Local YMCA Associations across Texas recently recognized state legislators who have been strong champions of the Y’s work to nurture the potential of youth, improve communities’ health and give back to its neighbors.
Senator Donna Campbell (SD-25) and Representative Lyle Larson (HD-122) were both recognized by Sandy Morander, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio; Representatives Sarah Davis (HD-134) and Dwayne Bohac (HD-138) were recognized by Paul McEntire, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston; Senator Kel Seliger (SD-31) was recognized by Shane Moore, President & CEO of the YMCA of Moore County; and Representative Paul Workman (HD-47) was recognized by James Finck, President & CEO of the YMCA of Austin.
“The Y is not just about physical fitness,” said Senator Donna Campbell. “It’s also about the emotional and spiritual support. You may or may not realize that the majority of young adults, ages 17-24, are not fit to serve. They are not fit to enlist. They fail the enlistment, so they’re not eligible for multiple reasons, but primarily, physical fitness. [The Y] is making our youth ready for the military. That’s a huge thing, a huge thing for our youth. It’s a huge thing for our national security. Truly, what you’re doing is supporting the national security of America, one Y at a time.”
Each elected official had the opportunity to meet with Y staff, volunteers and members who shared about the Y’s benefit to their families and friends and impact the Y has in each community.
Representative Lyle Larson highlighted his personal connection with the YMCA that includes playing football as a student at Coker Elementary and later as a volunteer coach. He shared his appreciation for the work the Y is doing and how the Y is meeting the needs of the community as a whole regardless of age, income or background.
“The Y is a conduit to the community. The government can't serve all these young folks and we’ve got to have groups like the YMCA that can work with the kids and the families, provide a space that can keep them out of trouble and give them something productive to do,” said Representative Larson. “It is interesting, a lot of times people look at the Y and they think there is a socio-economic barrier, but no there is not. The Y meets everybody's needs in the community and that is what's enriching about it.”
To view pictures from all of the 2018 YMCA Champion Award presentations, click here. Additional recognitions will be taking place at local YMCAs across the state as the year progresses. For more information, please contact Christianna Burwell, Public Policy & Legislative Affairs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.