We wish you all a Merry Christmas

Photo: Cathy and Santa. He looks surprised. Wonder what she asked for?

December 2023 * View as Webpage

Chapter Christmas at the Inn

Standing L to R Back Row: Rich Curl, Pete Smith, John and Alane McCahey, Bob Hastedt, Hank Van Zanten Walt Fromm. Second row Standing: Allen Shaffer, Fanny Smith Joe Elais, George Gray, Mel Hill, Lois Van Zanten, Robin Hill, Kathy Fromm, Kim Johnson, Jude Gallaher, Len Wilson. Third Row Standing: Ken White, Veronica Elais, Wendy Fox, Nancy Gray, Chris White Joyce Wilson. Seated: Carl Zvanut, Debbi Zvanut, Beth Bartlett. Not pictured: Barbara and Roy Taylor

From the President... Len Wilson

We again celebrate the spirit of Christmas as YMCA Alumni, retirees and spouses from various areas of the YMCA. To our delight, we find new or stronger friendships are developing with fellow members who have a common belief in the service the Y has provided to our local communities and to people around the world.


Yet despite the festivities of the season, we recognize that others are suffering in the ongoing war in the Ukraine, in families of hostages in Israel and in the toll being inflicted on civilians in Gaza. It seems that wars are now being fought, not on battlefields, but in communities and cities where innocent families are the major casualties. Let us hope and pray that the coming year will provide an end to these conflicts.


If you weren’t at our gala Christmas Luncheon with fellow chapter members, then you missed out on a terrific start to the holiday season. Don’t miss it next year! The excellent food, the William Penn Inn with its beautiful decorations and our own party events made for a great occasion.


The auction was very successful, and we raised $2,550 to support four important service areas:

·     World Service, specifically, the Jerusalem International YMCA, which is hard pressed to meet the overwhelming task of serving its community, including members and families impacted by the horrific events on both sides of the conflict. 

·     The International Service Corps (ISC), a program of YMCA Alumni, which has been expanded to serve a number of YMCAs in other countries requesting specific skill sets available from our retired members.

·     Our important Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) which provides funds to help active and retired YMCA staff cope with disasters and crushing illness.

·     And, this year, we were able to provide funds to help furnish one of the tiny homes being built as part of the National Service Project (NSP). 


All four of these vital support services form the core of our chapter’s fundraising goals. You may want to consider a year-end contribution (or additional gift) to these important projects.

In the next edition of Clippings, we will have more details on events planned for our chapter next year. You recently received an account of this year’s retiree retreat held at Silver Bay Conference center in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Next year we hope to have more representation at this three-chapter meeting from our own group. You will get a chance to relax with friends and meet retirees from the New York and New England chapters. The dates are set. Plan ahead (Sept. 16, 17, 18 and 19). Attendees this year asked for one more night at the beautiful Lake George site.

Gary Graham has arranged for a luncheon and easy work project at YMCA Camp of the Pines in Medford Lakes, N.J. The date is April 10. More information will be forthcoming. 

The Wilsons will be hosting a Strathmere luncheon Wednesday, June 12 with a rain date the next day. This is after Memorial Day weekend and before the summer residents and renters return to crowd the beaches and parking spots. That time is a delightful time to visit and enjoy the island and the ocean beach. More dates and events will soon be arriving. Plan on being part of the fun the entire year in 2024.


Sometime in the spring next year, our chapter is going to conduct a Pre-Retirement luncheon and seminar for potential Y retirees in this area. More details will soon be forthcoming, but you can assist with the planning and input.

It has been said that Y Retirement falls into several stages. Pre- and early retirement (60 to 75 years of age), Mid-retirement (75 to 85 years of age) and several stages after 85. Our members are in all the various stages and have accumulated learning and wisdom.

As times change and we age, what are some lessons learned and tips we can provide? I would welcome your input from personal experience or outside advice/source deemed valuable. Please reply to my personal email. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a joyous holiday season and a blessed new year in 2024.

Len Wilson, President

It looks a lot like Christmas.

We caught the spirit at our annual luncheon

Photos left side top to bottom: Kim, Pete, Robin and Mel (seated); Len the auctioneer and Carl his trusty sidekick; Ken, Joyce and Len, buddies, partners and pals; George, admiring his gift, but he didn't keep it long. Photos right side top to bottom: Roy and Barbara; Wendy, Bob and Kim lookin' pretty festive; Fanny, Pete and Chris; a wonderful holiday lunch.

A picnic on Squirrel Road

Twenty four chapter members gathered Oct. 18 on Ken and Chris White’s patio on Squirrel Road in Doylestown, Pa. for a fun-filled picnic. There was a boatload of food and no one went away hungry. The Wilsons even brought their dog, a Chinese Crested named MoJo. He (MoJo) was a hit. (Just ask Len if he’s lost his mojo). Alas no squirrels showed up.

Photos below L-R: Nancy, Joyce and Len in an eating challenge with George, Barbara, and Roy; Nancy, Walt, George and Barb enjoying the sun; Walt and Roy waiting for more food.

EAF: We can't do it without you

By Hank Van Zanten

Hank Van Zanten reports that year to date $1,810 has been contributed by 12 chapter members and an additional $1,400 has been pledged, and will be paid by the end of the year. We should surpass our goal of $3,000 for 2023. Unfortunately the need for EAF isn’t done in one year. Our members are sometimes placed in very difficult situations because of medical crises or outside catastrophes. So, please consider making EAF one of your annual charities. We can’t do it without you!

We Remember: Bob Carpenter

Robert Lamar Carpenter, 86, of Warminster, PA, died on Nov. 8, 2023. He was born in Millville, N.J. on December 13, 1936, to Walter and Janice Baker Carpenter. Bob graduated from Millville High School and received his Health and Physical Education degree from Glassboro College. He served in the U.S. Army, 3rd Armored Division for 2 years and Army Reserves for 5 years obtaining the rank of Sergeant E5.


After his service, Bob worked at the Millville YMCA as a Program Director from 1966 to 1973, where he met his wife, Lynn. Bob and family moved to Pennsylvania when he was named Associate Executive Director of the Hatboro YMCA for one year and then Executive Director until he retired in 1991 after a 25-year career in the YMCA.


Bob continued to work and volunteer after his YMCA retirement. He was active in his church; served as the Resident Services Director for ACTS, Inc.; and served as a Bucks County Court Tip Staff. He was a Mason and served as an officer for the Hatboro Chamber of Commerce; in addition he volunteered for the Warminster Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Hatboro Rotary Club and volunteered at Drum & Bugle Corp competitions in Allentown, PA.


Bob is survived by his wife, Lynn; son, Robert, and two daughters, Suzanne and Melanie; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Members 'on the road again'

Gary and Bonnie Graham attended the National Service Project's 7th wave from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 in Dupree, SD. As you can see, they like to play in the dirt. At right: When Barbra Taylor stepped down as President of the chapter after 10+ years of service, chapter members gifted her with a stay at the Inn at Leola Village near Lancaster Pa. They had a wonderful time enjoying the resort's amenities and touring Lancaster. They spent a day visiting Gettysburg National Military Park.

Make your travel plans with us

Adventures at a glance

Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 2024: Winter Warm-up in Caribbean

April 21-May 3, 2024: Atlantic Crossing

Aug. 14-21, 2024: Scottish Dream*

Sept. 27 - Oct. 4, 2024: America's Music Cities

Jan. 27-Feb. 2: 2025: Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

June 17-July 3 2025: Land of the Midnight Sun Cruise

*Scottish Dream is sold out, so always reserve your spot early.

Travel Club Info

Central Atlantic Chapter Leaders

Interim President: Len Wilson

Membership: Cathy Fromm

Programs: Nancy Gray

Secretary: Jude Gallaher

TreasurerBetteanne Kramer

Hospitality/EAF: Hank and Lois Van Zanten

World Service/ISC: Debbi Zvanut

Clippings Editor: Jude Gallaher

Special Projects:  Gary Graham

Past President: Barbara Taylor

Click on name in blue to send email.

The mission of YMCA Alumni is "to enable members to promote a nurturing worldwide Christian Fellowship that provides educational, social, service and charitable opportunities."

Visit us on Facebook
YMCA Alumni news is updated several times a week on our Facebook page. Visit often. Just click on the logo.


Travel Club