Connect. Travel. Serve.

I write this having just returned from a trip to California to see my daughter, son-in-law and 3 grandchildren for the first time in over a year. I know that many of you are experiencing this same return to normal. Zoom calls will never, ever replace being face-to-face with family, friends and colleagues.

We have plans to begin to gather in person after more than a year of Zoom calls and meetings under the leadership of our Program Chair, Nancy Bonnell.

It is our goal to provide a variety of opportunities to connect to enhance your membership experience. We will kick this off with a golf outing on August 24, a Fall gathering at the East Hill Farm in Troy, N.H., and our Christmas luncheon. We are also planning a series of neighborhood gatherings to make it easier for everyone to participate and decrease travel time. Information is in this issue of The Nor'Easter and also will be in future editions.

As always, we welcome your feedback and ideas related to program activities. In all cases, we invite you to bring new (and old) retirees who may not have joined our Alumni Chapter to attend along with you.
Are you thinking about attending YMCA Alumni Reunion '22 Jan. 12-15 in New Orleans? Join Lou and Mary Falk, Karen Stewart, Alan and Valerie Hurst, Harry and Anne Rock, Skip Raymond and Karen Stewart and me as we explore The Big Easy. These are our registrants through the end of June and I know some of you are just waiting to register. Don't delay.

Let’s have a great New England showing! For any of you who may be first timers and/or traveling alone, I am both. I was a little hesitant to sign up but I know my YMCA colleagues will be there and will make sure that I, and all others, will feel welcomed and connected. Please think about joining us.

As I wrap up this letter, another daughter and grandson are on their way home from Syracuse to spend the week with us. There will be trips to the beach, barbecues, bike rides and plenty of ice cream. I wish you the same this summer.

Karin Leslie
New England YMCA Alumni President
From the editor... Doug Lisk

I hope you all enjoy our Nor’Easter and will have a wonderful summer as we get back to “normal” -- whatever that looks like in your world. Please take some photos of “How I spent my summer vacation.” 

Our colleagues always request photos of what their friends are doing. It’s a way to see old friends and stay connected. Please take some pics this summer. Staged are ok, but a little action is better. Write up a short few lines and email them to me as you take them and hopefully we can get them in an upcoming newsletter.

Thanks again and have a wonderful and safe summer. --Doug
By Harry Rock

All of you have received the May issue of The CONNECTION and read the long-awaited news of what the National Service Project will be.

This announcement was the result of a year of gathering ideas, ranking and rating those ideas, and testing them against the program attributes of being challenging, achievable, sustainable, impactful, and providing donor appeal, and opportunities for member involvement.

The 17-person National Service Project Task Force representing every YMCA Alumni Chapter unanimously selected the project of building tiny homes and “twigs” (program centers) for the Sioux YMCA community in South Dakota.
This project, under the capable leadership of committee chair Lou Falk, was influenced by the longtime home building project of our chapter in the Dominican Republic. The Sioux YMCA serves the oppressed and poor people of the Sioux Nation and it was felt by the Task Force that this project would generate universal support of our membership.
George Painter will lead the Project Management (boots on the ground) sub-committee and he will serve as the Project Leader on site while Carm Gallo and Steve Rowe will co-chair the Promotion and Fundraising sub-committee.100 percent of the National Service Project Committee members have pledged financial support for the project totaling $34,000. While a project budget has not yet been finalized, it is the hope and expectation that in order for the National Service Project to be successful, there will need to be financial support from the entire YMCA Alumni membership.

We hope when the time comes in early 2022, all of our chapter members will consider a generous gift to support this project as well as potentially serving in some capacity as a volunteer. Watch for details.
Lou and Alan's excellent
adventure at Sioux Y camp

Some 20 volunteers from chapters across the U.S -- our own Lou Falk and Alan Hurst among them -- took on a different kind of assignment sponsored by the International Service Corps (ISC), a program of YMCA Alumni. The job: Prepare Sioux YMCA Camp Marrowbone to serve some 500 Sioux children over a seven-week period this summer. 

The camp is on Lake Oahe, 1.5 hours from the YMCA's headquarters in Dupree, ND, which is another 3 hours from the Rapid City airport. The location in itself is, well, remote.

Many of the children, ages aged 7-17, who are attending camp this summer have never left their villages, let alone the reservation. What a revelatory experience it will be for them, with activities from dormitory sleeping to paddle boarding, and meeting counselors from many different parts of the world.
We found ourselves in teams where hardly anyone knew anyone else. Our desire to get to know one another as we worked together made us feel, at the end of our week, as one volunteer put it, “like brothers.” 

Further, there was the satisfaction of painting the exterior of seven large cabins, constructing four very "classy" latrines and two platform tents, plus the Director’s Cabin, a 12’x 24’ building on top of the hill above the camp. 

So heartening too, was getting to know the small permanent staff, each one of the six dedicated and highly competent, in tune with the Sioux needs and ready to lend a hand to whatever it might take to make the camp a better place. And, perhaps best of all, especially for those who had not visited the Cheyenne River Reservation before, was learning something of the Sioux customs and the harsh ways of living on their barren land. 

And we GOT IT DONE! Alan and Lou, in addition to painting seven camper cabins at the camp, visited the site of the new National Service Project, first phase, the Tiny Home community at the Sioux YMCA in Dupree. While there, they met with YMCA leaders and staff, architects, and Sioux leaders from the local community.

Special thanks to Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall of the Weatherford Chapter for contributing to the bulk of this article.
National YMCA Hall of Fame Nominations
Do you have a former supervisor or boss who you thought highly of? Do you have a former co-worker or colleague who you felt was making a significant impact on the YMCA movement? Did you know a Y volunteer whose commitment and service to the Y movement has had a lasting national or international impact?
Then consider nominating them for induction into the National YMCA Hall of Fame. The HOF has announced the “Call of Nominations” for the next induction ceremony scheduled to occur at the upcoming YMCA General Assembly in July 2023. If there is a retired Y person (retired five years) or volunteer who you feel belongs in the National YMCA Hall of Heroes, then please visit the National YMCA Hall of Fame website to access nomination guidelines and information on how to submit a nomination packet.

Each nomination requires a team of six individuals including a prime nominator to fill out and submit the application and five people to write individual letters of support. The application with five letters of support should focus on the impact that the work of the nominee has had resulting in lasting and transformational national or international impact on the Y movement.

Individuals may only support one nominee per induction cycle. Please contact Tammy Biggins at the YMCA Relations Office at Springfield College for more information or call 413.748.3407. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2022.
--Harry Rock
Happy Birthday to Ray
Longtime YMCA director Ray Jacoby celebrated his 90th birthday with a celebration at YMCA Camp Abnaki (photo left) June 26. Belated birthday greetings may be sent to him at 4 Chase Lane, South Hero, VT 05486. 
--Dave Johnson
Join us at Reunion '22: Jan. 12-15, 2022
Registration for YMCA Alumni Reunion '22 and the Embassy Suites Hotel are open and waiting for you. Revisit our own Harry Rock's video intro to the reunion on "The Train They Call The City of New Orleans."

Then, why not warm up from winter with our YMCA Alumni Caribbean Reunion immediately following the Reunion for seven nights. No meetings, no agenda. Just relax. Click the button below for details.
Baseball and golf in the sunshine with the YMCA Alumni Travel Club's new getaways
The weather in Florida is ideal for golf in April. That's why you should be on the links with us April 19-23, 2022 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. Play two great courses with a day off for sightseeing in the historic city. And, visit the World Golf Hall of Fame, too.
Are you a baseball fan? You'll be more than ready to join us in Phoenix, Arizona March 6-13, 2022. Five Grapefruit League spring training games, tours of local attractions, and connecting with friends.
Chapter leaders
President: Karin Leslie
VP/Programs: Nancy Bonnell
Treasurer/Membership: Alan Hurst
Secretary: Laurie Garbacz
Nor'Easter Editor: Doug Lisk
At Large: Gary Schuyler
At Large: Martha Machnik
At Large: Duffy Brent
National Service Project: Harry Rock
Immediate Past President: Lou Falk

Click on name to send email.
YMCA Alumni Mission:
" enable members to promote a nurturing worldwide Christian Fellowship that provides educational, social, service and charitable opportunities."