Connect Travel Serve
It's a 'color-fall' gathering Sept. 20-22
at Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center

Plan now for a Fall gathering you will want to attend. Our chapter is partnering with the New England Chapter to bring YMCA Alumni members together in September at the beautiful Silver Bay YMCA Conference & Family Retreat Center on Lake George, N.Y. September 20-22, 2022. The committee is now working to plan sessions that will be of interest to all of us. There are wonderful recreation options for groups and individuals and, of course, plenty of time to connect and catch up with friends and former colleagues.

The package price includes two nights, three days, five meals and all activities at $184 per person double occupancy; $274 single occupancy. Recreational activities available include kayaking, archery, tennis, volleyball, hiking, walking, horseshoes, pickle ball, fitness center use, yoga, nearby golf and just relaxing by the lake. 

The planning committee includes: McBurney Morse Chapter John Hedbavny, Cathy Guay, Mark and Gail Rutkowski, and Chuck Ainsworth. New England chapter: Nancy Bonell and Karen Leslie. The Mid-Atlantic chapter also has been invited to join us. 

This meeting is another effort to move chapter events around the chapter service area so that more members can participate. We were in Westfield, NJ in November and Albany, NY in March. Now Silver Bay will welcome us in September. Autumn on Lake George will be wonderful. Please plan to join us. Stay tuned for more information and how to register.
'A very good day...'
Albany meeting successful
President Chuck Ainsworth recently convened a group of chapter leaders and members at the newly reopened New York State Museum in Albany, NY in an effort to reach out to members in the upstate area. 

One member described it as “an encouraging success with joyful fellowship… a very good day.“ The program included a review of our recent membership growth and a passionate challenge from George Painter urging us to become more ”laser focused” on supporting the YMCA Alumni National Service Project in partnership with the Sioux YMCA in South Dakota. 

The chapter provided a wonderful lunch for members, more than enough for take home snacks. Members visited the excellent museum exhibits including the Adirondack Hall and the New York Metropolis Hall before and after the meeting.
Our chapter covers all of New York State and northern New Jersey. Getting together is difficult. Chuck feels that moving chapter meetings to different parts of the service area is an initiative that may lead our chapter to adopt the YMCA Alumni State Ambassadors Program.

That program aims to convene retired YMCA staff in small settings throughout the chapters nationwide through informal lunch meetings in easily accessible locations. More members may be encouraged to become involved in other YMCA Alumni activities through this program.

(Photo: Adirondack Wilderness Exhibit, N.Y. State Museum)
Our numbers are growing...
Janice A. Carthens, Vice President/Membership, reports that, as of April 15, we have 82 members in our McBurney-Morse Chapter.
Current members 2022 – 82; Total units 2022 - 54
Current members 2021 – 60; Total units 2021 - 40
Year to date increase – 37 percent; YTD unit increase – 35 percent

These increases are the result of considerable effort by our new leadership team. Chuck and Janice contacted all the eligible persons on a very long list of retirees in our area and invited them to join. Those who joined, and the newly retired members who chose to, receive a free first year membership.

Welcome new Members:
Duane Barwell, Ira and Carol Besdansky, Roberta Bisignano, Frank Blair, Robin Byrne, Gene deManicor, William and Gaelen Doughman, Paula and John Gavin, Kathleen Guay, John Kozlowski, Paula LaManna, Paul McAndrew, Mark Lenzi, Jim Letts and Pam Podsiado, Katie and Jim McAdoo, Phillip Murray, Constance Nyman, Gregory Puchalski, Lucy and Kenneth Reedy, Janet and Gregory Smith. 
National Service Project ready to roll in May; click white arrow above
George Painter, our chapter representative on the National Service Project Standing Committee, is also the person in charge of actually building the tiny houses. He went to South Dakota a few weeks ago to “scope out” the site.

George has a busy summer and fall ahead – spending six weeks at the building site with the "waves" of volunteers come and go to Dupree. He also is getting his home ready for his daughter’s wedding in the fall. 

Thus far, the national campaign has raised $521,879 in support of the three-year project, with our chapter members listed below making pledges and donations totaling $43,950. The member fundraising. campaign has ended for 2022 and will resume in January. For further project updates, the donation page, and the page for registering to volunteer at the site, click the button below.  

A big Thank You to our generous chapter donors: Chuck Ainsworth, Clark Ainsworth, Dorothy M. Ainsworth, Dave Berry, Emily Borland, Thomas Boyton, Krystal R.Canady, Janice A. Carthens, Ralph and Eleanor Christian, Sherilyn Cognetti, Bob Conley, Paul Custer, Ray Day, Elaine and Fred Edmonds, Paula Ehoff, Paula Gavin, Bob Hastedt, John Hedbavny, Melvin Hill, Kathy Dunn and Bill Hutchins, John Jorgenson, Kurt Kaboth, Barry Kroll, Clark Lagemann, Ken Lagemann, Jim Letts, William Lovett, Alice Lundrigan, Bonnie Mairs, Jim and Katie McAdoo, Alane McCahey, George Painter, Greg Puchalski, Raquel. D. Merlino, Paul Sharar, Kathleen Spencer, Greer St. John and Hal Welsh.
YMCA Alumni Travel Club 2022 adventures are waiting for you;
Register now to be sure of space
Click the white arrow above to
learn about our Travel Club
Escape winter Feb. 25-March 3, 2023 with the YMCA Alumni Travel Club on this affordable adventure to Costa Rica’s natural paradise.
We're heading to Egypt April 29-May 4, 2023. Home of the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt is a destination full of dazzling temples and tombs that wow all who visit.
Early bird registration on now for
Reunion '22 in New Orleans;
Let the good times roll
Plan to join us at YMCA Alumni Reunion '22 set for the Big Easy of New Orleans Nov. 2-4, 2022.
Early birds are eligible to win one of ten $100 bills to be used at one of our "Dinner with Friends" evenings at the reunion. You must be registered by July 31 to be eligible. So, don't delay. The postponement from January was a blessing in disguise: November is one of the nicest weather months of the year in NOLA. Click the button below for details and to register.
About us...
Reported by Ralph Christian...

James Letts Ballston Spa, N.Y. - James started his YMCA work in the 1970s at Camp Hazen YMCA, near Chester, Conn. He served in leadership roles in several YMCAs throughout the region. He was so impressed with our National Service Project that he is considering taking his 13-year-old son to Dupree, S.D. next year to help build the Tiny Houses.

William Doughman, Stone Ridge, N.Y. - Bill served with the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County for more than 30 years, with Special Projects, Government and Community Relations, Adult Education and other leadership responsibilities. A Springfield College graduate, Bill looks forward to connecting with other Springfield Alums in the chapter. Bill has two adult children.

Mark and Gail Rutkowski, Walworth, N.Y. - Mark and Gail both have years of service with the YMCA. Mark, also a Springfield alumni, started his work with the YMCA of Hazleton, Penn. in 1977 and served as an executive with several YMCAs including the YMCA of Winsted, Conn., the YMCA of Albany, N.Y., The Silver Bay Association and the YMCA of Rochester. Gail worked as a staff associate with the YMCA of Silver Bay. Gail and Mark will be helping to plan a joint chapter gathering at Silver Bay YMCA this fall.
'My Ukraine'
By Bonnie Mairs
Right now, the Ukraine is much on my mind. Just before the Berlin Wall came down, I was part of a backpacking exchange between the Appalachian Mountain Club and an Environmental Center in Zaporizhzhia, in eastern Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). 

We U.S. members stayed with families in Leningrad, Kiev and Zaporizhzhia. Our joint group backpacked in southern Ukraine, including on the mountain behind Yalta in the Crimea. The following year, the Ukrainians visited us, staying in New York City, Boston and the White Mountains. 

I kept up with them through the help of one of the U.S. group’s Russian speakers, but I lost touch after he died. I think of them now and pray they all are OK. How are they managing? What is their future? It is human contacts such as these that tie people together and help us walk a little in someone else’s shoes.  We YMCA Alumni member are fortunate to be able to connect with one another, remember shared YMCA experiences, and offer our help where we can. 
Let us know your suggestions for articles and chapter events. Contact any of our chapter leaders listed below:
Chapter Leaders

President: Chuck Ainsworth
Vice President: John Hedbavny
VP/Membership: Janice A. Carthens
VP/ National Service Project: George Painter
Treasurer: Kurt Kaboth
Past Co-Chair: Ralph Christian
Past Co-Chair, Newsletter Editor: Bonnie Mairs

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."