Professional music. Powerful message. Call to Action. $20,000-plus raised to provide free and affordable Y programs to community members who need them most.
It was the second annual “Power of the Y” luncheon, held June 22 at The Square Room – Café 4. The restaurant donated all food and service.
Dave Burns was recognized for his 71 years of Y membership and volunteer spirit with the Lindsay Young Role Model Award. President and CEO Jim Dickson said Burns was selected from “great choices of members who are role models.” Burns drew a laugh when he said that 71-year membership was not continuous. He dropped out when he served in the U.S. Navy.
Dickson asked for donations to the scholarship fund, which allows the Y to offer life-changing and community-impacting programs, like PE classes to students at the L&N STEM Academy, LiveStrong at the Y for cancer survivors, and Community Giving Gardens that provide thousands of pounds of healthy and organic produce to local food banks.
The Y serves over 1,000 youngsters in after-school programs and partners with 148 organizations to provide services, Dickson said.
Jerry Askew (prayer) and Michael Rodgers (music) set the tone, but Frances Seller closed the sale with her testimony about LiveStrong.
A teacher at Webb School’s lower school, Seller developed multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood plasma that lacks symptoms in the early stages. By the time she was diagnosed, doctors recommended both chemotherapy and dialysis. Eventually, she had a stem cell transplant.
“I was in a coma for 10 days and on a ventilator. My muscles atrophied. … It was a big deal to take a lap around the table. I knew I needed help.”
She had high praise for “my LiveStrong family,” six individuals in all phases of cancer treatment. After three months of workouts and support, the group celebrated. “I won the award for ‘Most Likely to be Athletic Barbie.’”
Seller thanked the Y “for helping me get my life back.”
In a statement following the luncheon, Y staff thanked everyone who participated.
“The scholarship fund allows us (to help) those in our community who need us most. For single working parents who need safe and affordable childcare, seniors on a fixed income who need a place to connect and stay active, and families who are trying to establish healthy habits together, the Y is here for everyone in our community.”