Grand Canyon Chapter June 2020

What a year!   March of 2020 will always be remembered as the month where all of us started out with our regular routines. At some point during that month our routines were interrupted and life, as we knew it, changed drastically.

So here we are just like you: Sheltering at home, physical distancing, wearing masks, and washing, washing, washing hands. This has been a time of discovery: Working from home, family dinnertime, home-schooling kids, trying to eat well to support our immune systems and helping others to cope with the lock-down. Who would have ever thought that this pandemic would happen in our lifetime?

Among other things, our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones to this Coronavirus. We can no longer greet each other with a handshake or a hug and we sit in our living room during church. We cherish toilet paper – when we can find it.  

Yet as we sit and think about the past, we are so thankful for so many things. Maybe that thankfulness is something good that has come out of all this. Our world is going to be a bit different going forward but that can be good, too.

Will we as the Grand Canyon Chapter Alumni be able to get together this year as we did last year in Estes Park and Mexico?  We’re not sure. However this crisis will pass and we will eventually have the opportunity to resume some of our old routines. As YMCA Alumni, we look forward to getting together again, to travel and to have many adventures in the future.  

Keep your eye on our YMCA Alumni website for information. Know that you are in our prayers and we pray that you will remain healthy and well until we meet again soon.

We Remember...
Grand Canyon Chapter Members
Who Recently Left Us
Boris Kazimiroff was just 3 weeks shy of his 99th birthday. He served the YMCA in Shanghai for 27 years, retiring to Albuquerque.
Linda Stevens-Rodriguez (Albuquerque, New Mexico), born in Atlanta, Georgia, passed away on Feb.10, 2020, at the age of 71.
Mary Arlene Garcia , age 79, beloved wife, sister, mother and grandmother, passed away in the early morning hours of April 8, 2020 at home.
Here's What Some Members Have Been Up To During
The Pandemic Homestay
Tom Aguilar-Downing: I’ve been doing a lot of geneology without any distractions and other pressing matters to pull away my focus.
True, we aren’t getting out and seeing friends and family, but I’ve been getting acquainted with a lot of new people, only they’ve been dead for over 200 years. Some of these folks I’ve had in my tree since I first started doing this. But they were only names.They didn’t have any stories. Now they do.
It’s been a fascinating trip through the hills and rivers of Kentucky back to Colonial days. 
On the way we meet ancestors on my mother’s side of the family that were soldiers in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812; a Militiaman who fought along side Daniel Boone; a young boy who was scalped but survived and lived a long life; a family that was captured by a joint British/Shawnee force and marched from Kentucky to Detroit for a four-year imprisonment; a daughter “adopted” by the Shawnee before being rescued by her brother; and slave owners.
Lynne Vaughn: I am hunkered down in Fort Collins, Colo. and thankful for the YMCA Retirement Fund, neighbors, access to the out-of-doors, understanding of the need for well-being right now and friends/family from around the country that I chat and Zoom with to stay sane. 
I have had my ups and downs as this pandemic extends, but I feel blessed that I have the self-awareness, friends and family that keep me grounded and focused. I have a bit of cabin fever and as I look at options for air, rail and car travel I have decided that right now I am better off at home.
I recently remembered the Disney song from the Jungle Book. It’s called “The Bare Necessities” and if you are ever feeling blue I encourage you to look it up on You Tube and let yourself smile and be grateful that we have the 'Bare Necessities!'
Senior Chaplain Robert Ruesch: I have been working on several articles for magazines and setting up video conferencing for Christian Resort Ministries. I am producing both of my books about the YMCA of the Rockies for audio distribution. 
Craig Altschul and Peggi Simmons : Peggi is waiting for the Albuquerque Sunport to call back its Airport Ambassadors, while she and the greyhounds are enduring Craig’s online lessons and practices in saxophone jazz improvising. But, Craig did join in with 200 sax school members from across the globe in a combined video salute to healthcare workers everywhere. It was a huge job to edit and make it all work by the London-based Sax School staff, but worth the effort. Click on the image to hear “Lean On Me.”     
Travel Club Readies For Pent-Up Demand; New Trip Added For Fall 2021; Get Jazzed For Reunion '22
In New Orleans
Your  YMCA Alumni Travel Club  has recently added  "Maritime Colors",  a delightful ocean cruise through New England and Maritime Canada during the height of autumn's spectacular color show from  Sept. 30 to Oct. 8, 2021. 

Board  Royal Caribbean's  Freedom of the Seas  at Cape Liberty, N.J. and enjoy with full day port visits to Boston, Mass.; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, returning to Cape Liberty. 

Travel experts are predicting a huge pent-up demand for travel in 2021, and this trip is expected to be very popular. Lots of protections are in place for refunds and cancellations. Click on the  YMCA Alumni Travel Information Center button.
You'll want to be in  The Big Easy  in  January 2022  for  YMCA Alumni Reunion '22. 

Watch for news about  Travel Club  pre- and/or post-adventures out of  New Orleans and all that jazz.
Chapter Notes...
We need a Vice President for our Grand Canyon Chapter.  Anyone willing? Please step forward.  It’s a one-year learning position with the chance to take the President’s role in mid 2021. We also need a Newsletter Coordinator. Could this be you? Compile information and send it in. We are part of the National YMCA Alumni Newsletter Project, so the design and publishing is handled professionally by Craig Altschul + Associates.  Willing to help? Please email M arian Bolton or call her at (505) 238-5272.
Steve Courts  (Stephanie), Johnstown, CO

Ann Nelson  (Duane), Plain City, Utah

F. Ellie Lindquist (Howie), Frisco, CO

Richard Montondo  (Pat), Rio Verde, AZ

Elnora O'Sullivan,  Tucson, AZ

Dave Powell   (Lisa), Oro Valley, AZ

Thomas Rapine  (Joan), Tucson, AZ

Shirley Jennings-Shepherd  (Charles), Tucson, AZ

Laura Taylor , Tempe, AZ
 Grand Canyon Chapter Of YMCA Alumni
Co-Presidents: Marian and Dave Bolton
Secretary: Pam Hegarty
Treasurer: Rich Hill
Membership: Susan Hill
EAF Representative: John Brooks
International: Pete and Jan Smargon
ECHOES Production:

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