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YmCa OF WeStern nOrtH CarOlina neWSletter

HealtHier COmmunitieS CamPaign meetS gOal

neWSletter HealtHier COmmunitieS CamPaign meetS gOal Summer 2011 Partner HigHligHtS in Like us, Y Partners

Summer 2011

Partner HigHligHtS in

Like us, Y Partners believe in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. They understand that by building healthier communities, we can better the lives of all citizens.

Continues to Serve Our Community

The waiting list for financial aid and scholarship continues to grow. Currently, the wait is seven weeks for eligibility. Fortunately, the 2011 Healthier Communities Campaign met its goal enabling the Y to continue to provide the same level of support as last year.

We give thanks to the thousands of people just like you who gave because they want to make a difference. A healthy community starts with people supporting each other. A healthy community is for them, for you, for all.

“Amazing! This community refused to let the challenging economic times keep them from being

a shining example of generosity, faith, and commitment to the magnificent work our Y does

for our children, families, and seniors,” says Campaign Chair Brian Biro. A true believer in the

work we do, Brian chaired the campaign for the second time.

Every day the Y serves our friends and neighbors – wellness seekers, single parents, at- risk teens, families, and of course, children. President and CEO Paul Vest comments, “Our Campaign’s success is a true measure of the community’s belief and commitment in the work of the YMCA. It is a big vote of support for the Y and our effort to ensure all individuals have the ability to participate in Y services.”

For one Y member, this access is vital. Audrey Kinsella has Multiple Sclerosis. Most mornings you’ll find Audrey at the Downtown Y pool. The exercise helps increase her mobility and overall health, but most importantly it makes her feel better.

Even though each trip gets more difficult, Audrey continues to come to the Downtown Y. Her attitude is always positive, she is always happy to see everyone at the Center, and she hopes her story will inspire others to be strong and live each day to the fullest. Her Y experience can be summed up in a personal quote. “I want to let people know that I klutz around for 23 hours

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YmCa SuPPOrtS SHilOH COmmunitY

Health Equity is a new term for many people. As a society, we understand that environmental factors like pollution and poor water quality affect our community’s health. We don’t always consider how

social factors – affordable housing or living wage jobs

– can affect the overall health of a community.

As part of the work of the Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) initiative, the Shiloh community will be working with the YMCA to look at ways to tackle health disparities. Established in the 1800s, Shiloh is a tight-knit African-American community with a long history, but the neighborhood faces environmental and social challenges that are affecting the health of its residents.

challenges that are affecting the health of its residents. “This is a community that has been

“This is a community that has been underserved and is now positioned to receive support in areas they have identified as priorities. We know that to be truly healthy we must engage our families in the physical, social, economic, and educational aspects of health and wellness on a daily basis. This is a holistic and sustainable approach to building strong, vibrant, and

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Longtime Partner, Volvo Construction equipment, sees the significance of the Y’s impact

our community. In fact, its own philosophy, “The

Volvo Way,” includes parallels with our mission and

vision for the people we serve.

One of the philosophy’s core values is respect for the individual. “Basically, this means we care about people. Our companies and employees have a long tradition of social responsibility and contribute to the positive development of our communities,” explains Chuck Wood, Vice-President - Human Resource Management & Administration.

While Volvo cites many reasons for supporting the

Y, it’s the hard to measure value that means the

most. It’s the impact the Y makes on the individual who is taking charge of their health, comfort the

Y provides to parents who need safe and reliable

childcare, and the programs and services that help people improve their lives.

*Partner since 2006

that help people improve their lives. *Partner since 2006 The asheville tourists Baseball Club sees its

The asheville tourists Baseball Club sees its

support of the Y as a natural fit. As a sports organization, the Tourists value the emphasis the

Y puts on physical activity, and just as importantly,

the emphasis the Y puts on developing life skills in youth. “Both our organizations strive to provide a safe and fun place for families to be together, and to see teamwork, perseverance, and hard work in action,” says General Manager Larry Hawkins.

The Tourists relationship with the Y began more than 30 years ago when the two joined forces to provide a safe, fun environment for a group of kids known as the “Knothole Gang.” The Y learned about these at-risk kids watching the games from holes in the fence because they couldn’t afford tickets. When the Y proposed letting the “gang” in to watch the games as a reward for good behavior, our significant partnership was established.

Today, through its Y Partnership, the Tourists continue to provide tickets and a special seating section for the children in the Y’s outreach program.

*Partner since 2009


YOutH DeVelOPment in aCtiOn

Kamahria’s Story

Kamahria was challenged in dealing with her anger, often reacting without thinking about consequences. She was easily provoked into conflicts and lacked resolution skills. She is a natural leader, but at times she used that leadership gift in negative ways. In 2010, Kamahria enrolled in the 21st Century Program. The 21st Century Program engages students in building life skills and focuses on building positive values and social skills.

Slowly, we have seen a change in Kamahria. One day during free time, Kamahria was talking to a staff member and another student kept interrupting the conversation. The other student grew agitated and tried to pull Kamahria into an argument. However, Kamahria stayed calm and kept to herself, while the other student ended up leaving her alone because he wasn’t able to engage her. In the past, Kamahria would have dug in her heels and prepared to fight. Now, she shows respect, confidence, and leadership.

We’re Partnering WitH liVeStrOng tO HelP CanCer SurViVOrS

Built on collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and partnership, LIVESTRONG fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Now, we’re proud to bring LIVESTRONG at the Y to Western North Carolina.

The positive impact from moderate physical activity, supportive relationships, and stress reduction techniques on the quality of life of cancer survivors is widely supported in the medical community. This program engages cancer survivors through an approach that focuses on the whole person. Participants work with trained Y staff to build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. In addition to physical benefits, the program is also focused on the emotional wellbeing of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community environment where people affected by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond.

“Cancer is life-changing. How strong a person feels in spirit, mind, and body can directly impact how he or she lives through and beyond treatment. At the Y, we work to give all people the opportunity to meet their health and wellness goals. We are delighted to collaborate with LIVESTRONG to offer those who have been diagnosed with cancer the support they need to build both emotional and physical strength,” says Misty Guinn, Member

Engagement Director and LIVESTRONG at the Y Project Manager.

The LIVESTRONG at the Y program aims to become a place of support for cancer survivors who want to gain or reclaim health and well-being following their cancer diagnosis. Are you a cancer survivor ready to get your life back? Information about the LIVESTRONG program is available at your Y.

The LIVESTRONG Program is supported in part by the Healthier Communities Campaign. For more information, contact Misty at

For more information, contact Misty at Recently, the LEAF in Schools Hip-Hop dance group performed

Recently, the LEAF in Schools Hip-Hop dance group performed at Family Night. When the instructor couldn’t attend, she put Kamahria in charge, and all of the dancers watched Kamahria to make sure they were making the right moves. We’re so proud of Kamahria, and we have enjoyed watching her blossom into a positive peer leader!

This program is funded through the NC Department of Public Instruction and The Healthier Communities Campaign. Learn more about 21st Century Learning Centers by contacting Heather at


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resilient individuals and communities,” says Elaine Robinson, former Executive Director of Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement.

Shiloh’s community leaders recognized that their neighborhood had hurdles to overcome. That’s why they developed a comprehensive community plan. The plan includes improving infrastructure (damaged streets, lighting, sidewalks) and creating and maintaining green space giving Shiloh’s residents more opportunity for physical activity.

A delegation representing the Shiloh

Community will head to Washington, DC in July. The group will meet with representatives of Ys from across the country to discuss strategies and models for developing community projects promoting healthier living.

Communities that have already gone through the PHC initiative have developed increased community walkability, pedestrian safety, access to fruits and vegetables, work-site

wellness, and physical education requirements

in schools. The community leaders of Shiloh

will select projects to implement over the next three years.

“Our vision is for Shiloh residents to increase awareness of their own health and have easy access to resources that will help them make informed decisions about their own personal health and that of their families,” explains Kristen Weaver, the Y’s Community Healthy Living Director. “We are pleased to develop this new collaboration and join forces, voices, and resources with the community of Shiloh to achieve their goals.”

Contact Kristen at kweaver@ymcawnc. org to find out more about the work of the Pioneering Healthier Communities Committee.

WelCOme neW StaFF

Healthier Communities Committee. WelCOme neW StaFF 2 Sabra Stewart Job title: Director of Finance


Sabra Stewart

Job title: Director of Finance responsibilities: Leading and guiding the work of the Finance Department Previous experience: Worked as a CPA in both public and private industry, most recently at Hope Women’s Cancer Center in Asheville. Family/Hobbies: My husband and I have three wonderful teenage daughters. I enjoy family time, golf, gardening and reading. “The Y is a fantastic organization with great staff that look for every opportunity to serve the community.”

that look for every opportunity to serve the community.” John Wildy Job title: Director of Information

John Wildy

Job title: Director of Information Technology responsibilities: Managing the I.T. Department at corporate office. Investigating and implementing new technologies for the company Previous experience: Virginia College (2 years) I.T. Director; Morris Communications, LLC (6 years) System Administrator; WFXG-TV (10 years) System Administrator Family/Hobbies: I live with my fiancée, 11-year-old daughter and our Dalmatian, Spot. I also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. “The Y is a great organization and I am a big supporter of what it stands for in the community. I’m excited to learn the new systems and technologies and meet all the wonderful people who are associated with the organization.”




a Foundation for the Future

Endowment giving is an investment in the future. Whether it is a planned gift or cash contribution, such gifts mean that the Y will be able to meet the changing conditions of the future while continuing to serve our friends and neighbors.

In the past year, some friends have made gifts in recognition of individuals who have made a difference in the lives of others.

In Memory of Jim Dalton In Honor of Rick Lutovsky In Memory of Betsy Dolan In Memory of Charles McCleary-Small In Memory of Angie Vest In Honor of Mary Michael In Honor of Jennifer Svenstrup In Honor of Bob Roberts In Memory of Charlotte Carlisle In Honor of Lindsay Sease In Honor of Dr. Norris Crigler In Honor of Vicki Vest In Honor of Paul Vest In Honor of Ellen Knoefel In Honor of Lynn Gordon In Honor of Hyman Dave In Memory of Richard D. Frankel In Memory of Glyndon Shaver

Recently, we celebrated these gifts at our Annual Recognition Dinner as well as the newest members of our Heritage Club: Rick and Elaine Bagley, Marshall and Barbara Dark II, Daniel and Betsy Dolan, Neal and Amy Hanks, LaTisha Steele, William and Sabra Stewart, and Robert and Judi Wrhen.

Gifts totaling $10,000 or more are memorialized by name. For 2011, we introduced two new named funds - the James e. Dalton Scholarship Fund and the Betsy Dolan Scholarship Fund for aquatics. Jim quietly gave to the Y’s annual campaign for most of his life, and once remarked the most important things in his life were his family, his church, and the Y. He believed that all children should have the opportunity to benefit from the Y, and his estate gift is ensuring that happens. Betsy spent 10 years volunteering in the Aquatics Department at the Asheville Y because she believed in building confidence and self-esteem in kids. Her family’s memorial gift will help give every child a chance to learn to swim, but more importantly, learn to be themselves.

“Whether it’s in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate a milestone, gifts recognizing another person are a long- lasting sentiment to ensure their legacy will continue to positively impact future generations,” says Dana Davis, Financial Development Director.

Find out more about endowment giving by contacting Dana at

endowment giving by contacting Dana at YOutH Fit FOr liFe maKing imPOrtant StriDeS Now finishing

YOutH Fit FOr liFe maKing imPOrtant StriDeS

Now finishing up its fourth year, the Youth Fit For Life (YFFL) program has reached hundreds of kids in Buncombe and McDowell Counties. YFFL is built on four core components of health and wellbeing - strength, cardio, nutrition, and behavioral education – and is geared toward children ages 5-12.

“It’s our intention to see each child develop the knowledge and skills necessary for living

a healthy lifestyle,” notes Abby Smith, Youth

Development Coordinator for the Asheville Y.

Another learning tool YFFL leaders are using

is the Y Family Community Garden at the

Beaverdam Youth Services Center. Here kids learn about growing healthy foods, driving home the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diets.

Currently, Youth Fit For Life programs are battling childhood obesity in Buncombe and McDowell Counties. The program is in 19 afterschool sites and serving more than 850 participants for 24 weeks out of the school year. This summer, YFFL and community

gardening will be part of the summer camp curriculum as well.

the results speak for themselves:

• 71.6% improved their 6-minute run by increasing 130.8 yards in distance

• 90.2% maintained or improved their

strength test by gaining 4.2 more push- ups on average

• 96.8% improved their flexibility by

0.42 inches in the shoulder stretch

• 68.5% improved their self efficacy

• 65.9% ages 9 and older rated them-

selves to be more involved in volunteer activities and are eating more fruits and vegetables

Youth Fit For Life is funded in part by the Community Benefits Program of Mission Hospitals, United Way, Asheville Citizen-Times, Pepsi Co., and the Healthier Communities Campaign. To learn more, contact Abby at

CamPaign meetS gOal

(continued from page 1)

every day, but I become an extremely graceful swan for one hour here in my Y pool.”

Brian adds, “When we reached our goal for the Healthier Communities Campaign, we broke through from fear to freedom, from failure to faith, from ego to ‘we go!’ Thanks to all our donors and supporters, we did it! Every dollar makes a shining difference!”

The Healthier Communities Campaign is made possible by an amazing group of volunteers and Partners.

“This has been the most challenging year I can remember since arriving in Asheville 15 years ago, but once again our volunteers, staff, and dear friends have come through, and I am very proud to be associated with this Y and our community. Together, we are making a healthier community,” Paul explains.

To learn more about the Healthier Communities Campaign and other ways to give, contact Dana Davis at

CamPaign PartnerS

Platinum: Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company and Volvo Construction equipment

gOlD: Ken and nancy glass, Hinson Family Charitable trust, rick and Denise guthy, Clear Channel asheville, 105.9 the mountain, the glass Foundation, and united Healthcare.

SilVer: anonymous, asheville Savings Bank, asheville tourists, rick and elaine Bagley, CarePartners, Carolina Spine and neurosurgery Center, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Keith and Barbra love, Progress energy, Paul and Vicki Vest, Pat and angie Vest, Bojangles, and lessons in leadership.

CamPaign StatiStiCS

• 204 Campaigners

• 8 months of campaigning

• 1,358 Donors

• 27 Programs supported

• 5,906 Smiles


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Asheville, NC 28801

Summer 2011

53 Asheland Avenue, Suite 105



U.S. PaiD



NC PERMIT NO. 171 ORGANIZATION U.S. PaiD NONPROFIT POSTAGE To put Christian principles into practice through

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

YmCa miSSiOn

build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YmCa miSSiOn 53 Asheland Avenue, Suite 105 Asheville,
build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YmCa miSSiOn 53 Asheland Avenue, Suite 105 Asheville,
53 Asheland Avenue, Suite 105 Asheville, NC 28801 P 828 251 5909
53 Asheland Avenue, Suite 105
Asheville, NC 28801
P 828 251 5909
Avenue, Suite 105 Asheville, NC 28801 P 828 251 5909 mOre tHan a PlaCe tO gO
Avenue, Suite 105 Asheville, NC 28801 P 828 251 5909 mOre tHan a PlaCe tO gO

mOre tHan a PlaCe tO gO – a PlaCe tO learn

At summer camp, kids can be kids – playing, swimming, and singing – but Y camp offers so much more. Kids learn honesty, respect, caring, and responsibility through hands-on games, field trips, and service learning projects.

experience – the loss of his father. He was devastated. The staff at Beaverdam took Marek under their wings, giving him hugs whenever he needed them, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a listening ear.

“Summer Day Camp provides elementary school-age children an opportunity to continue learning in an exciting environment. They can try their hand at new activities - all while having a blast singing silly songs with counselors they love,” comments Sloan Pickens, Program Director.

We’re operating nine weeks of camp at the Beaverdam Y, Avery’s Creek Elementary, and Haw Creek Elementary. Each week’s activities are tied to a central theme like Ahoy Mateys, Imaginarium, Goin’ Green and Party in the USA.

Sloan continues, “Families bring their kids to our camps year after year knowing that we are providing a safe and fun environment for their children to explore who they are while building lasting relationships.”

For Marek Graves, Y camp was so much more than somewhere to go over the summer. Last year, Marek had to deal with something no child should ever

For Marek’s mom, the Y was a tremendous help in keeping her son busy, active, and engaged. “They surrounded him with a lot of love and a lot of attention when he needed it most,” his mom recalls.

Marek participated in a variety of activities - swimming at Lake Powhatan, weekly field trips to local attractions, water play days, and The End of Summer Carnival. He played in the woods with his friends, ate lunch at the picnic tables, picked vegetables from the garden, and searched for salamanders in the creek. Marek was able to do things that he might not otherwise have gotten to do had it not been for the Y. Marek was also able to deal with his father’s death with what his mother calls “his other family”- his Y family.

registration is open. Visit for more information. Summer camp financial aid and scholarships are supported in part by the Healthier Communities Campaign.