Serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
July 2022 View as Webpage
Greetings!

The Upper Midwest Chapter YMCA Alumni raised $15,000 for the National YMCA Alumni Project at the Sioux YMCA now known as The YMCA of the Seven Council Fires on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. 

Don Gardner, our YMCA chapter representative for the National Service Project shared with those attending the picnic that the campaign to date has raised $540,000 towards the campaign goal of $600,000 among the retirees of the 17 National YMCA Alumni Chapters across the USA. 

A big thank you for the 38 gifts from our chapter members for your generosity. 




Don Kerr
Upper Midwest YMCA Alumni President
It was picnic time again;
Lone Lake Park June 28
Our annual summer picnic was held June 28 at Lone Lake Park in Minnetonka, Minn. Pictured are Back Row L-R: John Duntley, Don Gardner, Garth Felty, Lauri Hanson, Kathy Carlson, Dick Carlson, Don Kerr, Paul Gausmann, Sandy Stooke, Ken and Karen Landro; Front Row L-R: Mary Felty, Marji Miller, Gail Sarfehjoo, Nancy Weidler, Diana Gausmann, Sue Erickson and Phyllis Kerr.
Two speakers update members on
YMCA of the North, Alliance Services
Karen Larson, YMCA of The North Executive Vice-President of Operations and Finance, was one of our guest speakers for this year's picnic. 

Karen updated our members regarding the current status of the YMCA in its third year of recovering from the COVID challenges. 

She shared that the YMCA is making significant progress towards returning to the 2019 operational levels with its child care programs, YMCA resident and summer day camping and several branches. 

The YMCA staffing and membership levels are currently between 70 and 75 percent of pre-COVID levels. A big thank you to Karen for sharing updates and answering our members' questions.
Our second speaker was Chris Stenberg, new Director of YMCA Alliance Services for Minnesota, Upper Wisconsin and UP Michigan, replacing Mark Hennessy who retired last year. 

Chris was the Executive Director of the Superior Family YMCA prior to becoming the Director of YMCA Alliance Services. He said he is enjoying his new responsibilities and reported that the Great Minnesota YMCAs are coming back from the COVID challenges with membership ranging from 60 to 100 percent return from 2019 membership levels. 

The YMCA Alliances met regularly and sometimes even weekly during the peak of the COVID challenges. The YMCA Camps in the Alliances are back to 90 to 100 percent capacities, again from 2019 levels. 
Reunion '22: Have you registered yet?
July 31 is last day to be an early bird
Be sure to register no later than July 31 for Reunion '22 Nov. 2-4, 2022 in New Orleans.

You'll be eligible to win one of 10, $100 bills for use at one of the Reunion's Dinner with Friends evenings.

Join us in "The Big Easy" and let the good times roll. Click the button for details and to register.
National Service Project:
Work is underway
at Tiny Home Village
The largest service project ever undertaken by YMCA Alumni is off and running, and you can be a part of this amazing opportunity.

YMCA Alumni members from across the country have converged on the YMCA of the Seven Council Fires (formerly known as the Sioux YMCA) in Dupree, SD, this summer to launch the project, which will provide transitional housing for reservation members in need of temporary housing assistance in the form of a village of tiny homes adjacent to the YMCA headquarters in Dupree, as well as expanding YMCA services throughout the reservation with "twigs" (small branches).

In addition to rewarding work with plenty of instruction and training, volunteers are treated to delicious meals, cultural activities, and sightseeing trips to some of the major attractions in the area. 

The first two waves of YMCA Alumni volunteers prepared the foundations for four tiny homes, got supplies and equipment organized, and safely secured pre-engineered insulated wall and roof panels on site in June. In July, two additional waves of volunteers are beginning to install the walls and roof panels.

Volunteers are now being recruited for Wave 6, which will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 7. The fall waves will paint, do interior work, and prepare the surrounding grounds for the onset of winter. No prior experience is needed. All training and instruction is provided on site. 

Visit www.tinyurl.com/wawokiye to register and get more information. Send questions to the project email address of alumniy515@gmail.com. Locally, we would like to track volunteers and share your stories. Please contact Jeri Glick-Anderson at 651-235-7712 (leave a message) or ejerianders@gmail.com to let us know of your plans.

Dates for volunteering in 2023 will be announced in the coming months. 
Join your friends and colleagues for an experience you will never forget! 
Travel Club is 'on the go' again
Three trips long planned by your YMCA Alumni Travel Club are finally on the road (or water) again. The Royal Caribbean President's Cruise to Alaska has just returned from a great time in "The Last Frontier." Colorado's Historic Trains heads out early next month and thrice-postponed Viking Ocean Cruise Trade Routes of the Middle Ages catches the waves in late September. All three are sold out.

Be sure to read GOING PLACES, our Travel Club newsletter, included in the Aug. 1 issue of The CONNECTION for news of trips on the horizon for 2023. Space is always limited so do not delay signing up.
Chapter leaders
President: Don Kerr 
Secretary: Linda Ramacier 
Treasurer/Membership: Brigid Nault
EAF/World Service: Doug Petersen
Caring & Concern: Gary Lewis 
Member-At-Large: Mary Felty
YMCA Alumni Mission:
"...to enable members to promote a nurturing worldwide Christian Fellowship that provides educational, social, service and charitable opportunities."