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YMCA of Central New Mexico

Monday, July 11, 2011

Personal Challenge turns into Victory for YMCA Member

Gloria Johnson was ready for her hip replacement but not what came next. She had nerve damage that created a "drop foot," resulting in the loss of the flexor. She couldn't bring her foot up by herself and had to wear a brace to stabilize her foot. When she was working on exercises to strengthen her foot, the foot buckeled and she ended up on the bathroom floor. The femor broke and a rod was placed in her leg. It was seven weeks before she could walk on a walker. She later was able to join NM Orthopedics and two months later graduated to the Y. "My first visit was with a cane and I had to take the elevator, I remember it well." President and CEO Doug Nakashima, a longtime Y Fitness Expert, worked with Gloria to make sure her Y FitStart Personal Program was right for her. "I remember Gloria well. She was so determined. She wanted to be strong again. It was a joy to work with her."

The Y Staff helped her set goals that would help her get stronger but also would prevent any further nerve damage. "They were so supportive on my journey. I started going 3-4 times a week and I started meeting my goals." She was able to put the cane away, which was a huge milestone. "I was also doing exercises at home that the Y Staff had taught me." She was diligent in consistantly working out and staying positive. She missed her job and set a goal to get back to work part-time. "As I kept working out, getting stronger, I felt more confident and more like me." It was a matter of time before she got back to her beloved job at Weems. "I was able to get back to a more normal life, the active life I am intended to live." Doug Nakashima said it well, "Gloria is a super star, we are blessed to have her as a member and will encourage her every step of the way!"

The YMCA of Central New Mexico will help you meet your personal goals through our FitStart Personal Evaluation Program. Call today and schedule an appointment that could change your life!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The YMCA and The Albuquerque Sign Language Academy Team Up for Fun!

The Y loves working with kids and families in our community. When Zoe Otero, mother of Diego, a student at SLA, reached out to ask the Y how we could help the Sign Language Academy get the kids motivated and ready for basketball season, President and CEO, Doug Nakashima, had a plan. "Tell all your families the Y will hold a basketball skill clinic at the Horn YMCA gym! The Y invented basketball after all. We got this!"
The Sunday basketball clinic was a huge success and great fun for all the kids and families. Kids learned the fundamentals of the game and practiced drills that were developmentally appropriate. Along with their own Sign Language interpreter, the parents worked side by side to help communicate with the kids. Turns out one of the older kids was a natural. He wasn't aware that he could play in the YMCA Jr Thunderbird League. His parents were thrilled and signed him up for the Spring League. "It makes me so happy to see my son so happy...I feel blessed he has a place where he will get to play on a team and play the sport he loves!"

The Y is a community based cause driven non-profit. The Y is dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We strive to empower our community through vibrant partnerships. If you are interested in a Y partnership, please contact Stephanie Browne at SBrowne@ymcacnm.org

Monday, March 21, 2011

Community Partners Help the Y Serve Our Mission

A grant from Wells Fargo Bank has made a dream a reality. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and foster Kids from Children, Youth and Families and the YMCA of Central New Mexico have teamed up to bring sports to kids and families going through challenging times. "We made it very easy for foster families to participate in Y Sports," Said President of the CASA Board of Directors, Rick Semones. "We wanted to support foster families and CASA Volunteers who wished their kids could be involved in recreational sports that speak to teamwork, family time, and skill building." 15 kids participated in the Y winter league and more will join Y volleyball, swimming lessons and summer programming. "One of my CASA Kids played ball this winter and had the time of her life! " It's so great to give all kids a slice of life they need for healthy development," said longtime CASA Volunteer and Board Member, Teri Winfield.

The Y of Central New Mexico strives to strengthen our communities through youth development, healthy living and Social responsibility. If you are interested in helping a foster family or CASA Volunteer, please email Stephanie Browne at SBrowne@ymcacnm.org

Friday, January 28, 2011

Y Spotlight on Fundraising: Having Fun Raising Important Scholarship Funds

Our hats are off to Kathie and Gary Williams, the hosts of a 10 Course Chinese Dinner that raised $5,000 for the Y of Central New Mexico. Kathie, a fabulous gourmet cook, sold raffle tickets to several of her friends with the grand prize being her 10 Course Chinese Dinner. $5,000 was raised and Bill Johnson of the Y Corporate Board, was the winner. Turns out the date he picked was his Wedding Anniversary. He and wife Gloria were able to choose 10 friends to enjoy kathie's Chinese Dinner. No dishes to clean, no food to buy.. what an anniversary present!

Lauren Schneider and Kimberly Babb, Y Volunteers, served as waiters. Complete in Chinese attire, they were the crowd pleasers. Thanks to everyone who helped make this evening possible. It was a great fun-raising event that creatively addressed the Y's Mission of social responsibility.

The Y is dedicated to providing scholarship for kids and families who need assistance. Kathie's fun-raiser will provide much needed support for families who need help with childcare, youth sports, or youth membership. If you would like to help with the Y with this cause, contact Stephanie Browne at SBrowne@ymcacnm.org

Spotlight on Y Staff: Come Meet Rey At The Horn YMCA

Once you meet Rey Horcasitas you will never forget him. At the HB and Lucille Horn YMCA on San Mateo and Indian School, the friendly environment is contributed to staff like Rey. He welcomes members with a smile, a handshake or a pat on the back. His mission is clear. He wants everyone to know they can work on their fitness goals at the Y. "I had a heart attack and after I was released and ok'd to go work out, I picked the Y because I felt I could be successful here, it felt good at the Y." After a couple of months the Fitness Director offered me a job. She believed I had the energy and enthusiasm it takes to work at the Y." It is clear that Rey is grateful for every day he has on this earth. His kind smile creates a welcoming environment in the gym and everyone stops to say hello or to share a story.

The Fitness Director knew a rising star when she saw one. Meeting Rey is an experience I will never forget. Several years ago he was in a terrible car accident. His throat was split and had to be mended. He had broken so many bones he couldn't walk. Four doctors told him that he would never walk or talk again. Rey is now in his 70's and is in great shape and he surely can talk. He is a walking miracle and a true inspiration to us all.

Join Rey at the Horn Y mornings to noon. He'd love to meet you. Let him know you read about him on the Y blog. He's a bit of a celebrity, and we want him to know how proud we are to have Y staff like Rey.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spotlight on Young Volunteers: Lauren Schneider

Lauren Schneider is a true "Y Kid." She remembers her days at the Y Inez Preschool, afterschool programs, youth sports, and her beloved days as a teen Counselor in Training and Junior Counselor in the summer day camps at the McLeod Mountainside YMCA. Lauren's incredible leadership skills were obvious at an early age and the Y felt blessed to have her energy and creativity. She became a Counselor in training Director and mentored the young teens as she developed engaging teen events and activities and built a curriculum that focused on building a strong work ethic. As an adult she has never forgotten her love for the Y. Lauren has spoken on behalf of the Y in several radio shows promoting our Step up for Kids Schloarship Fund, has raised monies for the giving campaign, given tours of the facility, and has organized a CIT Reunion Dinner. As a GAP employee, she arranged a corporate relatioship with the Y and the GAP. She and then Co-worker Jason Lofrese were both Y kids and found themselves working for a philanthropic company that would benefit the Y. They spent time brainstorming and decided the GAP and the Y needed to work together to raise funds by putting on a volleyball tournament. With their efforts, GAP employees came out to volunteer their time and participated in the GAP matching program, doubling the money raised at tournament. Lauren is an example of a young person who has grown up in the Y culture that celebrates social responsibility. "I take my love for the Y very seriously, " says Schneider. "When you grow up giving back, it's just natural to think of others and what they may need. I'm in for life."

The Y can only continue our legacy of social responsibility with the help of our volunteers. If you are interested in giving back, please contact Stephanie Browne at SBrowne@ymcacnm.org.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spotlight: Volunteer Coach Clovis Martin Loves Y Basketball

When Clovis Martin walked into Eubank Elementary to coach seven and eight year olds for the Y Jr. Thunderbirds Basketball team, it was no surprise that he played basketball as a student. He's a tall man who carries himself like a Coach and an athlete. With three boys and an active career at Wells Fargo, he's a busy man. Yet, he finds time to spend Wednesday nights teaching drills, endurance, and the love of basketball to young people. Why the Y? "The kids need it and I enjoy it." Clovis knows personally the confidence that comes with working as a team and learning skills that carry throughout life. Team B-2 recently named themselves "The Lobos," and will begin their game season this weekend. Coach Martin and his Lobos enjoyed the Jamboree at the Santa Ana Star Event Center and really showed some promise out on the court practicing new skills with the Y Sports Staff. "Everything they learn will contribute to their skills as better athletes, and in turn, better developed people."
The Y of Central New Mexico and Y Community Champions make it possible to bring great skill development, mentorship and character building to New Mexico Youth. We celebrate Coach Clovis Martin for his committment to Y Kids. GO LOBOS!
If you are interested in volunteering at the Y, contact SBrowne@Ymcacnm.org.