We wish you a
Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year
Connect Travel Serve

A special welcome to our new members. We are happy to bring you lots of good news. The chapter will have new leaders starting in January; there are many ways for you to get involved with YMCA Alumni; we have continued our chapter support of 5 YMCA charities; the new National Service Project is making great progress. 
As your outgoing co-chairs, we want to thank all of you for your friendship and your loyalty to YMCA Alumni. Despite COVID, we have managed to keep in touch through newsletters and Zoom. It has been a pleasure to work with you. We wish the new team great success, and we stand ready to help wherever needed.

Bonnie and Ralph
Bonnie Mairs and Ralph Christian, co-presidents

Welcome to our new chapter leaders
McBurney-Morse Chapter members met at the Westfield Community YMCA, N.J., and elected new leaders for a three-year term starting January 1, 2022. John Hedbavny made the nominating committee report and the new team was elected unanimously. They will find ways to involve members and keep in touch.

Charles “ Chuck” Ainsworth is our new President. "I am pleased to have been elected President. The chapter leadership is a resolute team of retired Y career professionals with a demonstrated concern for continued contribution of YMCA retirees in the arena of human services and their continued engagement with each other. I look forward to being a contributing member.”

Chuck and his wife, Maryan, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Maryan retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York after a 43-year career, in later years as the Alvaro Saieh Curator of European Paintings. They live in Old Greenwich, CT and are expecting their first grandchild in January.

Chuck’s educational background includes a B.A. from Oberlin College, M.A. from Middlebury College earned at the University of Mainz in Germany and M.A. from Columbia University. His professional career began in 1976 as Associate Dean of Student Development at St. John’s University, serving the needs of its international student population. This led to a position as Director of the International Student Service with the New York-based YMCA of the USA.

This unit was later absorbed by the YMCA of Greater New York. He has served as Director of Planning at the YMCA of Greater New York, Executive of the Flatbush Branch YMCA and then CEO of the Stamford, CT YMCA. He then became a consultant with both the Y-USA and the New York YMCA, and finally the New York Y’s Vice President for Special Projects. He retired in 2013.

Janice A. Carthens will be Vice President for Membership. Janice retired as the Senior Director - Member Services from the Westfield Area Y in April 2020. Her 24 year YMCA career included positions at YMCA of Greater NY, Metro YMCA of the Oranges, Y-USA and the YMCA of Eastern Union County. She has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration from Springfield College, a YMCA Organizational Leadership certification and was a Y-USA national trainer.
Presently, Janice is a lector, a part of Hope Heals ministry providing various volunteer services for cancer patients, and a core team member of her church. She is also an active YMCA member. She enjoys yoga and swimming, taking Spanish and golf lessons, traveling with her fiancé Bruce and spending time with her grandson Austin.

Kurt Kaboth will be Treasurer for a second term. Kurt is happily retired with his wife Katherine in Asbury Park, N.J. after working for the YMCA Retirement Fund, Eastern Christian Schools, the National Council of Churches, Yale University, and several presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  

He is currently a board member or officer of the World Fellowship of YMCA Retirees, the Y Youth Foundation of the Central Atlantic Area, and several Harold. C Smith trusts. He also serves as a trustee of the new Presbytery of the Coastlands and on their Permanent Judicial Commission. 

George Painter is the chapter’s representative on the National Service Project Standing Committee. He is also the volunteer construction manager for the entire Tiny Homes project. He worked in YMCA camping for over 45 years as a program director and executive director at the Schenectady, Capital District and Philadelphia YMCAs. 

George led fundraising efforts and managed the investment of over $12 million in program and facility improvements during his tenure. He and his wife Cathy, who is a teacher, live in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake George.

John Hedbavny is a Member at Large. John has retired twice, first in 2004 as Camp Sloane YMCA’s executive director and then in 2011 from the International Branch of the Y of Greater New York. He and his wife Ann live in the NW corner of Connecticut. He stays active with his Rotary Club, Springfield College Alumni Association’s CT chapter, two local boards and working on his family tree. He says, “Spending time with my four grandchildren tops my list!”
Last call to renew your membership
Member renewal
Our YMCA Alumni membership drive runs until Dec. 31. Renew the easy way - online: Just click on the button below, fill out the renewal form, add your credit card info and be certain to hit "submit."
Chapter meeting notes...
Westfield Area YMCA, Nov. 3, 2021
Notes by John Hedbavny
Co-chair Bonnie Mairs welcomed the 25 present and asked all member to introduce themselves.
Mark Elasser, Westfield YMCA CEO since 2002, welcomed all and expressed his pleasure to be hosting the McBurney-Morse Chapter of YMCA Alumni.
Ralph Christian, chapter co-chair and emcee for the day, expressed appreciation for the turnout, noting the difficulties for retirees in N.J. to get to chapter meetings in NYC and the challenges during COVID times.
Chapter Treasurer, Kurt Kaboth, gave the Treasurer’s Report. As of September 2021, the chapter has a balance of $3,936.01. Kurt proposed, and the members approved, continued support of our traditional charities: YMCA Haiti, YMCA World Service (Jerusalem International YMCA), Secours Speciaux, Sioux YMCA and the Emergency Assistance Fund at $200 per charity.
The Nominating Committee’s report was given by John Hedbavny, who prefaced the report by thanking Bonnie and Ralph for their service and leadership co-chairing the chapter for the past four years. The new leaders (see above article) were elected unanimously.
Chuck Ainsworth spoke briefly indicating he was looking forward to working with everyone and serving the chapter.
Lunch was arranged by Janice A. Carthens, with a blessing offered by Paul Sharar.
George Painter was our featured program speaker. George is the McBurney Morse Chapter representative to the YMCA Alumni National Service Project. He gave a wonderful and informative presentation, with slides and commentary, explaining the national project involving members as volunteers to build and create “tiny homes" that will transform and improve the community on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, location of the Sioux YMCA.

He equated the effort to a Habitat-for-Humanity-like project for YMCA Alumni. As there are seventeen YMCA Alumni chapters nationally, the team plans to raise $600K with each chapter pledging to raise $20K over the next three years. The official fundraising launch begins in Jan. 2022, with a goal of raising $100K by March for the first phase. By the end of his presentation, those present had pledged more than $9,000.
Watch for full details of our
National Service Project in January
Meantime: Click HERE with questions
Chapter members will 'let the good times roll' at Reunion '22.
There's still time to register
Members of our chapter will "let the good times roll" in New Orleans during YMCA Alumni Reunion '22. There's still time to make a decision to attend. Just click the button below.

Here the chapter members already registered:
Janice Carthens, Ruth Cunningham, Bob Hastedt, Ruth and Bruce Higgins, Kurt Kabboth
and Bonnie Mairs.
About us...
Reported by Ralph Christian...

Eleanor Collier: Lakewood, NJ
Last year Ellie sold her beautiful home in Lakewood, New Jersey, where she and her late husband Tom hosted several chapter events. Tom served as our chapter treasurer for over a decade. Already in her nineties. Ellie is one of our longest serving chapter members. Recently, she has spent much of her time with her children and grandchildren in Ohio, Massachusetts, and New Jersey Ellie wrote that during these visits, she was well spoiled by the family but common-sense virus protection was always a high priority. Ellie sends greetings and is sorry she could not come to the Nov. 3 meeting.
Bob Hastedt: Staten Island, NY
Bob has been busy as one of the prime caregivers to his elderly father in Saugerties, New York. Though Bob is an active member in several YMCA Alumni chapters, McBurney/Morse is his home chapter. Bob has served as our local treasurer and president and presently is treasurer for our National YMCA Alumni. He also was treasurer for the Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF). Bob will be attending the YMCA Alumni Reunion '22 in New Orleans.
Kurt Haas: Sparta, NJ
Kurt has been a chapter member for over 10 years. He attended the Nov. 3 meeting, said it went very well and that having it at a convenient location in New Jersey was a plus. Kurt and his family have avoided any medical issues relative to the virus. They enjoy traveling to the Caribbean. Though they were forced to cancel a trip there because of the pandemic, they did get to visit Key West, Florida. When asked about his plans for the near future, Kurt’s response was “To stay healthy and to raise my golf score”.
Alice Bonnie Mairs, New York, NY
Bonnie spends her summers at her cabin in Ely, Minnesota, known for its canoe area wilderness. Her cabin is right on a lake, so close she could fish out the window. She sometimes sees a bear in her yard searching for food. She has an ongoing battle with a local beaver colony that regularly dams up a stream, flooding the road and blocking her access to town. Bonnie enjoys having her young relatives and their friends come to visit. Every summer Bonnie makes the 1,400 mile drive from NYC to Ely, and the same distance back in the fall with only her cat as her navigator.
Ralph and Ronnie Christian, Sag Harbor, NY
For Ralph and Ronnie, 2021 has been a year of both very concerning and very joyous experiences. At the end of 2020, they both were dealing with the corona virus. After excellent medical care, prayers and support from family and friends, they were on the road to recovery. In August of 2021, they traveled to Indianapolis to spend a few months with their son’s family. Time with their four beautiful granddaughters was busy and very joyful. Now fully vaccinated including their boosters, they were able to celebrate Ronnie’s Milestone birthday with some friends in a Manhattan restaurant overlooking the New York’s beautiful East River; “We count our Blessings”.
Travel with us in 2022
Have you checked out all the YMCA Alumni Travel Club has to offer in 2022? Head to
the Travel Club website and start exploring -- lots of new trips. Isn't it time to get going again?
ISC volunteer opportunities
1.    Teach conversational English and swimming at a Dominican Republic YMCA for 2 – 6 months.

2.    Join week-long team helping Camp Marrowbone (Sioux YMCA) get ready for summer. June 2022.

Contact Wayne Uhrig.
Chapter Leaders

Co-Presidents: Bonnie Mairs, Ralph Christian
Treasurer: Kurt Kaboth

Click on name in blue to send email.

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