Football in the Spring, First Ladies, too

Join us in Canton, Ohio June 15-17


Detailed schedule and registration info will be emailed to everyone later this month. 

Activities will include: First Ladies Museum, Pro Football Hall of Fame, MAPS Museum, Warther’s Museum, golf, dinner & lunch gatherings and plenty of socializing. Our hotel is the Doubletree.


Join us for the entire event or just come for the day on Thursday. 

YMCA Alumni
William S. Chambers Chapter
Ohio * W. Virginia * N. Kentucky * W. Pennsylvania

March 2024 * View as Webpage

From our President: Connie Clark

'A focus on love and connections'

I have written several times about relationships among YMCA Alumni based upon our past experiences.

Today, I am thinking about future relationships and experiences. For those of you who have not attended one of our reunions and chapter meetings, I want to encourage you to find a fellow Y retiree and make plans to join us.

Attendees do not have to be members of the chapter to come to one of our reunions. You can bring along a friend, a spouse, another Y person you know. Whomever you would enjoy sharing an experience of friendship, fellowship, service or just learning about something new.


Some examples of what folks in the chapter are doing:

·      Spring YMCA Alumni Reunion and meeting in Canton, Ohio June 5-7. Save the date info is included above, then watch for more specific details and registration info to be sent out within the next few weeks. 

Reunion activities will include the newly expanded Football Hall of Fame tour and campus along with plenty of time for fellowship. Come for all of the reunion activities or just come for the day if you’d prefer not to spend the night. We just hope you’ll consider joining us.

·      We have many of our chapter members going to Dupree, South Dakota for our YMCA Alumni National Service Project on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation where we are building tiny homes. My husband and I were there two summers ago, and it was a life-changing experience. Information on the project is also in the newsletter.

·      You can volunteer to help from home if you are unable to travel. We have sub committees working on the project, planning for reunions and other service projects such as World Service, International Service Corps (ISC) and the Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF). Reports from these committees are included in this newsletter.


Please join us in whatever way you can. You can renew old friendships, create new ones, travel to somewhere of interest, and continue to be of service in our YMCA movement. Come Join Us!

Connie Clark

Chambers YMCA Alumni Chapter President

Member Musings...

with Mary Moomaw

In March 1981, a recent graduate from University of Dayton, I answered an ad in the Dayton Daily News that said something like: Dayton Central YMCA is seeking a Youth Director. Annual salary $10,646.

I sent my resume to Harry Bradbury who hired me and coached me through my first few years as a YMCA professional. He explained the importance of the YMCA Retirement Fund, introduced me to Leaders Club, and made sure I got started on the right track with my YMCA certifications.


While the Youth Director role goes by another name and looks very different in today’s YMCAs, I was fortunate enough to spend the first two years of my YMCA career focused on building strong young women and men.

Youth basketball ruled every Saturday morning in the winter and day camp kept me busy all summer. Swimming lessons for kids 8 months through 12 years happened year round, too. Through Leaders Club, I helped young people develop into their best selves while doing the same for myself. I think I had as much fun and learned as much as the kids did during those early years.


The YMCA provided a solid foundation for my long and satisfying nonprofit career. Thank you, Harry Bradbury, for the role you played in getting me started on the right track.

Photos: Top -- Mary Moomaw; Bottom -- Harry Bradbury

ISC and the Tijuana, Mexico YMCA:

You can help

By Wayne Uhrig, Chair

The YMCA Home in Tijuana opened its doors in 1991 to provide a safe space for children and adolescents who at that time were deported from the United States and released into the streets of Tijuana without any protection. Since then, 46,200 migrant children have received YMCA support including housing, food, communication and reunification with their families as well as other comprehensive services to meet their needs.

Currently, the Tijuana House provides support and protection to adolescents from 13 -17 years old deported from the United States, asylum seekers in the United States, Mexicans and various nationalities who come from the south displaced by violence and lack of opportunities, and finally adolescent refugees in Mexico who plan to rebuild their life in the city of Tijuana and transition to adult life.

Support the YMCA Home with: Donations via YMCA World Service. Please write YMCA HOME in the comments box. Items in their wish list, see below.


  • Clothes: t-shirts, shorts, sport clothes, pants, underwear, socks, hoodies in small and medium size, for teenagers of 12 -17 years old. For girls and boys.
  • Shoes: tennis shoes and flip flops of all sizes. Mainly:
  • Women sizes 5 to 7 US
  • Men sizes 5 to 9
  • Hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, toothbrush and toothpaste, styling cream, talcum powder, soap, deodorant, bath sponge.
  • Medicines: Diaper rash cream, ibuprofen, cough syrup, cold and flu relief, decongestant spray for nose, headache relief (aspirin), diarrhea relief and sanitary towel pads.
  • Cleaning supplies: trash bags, brooms and mops, liquid laundry detergent, downy, dish soap, hands soap, toilet paper and paper towels.
  • School and craft supplies: notebooks, pencils, markers, crayons, glue, tape, copy paper, folders, puzzles, table games, etc.


Amazon maintains a wish list where you may purchase items for migrant youth in Tijuana. Click the green button below:

Amazon Wishlist

National Service Project:

'Ready to go for '24'

By Steve Gunn, Chair

The National Service Project is off to a great start in 2024 with over 109 volunteers signed up for the five waves in 2024. 

I am so excited that our Chambers Chapter has 9 volunteers committed to going this year and a possibility of 1-2 more before the waves begin in May. 

Yours truly and a Y friend will be going the first week of May to "unpack" the other three home panels (walls and roof) so that the remaining waves can erect the completion of all homes in 2024. We are presently nearly complete with our first and it will be done by September. The second home is well along.

The National Service Project funding is going well, but we can still use some additional funds as with any project. The Standing Committee has taken on the responsibility to furnish the Appliance and Furnishings Package for each tiny home. Costs include the range, refrigerator and washer/dryer combination at a cost of $4,170 per home. We need four packages. There might be someone from our Chambers Chapter or a friend who would love to be a part of this phase as well. Thank you in advance.

The National Service Project website has been updated with new pictures, volunteer information, donor information and behind the scenes information for the project. Check it out. You might be able to see some of our volunteers and friends from the chapter. Just click the red button below.

Thanks for all your support of our project. It is making a difference in so many lives both now and in the future.

Service Project Website

Update: Emergency Assistance Fund

By Keith and Becky Lands, Co-Chairs

With the New Year, it is time to consider making a contribution for 2024 to the Emergency Assistance Fund. Donation to this fund helps our colleagues who are experiencing challenging times, such as illness, personal injury, loss of homes because of fires, floods or other disasters.

Your donation will help insure the EAF is able to support the fund for this year. Any donation is appreciated. Together we can make sure that the EAF is able to help when needed.

Click the button below to securely donate to EAF online. Or, send your check to EAF, YMCA of the USA, 101 N. Upper Wacker Dr., 16th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606.

“The time is always right to do the right thing!" -- Dr. Martin Luther King


YMCA World Service:

We exceeded our chapter goal in 2023

By Tony Delisio, World Service Chair

Thank you for helping us to exceed our World Service goal in 2023. Last year, 26 Chambers Chapter members contributed $6,130 to World Service. Total YMCA Alumni Giving was $254,412 and overall $3,141,800 was raised.


I get it now! Yesterday, I attended the webinar: “Ukraine – Solidarity in Action: YMCA’s Impactful Response.” It is no longer a war that is going on in some distant part of the world. Seeing their faces and listening to their experiences made it real for me. The work that young people are doing in Ukraine, Europe and around the world is beyond impressive.

Participating in the Ukraine webinar gave me hope. It may do the same for you. I encourage you to check it out for yourself by clicking on the link below.

Thanks again for your generous support of YMCA World Service last year. We hope you all will join us in giving this year.

Thank you for Changing the World for Good

Donate to World Service

A Little Bit of History

John R. Mott:

A full and accomplished life

By Bill McCallister, Chapter Historian

Most of us grizzled Y retirees will remember the name John R. Mott. Many YMCA professionals have benefited from Mott Foundation professional development and educational scholarships. This article tells about his very full and accomplished life.

John Mott was born in Livingston Manor, New York in 1865 and raised in Postville, Iowa. He married Leila Ada White of Wooster, Ohio, in 1891; they had four children, two sons and two daughters. He attended Cornell University and graduated in 1988.

It was at Cornell where he heard a lecture by J. Kynaston Studd. Three sentences in Studd’s speech, he said, prompted his lifelong service of presenting Christ to students: "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."

While an undergraduate, he built the Cornell University Christian Association into the largest and most active YMCA chapter on American campuses and served as its president. A one-year assignment upon graduation as traveling secretary with the intercollegiate YMCA stretched into 44 years of service as its student secretary (1888-1915) and general secretary (1915-1931).

His charisma, evangelical fervor, and call for the “evangelization of the world in this generation” at successive Student Volunteer Movement conferences resulted in enlistment of over 20,000 missionary volunteers by 1951.

During World War I, when the YMCA offered its services to President Wilson, Mott became general secretary of the National War Work Council, receiving the Distinguished Service Medal for his work. For the YMCA, he kept up international contacts as circumstances allowed and helped to conduct relief work for prisoners of war in various countries. He chaired the United War Work Campaign which raised $200,000,000 in 1918.

He was awarded the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize as the head of the YMCA. According to the Nobel Committee, he had "contributed to the creation of a peace-promoting religious brotherhood across national boundaries."

The sum of Mott’s work makes an impressive record: he wrote sixteen books in his chosen field; crossed the Atlantic over one hundred times and the Pacific fourteen times, averaging thirty-four days on the ocean per year for fifty years; delivered thousands of speeches; chaired innumerable conferences.

Among the honorary awards which he received are: decorations from China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jerusalem, Poland, Portugal, Siam, Sweden, and the United States; six honorary degrees from the universities of Brown, Edinburgh, Princeton, Toronto, Yale, and Upper Iowa; and an honorary degree from the Russian Orthodox Church of Paris.

He died in Orlando, FL in 1955 and is interred in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. A YMCA Alumni chapter in the Central Region is named for him.

(Photo: John R. Mott)

Join Us for a Reunion-at-Sea

January 26-February 2, 2025

Our seven-night Reunion-at-Sea cruise will depart from the brand new Royal Caribbean port in Galveston, Texas and includes relaxing days at sea and delightful port stops in Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Check out the video for a look at our first port stop in beautiful Roatan and more info on our cruise. Click the button below for details and to register.


Inspiration: 'Love one another'

I recently attended a concert by Drake at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. While it is not my genre of music, Drake is a singer and rapper from Canada. He drew 17,000 on a Tuesday and Wednesday night in Columbus.


I was fascinated when he stopped the concert and said the following, “I know the 17,000 here tonight come from different roads. Some of you are happy, some are sad, some just don’t know what to think about life. I am going to ask you to stop and find someone you didn’t come with and say, “It is okay and you are okay!”


Similarly, I would ask each of you reading this to stop and remember “you are okay” and then spread that word to someone else today. As we enter a time of Lent, a sense of new life, let’s remember why we love the YMCA and our work. It is to make our communities better and doing it one life at a time.

Remember, the greatest commandment, Love One Another! I hope each of you have a great spring and enjoy this time of renewal in our lives and in our surroundings.

--Mike Lieber, Chapter Spiritual Lead

(Photo: Aubrey Drake Graham)


An editor's note...

By Sue Smith, Chambers Chatter Editor

I hope everyone is off to a great start to the year in 2024!  My start to the year has included an amazing trip to the Rose Bowl to cheer my team to victory followed by a wonderful month in Florida for February. 

Both of these trips included treasured time with friends from my YMCA career – friendships that have lasted more than 40 years. I am so grateful for these relationships and it’s all because of the connection we all have through our work with the Y. 

On that note, I’d like to thank our Spring Fling Committee of Keith Lands, Karol Jones, Cinda Orr and Faith Patton for all their work planning the upcoming reunion. Watch your email for more details and we hope you can join us for this great event. 

I’d also like to thank Mary Moomaw for sharing some of her early memories of her YMCA career in this edition, this is the first of a new feature that we’ll include with each newsletter. I’ll be reaching out to others in our membership for future editions or you can just let me know if you have a story to share. 

Chapter leaders

President: Connie Clark

1st VP: Lowell Nees

2nd VP: Tony Delisio

Secretary: Mike Lieber

Treasurer: John Mack

Immediate Past President: Mike Frith

Editor: Sue Smith

Click on name to send email.

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