In Greenville we raised our three kids at the local Y. It is embarrassing to admit now, but when we started at the Y it was really about “a gym and a swim.” Childcare and swimming lessons made membership easy. Only after we (really Elizabeth) got more involved did we realize all the good that the Y does for the community.
We found out then that every Y, including Desert Foothills, pays for the facility, classes, and staff with dues. Many (if not most) of the other beneficial programs – scholarships, summer camps for needy kids, youth sports programs – are made available to those who cannot afford them through fundraising.
Upon arriving in Cave Creek it didn’t take us long to look for, and very fortunate to find, the Desert Foothills Y.
Elizabeth is a bit of a workout fiend. When not running, its the gym or, more frequently, the pool. If you are an early morning swimmer you may recognize Liz by her Sugar Skull swim cap, bright (some say “loud”) swimsuits and a bag full of fins, kickboards and swimming paraphernalia. When not working out Liz tutors chemistry at Paradise Valley Community College, Black Mountain Campus, which shares the Y parking lot. Next year she hopes to teach the same class and perhaps calculus as well.
Ron is General Counsel for Sundt Construction. He works in Tempe and travels frequently throughout the western US where Sundt works, so doesn’t often make it to the Y during the week. But Saturday’s are committed to Sharon’s “Killer” yoga class and Sunday’s to working out with Jacob, our 17-year old son.
The other two kids – Shelby (22) and Kate (20) – are working and attending NAU, respectively.
Shortly after joining we began to see the profound impact that Desert Foothills has on the community. Much of the good work goes unrecognized. Some programs are more visible, such as YMCA youth sports, the Youth in Government program, after school programs, senior programs or Pickle Ball. Other good work that is just as impactful on the lives it touches but far les noticeable include scholarships for those who cannot attend the Y without help, and support networks for cancer survivors. The annual fundraising campaign supports it all. Also, did you know that every dollar raised by our Y stays right here at Desert Foothills?
A year or so ago a Y friend suggested that I, Ron, consider joining the Desert Foothills Board of Directors. Doing so spotlighted a couple of things of which I was unaware. First, the Desert Foothills Y staff are incredibly committed to helping others and wholly dedicated to the Y’s mission. What they do is inspiring. Second, while I thought I was well informed about the many things the Y does to help others, I was wrong. I saw only the tip of the iceberg. Because the Y respects and values people so deeply, it does all it can to help, support and provide for those in need without calling attention to this fact. This means that many of its good works are known, truly known, only to the recipients.
So, this is why we give to the Y – it’s always been there for us and it’s there today for our friends and neighbors. By giving, we all help to ensure it remains there tomorrow.