Mike Bussey and the late Jim Stooke were inducted this summer into the YMCA Hall of Fame at the 2023 National YMCA General Assembly in Atlanta. The YMCA of the North recently hosted a recognition for the Bussey and Stooke families at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul.

Left photo (L-R): Mike and Marcia Bussey, Harold Mezile, former President/CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, John Bussey, and Glen Gunderson, President/CEO of the YMCA of the North. Right photo (L-R): Harold Mezile, Sandy Stooke and grandson Paul Kern, Glen Gunderson.

Serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

September 2023 * View as Webpage

Our Summer Picnic

Front row L-R: Jenice Schroetke, Deanna Sande, Jeri Glick-Anderson, Yvonne Anderson, Sue Erickson, Alan & Patricia Spillers, Sandy Stooke, Marge Meffert, & Don Kerr; Second row L-R: Helen Nelson, Kate Carlson & Steve Harris; Back row L-R: Linda Ramacier, Garth & Mary Felty, Dick Carlson, Gary Lewis, Sue Harris, Paul Gausmann, Don Gardner and Tom Kranz.

Hello Craig,

We enjoyed our YMCA Alumni Chapter summer picnic on a beautiful day at Lone Lake Park on June 20. Thanks to all who were able to attend!


As part of the program, Don Gardner and Jeri Glick-Anderson shared their experiences as volunteers on the Wave #1 construction team at the YMCA of the Seven Council Fires last May. Both reported they enjoyed the entire week, the cultural experience was very positive, and friends were made with work team members from around the country and with local staff.

YMCA Alumni members are encouraged to participate in upcoming Work Waves. Eight more are being organized in 2023 and 2024. Email Jeri Glick-Anderson for more information.

Don Kerr

Upper Midwest Chapter YMCA Alumni President

Mark your calendar

for our Christmas Luncheon:

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Join us at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul, on Tuesday December 5, 2023, for our Annual Christmas luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A registration form will be sent to you in late October. We look forward to returning to our annual schedule of a Christmas Luncheon, a Summer Picnic, and other special program opportunities this year. (Photo: Christmas 2023)

Wherefore art thou, ROMEOS?

Roosevelt High and the Y connection

Left: ROMEOS at Operation Holiday Basket time; Right: The late “Mac” McInroy (left) and Gary Lewis.

Roosevelt High School in South Minneapolis celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Quite a legacy for a local school whose graduates include a recent Academy Award nominee, a famous general, and a student named Jim Janos later known as Jesse Ventura who went on to become…oh well, that’s another story.

Even that one has a YMCA connection. Roosevelt High School has amazing Y connections.

In the early 1970s, the school had 3,100 students. About 2,200 of them were (or had been) involved in Y youth programs. For years the Hiawatha YMCA across the street was home-base for Gra-Y, Hi-Y, Indian Guides, Youth in Government, Y camps, and more. One summer, YMCA Kici Yapi had 36 counselors. 35 were from Roosevelt.

The Y ran Roosevelt school dances, homecoming, graduation parties and more. You couldn’t tell where Roosevelt High School started and where the YMCA left off. Hiawatha was honored as the best community Y in the nation.

The entire community benefited from that. Y leaders, led by Hiawatha Executive Director Gary Lewis, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Roosevelt faculty like Freeman (Mac) McInroy, organized Operation Holiday Basket to support South Minneapolis families in need. In its first year, 66 families received help; that number soon grew into the hundreds.

Memories are nice, but there’s more to it than that. That YMCA/Roosevelt connection continues. That’s where we find our ROMEOS. “Roosevelt Old Men Eating Out Socially,” that is. A group of them meets monthly (every 3rd Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at a local VFW). Their email list has 66 names, and each month you’ll find at least a dozen, some times as many as forty, depending on the time of year.

ROMEOS do more than reminisce. “Last year 26 of us donated $11,2000 towards Operation Holiday Basket,” says Gary Lewis. “We had an extremely close-knit group at Roosevelt. We treasure those memories and friendships. The YMCA meant a lot to us. It still does. That’s what being a ROMEO is all about.”

We Need You

We’re seeking members for our Chapter Executive Committee. Please email Nominating Committee chair Mary Felty, or call her at (612) 309-7958. 

Fundraising update:

National Service Project

The Upper Midwest Chapter YMCA Alumni Campaign has given a total of $35,000 to the National YMCA Alumni Project on the Cheyenne River Reservation for the YMCA of the Seven Council Fires. We are building four tiny homes with priority for Single Parent Mothers and placing several "twigs" (small Y branches) in remote areas of the reservation. (Photo: first home nears completion).

The 2023 Upper Midwest Chapter Campaign raised $20,000 from 26 donors. Donations also were received from the YMCA of the North, the Missouri Valley Family YMCA, and the Minot Family YMCA. 

The 2022 Chapter YMCA Alumni Campaign raised $15,000 from 33 YMCA Alumni Chapter members.

The National YMCA Alumni Fund Raising Campaign for the project is currently at $811,000 of the $850,000 goal. The focus on national foundation support has been good to date and will be continued in 2024. The YMCA of the Seven Council Fires annual operating budget has grown to $1,700,000, and its Endowment Fund has reached $1,100,000. 

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported this National YMCA Alumni project!

The construction of four mini-homes continues. Jeri Glick-Anderson (photo right), her husband, Charles, and our National YMCA Alumni Chapter Representative Don Gardner, were in the Work Wave #1 last May.

Plan right NOW to be part of YMCA Alumni’s Reunion at Sea aboard the fabulous Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Jan. 26-Feb.2, 2025 for a 7-night cruise into the beautiful Western Caribbean. No worries: You may cancel up until October 2024... but cabins are going fast, so register right now.

Reunion at Sea

Adventures at a glance

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

April 21-May 3, 2024: Atlantic Crossing to Italy

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

Jan. 26-Feb. 2, 2025 Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

June 17-July 3, 2025 Land of the Midnight Sun & Summer Solstice Cruise

Sold Out: See what happens when you delay: Mackinac Island & Grand Hotel; Gems of the Danube River Cruise (both 2023) and Scottish Dream and Military Tatoo (2024) all sold out!

Click to Travel Club
Chapter leaders

President: Don Kerr 

Secretary: Linda Ramacier 

Treasurer/Membership: Mary Felty

Caring & Concern: Gary Lewis

Member-At-Large: Sandy Stooke

Programs: Marjorie Miller

Newsletter/Communication: Steve Harris





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