Jerry Lewkowitz is a lifelong resident of Phoenix and an 82-year member of the YMCA. He attended Kenilworth Elementary and North High schools, then served in the U.S. Air Force. He later served on the Phoenix City Council for two years. Lewkowitz practices administrative liquor law with his wife, Andrea, at the Lewkowitz Law Office.
Members of the Lewkowitz family, including Jerry’s parents and siblings, have been active in the Phoenix community since 1914. Lewkowitz learned from his parents to always give generously, to serve the community and to pass on his passions and service to the next generation. He has been instrumental in the YMCA’s great relationship with Thunderbirds Charities.
Lewkowitz’ experience with the YMCA began when he was 7 years old. He rode his bike to Y summer camp, then at a different location in downtown Phoenix. He remembers that it was a lot of fun, and he went there most days for the next few summers.
When Lewkowitz was 11, he went to Sky Y sleep-away camp in Prescott.
His favorite story about Sky Y is that Barry Goldwater flew a small aircraft and “buzzed” the camp when he dropped off mail for the Phoenix kids.
Lewkowitz celebrated his 12th birthday at Sky Y, and his mom arranged for a cake for his friends and cabin mates. He also remembers getting a leather medallion and being inducted into the honorary campers group.
Lewkowitz has always loved the YMCA, and his family has continued to participate in many YMCA activities and sports over the years. He upped his participation around 1968 when he joined the Early Birds group. As a result, he became great friends with other Phoenix business leaders, such as Len Huck, Jay Goodfarb, David Lincoln and Bud Jacobson.
The group held membership drives and fundraisers to support the YMCA as it expanded branches in the Valley. Lewkowitz even recalls one member convincing another to donate some of his farmland for the Chris-Town YMCA. Lewkowitz served on the founding board of the Chris-Town Y. He and others dug holes during the groundbreaking, set some bonfires and had pit barbeque fundraisers.
Lewkowitz still comes to the Lincoln Downtown YMCA at least three days a week. He enjoys seeing his Early Bird friends, working out and interacting with the staff. He takes pride in the occasions when his three children, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren can come with him. He recently had the opportunity to visit with the Lincoln summer campers and really enjoyed all the kids.
Lewkowitz celebrated his 89th birthday on July 17. Happy belated birthday, Jerry from the Lincoln staff, members, Early Birds and the Board of Directors (which now includes your daughter Barbara). Congratulations on 82 years of membership with the Valley of the Sun YMCA.