survivors and Asthma Swim Program. Over 200
• 2,650 kids and families attended Healthy Kid’s Day in 13    kids and families attended the 8th annual Asthma Games
locations in April.                                           held at the Roxbury YMCA in June.
• Over 1.2 million steps were recorded as part of the Na-     • Five Y’s are now participating in the Family Wellness
tional America on the Move Week in October.                   Passport Program, serving families in partnership with Bos-
• Over 2,000 YMCA members have participated in our            ton Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and Boston Health
FREE monthly Fit checks.                                      Centers.
• 734 new members have completed our new member               • 218 families now have a YMCA family membership
survey, helping us get better every day.                      thanks to our Fitness in the City and Project Adventure
• 22 staff have been trained as trainers for Listen First.    programs at Children’s Hospital.
• 52 out-of-school-time sites now use the iPLAY environ-      In 2010, we will train more staff in Listen First, engage
mental standards. Three sites now offer our youth wellness    more health seekers in a variety of YMCA activities, and
intervention program called FANtastic Kids. Both pro-         improve our staff ’s capacity to better serve and support our
grams combined serve over 5,000 kids annually.                communities.

                                         A Thanksgiving Feast
              - Lois Weinstein, K0 - K1 After School Program Site Coordinator
              Carolyn Colby, School Age After School Program Site Coordinator
                                                     On Wednesday, November 25th the YMCA after school programs
                                                     at Sacred Heart School in Roslindale celebrated Thanksgiving
                                                     together. The K0- K1 program joined the school age program
                                                     for a fun afternoon filled with food, music, and friendship. The
                                                     staff pulled together a traditional Thanksgiving feast complete
                                                     with turkey and all the fixings. The group enjoyed eating together
                                                     and listening to holiday music. The children and staff interacted
                                                     throughout the meal and everyone had a wonderful time. Families
                                                     enjoyed stopping at the dessert table during pick-up and choosing
                                                     from the delicious spread of pies and cookies! With the help of
                                                     both site coordinators and the staff, the children enjoyed a wonder-
                                                     ful day experiencing the meaning of Thanksgiving.
The Pulse       Page 12                                               December 18, 2009               Volume 8, Issue 6

                                          AYP Award Winners
                            - Donna Sullivan, Associate Executive Director




                                         Oustanding New Professional - Rebecca
                                        Cooper, Dorchester YMCA. Pictured here
Unsung Hero Award - Branden              with James Lozano, Dorchester YMCA                   Unsung Hero Award - Jim
 LeMarre, Burbank YMCA                             Executive Director                          Jarosz, Metro Finance




The Pulse - YMCA of Greater Boston 2009 Schedule for the Pulse
       Employee Newsletter         Deadline for Submission Publication Date

                                                                     January 22                February 5
                                                                     March 19                  April 2
                                                                     May 21                    June 4
                                                                     July 23                   August 6
                                                                     September 17              October 1
                                                                     December 3                December 17
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   Prior issues of The Pulse can be accessed in color in PDF format on the Public “P” drive, in the sub-folder named
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