Fun on the slopes: pictured are Chrissy Garbacz (Laurie's daughter), Nancy Bonell and Laurie Garbacz at King Pine, N.H. Below: NE Chapter Ski Day at Mt. Sunapee, N.H. Left -- Mike Norklun and brother Mark, Laurie Garbacz and Nancy Bonell. Middle photo adds in Hal Jordan and Karen McShane LeClerc. "An amazing day - lots of runs, no lines and best snow conditions of the season." Right photo: After a big snowfall, Harry Rock invites New England Chapter members to join him on the snowy Nordic trails.

March 2023                View as Webpage

From the President: Karen Leslie

Hello Craig,

It is with excitement and gratitude that I welcome Lisa Drouin to our chapter leadership team as our new Membership Chair. Lisa has many years of service with the YMCA and served in a number of different roles in local Y work and on the YUSA staff. Her last position was with the CEO Search team.


As Membership Chair, Lisa will lead our recruitment, retention and connection efforts. Please join me in welcoming Lisa and thanking her for stepping into this really important role. I am thankful to all of you who renewed your membership or decided to join us for the first time. Although the “official” renewal period is over, members can renew at any time and I know that Lisa would welcome the names of any of your friends and colleagues we may want to follow up with and encourage to join.


Our chapter membership numbers remain steady but we are not seeing any growth. Our New England Chapter currently has 99 members with a retention rate of 93 percent. I know there are many retirees in New England just waiting to be asked to join so your assistance would be appreciated.

We had our first planning call for the Second Annual Silver Bay gathering with our colleagues from the McBurney-Morse and Central Atlantic Chapters. A reminder to save the dates of September 19-21, 2023. This year we will be adding the opportunity to explore the Lake George area with trips off the Silver Bay campus for those who are interested. Stay tuned for more info coming your way.


We have listed the names below in our newsletter of our very, very generous chapter members who have donated to the National Service Project. We are a very generous chapter. Thank you on behalf of all who will benefit from your gifts. If you would like to consider a gift, this phase of the fundraising effort will come to a close March 31. Please visit the Service Project Case for Support website today.

Karen Leslie, President

New England YMCA Alumni

SERVE: Join us in the DR: May 27-June 3

The plan for this year’s New England YMCA Alumni is to build a new home for the 20th family, and possibly even 21st if enough volunteers sign up. The dates are May 27 to June 3, over Memorial Day weekend.


Volunteers are responsible for their own air fare, and receive special hotel rates of about $55/night which includes a delicious Dominican breakfast. YMCA Alumni provides airport transfers, all in-country transportation, all lunches, some dinners, a beach day, sightseeing for first-time participants, all the bottled water you can drink, great camaraderie and, of course, construction materials. Many volunteers return year after year.


No worries over your skill level as jobs are available for all. Email Lou Falk or call him at (860) 559-8059 for more info and to register.

Please help us connect

We are connected to retired YMCA staff via the Retirement Fund. However, we only receive names and contact information when someone begins to receive their payments; and in some situations, individuals delay payments. So, we need your help! If you know of anyone retiring, please email their name and personal email address to Membership Chair Lisa Drouin.

Work to continue in Dupree, SD on National Service Project

By Harry Rock

The National Service Project Planning Committee, under the leadership of Lou Falk, has been hard at work throughout the winter making plans for renewing onsite construction starting in May.

The first tiny home shell was erected and covered in Tyvek in October with the anticipation of finishing both interior and exterior work in the spring. Construction Chair George Painter anticipates working on the additional three tiny homes as well throughout the eight work "waves" in May and September to hopefully complete home #1 and erect the shells on the other three. The first "Twig" (small Y branch) location has been set in the remote community of Cherry Creek and construction on it may also begin in one of the shipping containers currently onsite.


To do this, we need two things. First is to raise an additional $250,000 to complete the tiny home village and build two Twigs. The Fundraising Committee is asking YMCA Alumni members to be as generous as they can with either new donations or extending their current financial commitment. The member campaign concludes March 31.

The second need is for volunteers to work at the village site on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in Dupree, SD close to to the YMCA Program Center. There are eight waves available with 20 spots each for you to choose from. The dates are #1 May 9-16; #2 May 16-23; #3 May 23-30; #4 May 30-June 6; #5 Sept. 12-19; #6 Sept. 19-26; #7 Sept. 26-Oct. 3; #8 Oct. 3-10.


Details and answers to questions all reside on the National Service Project Case for Support website (click the blue button below). You can make donations safely online and register to attend one of the work waves.


Questions can be sent to the National Service Project email address at [email protected]. Weekly tiny home project updates are available on the YMCA Alumni Facebook page each Wednesday.

We hope you will consider a donation or extending your existing pledge as well as planning to serve one week at the site itself. Construction experience is not necessary with training, tools and a commitment of safety being offered to everyone. We also welcome family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues to help. Please get involved by donating and volunteering.

Case for Support Website

Worldwide Zoom for All YMCA

retirees set for May 24

(Photos: Juan Simoes,YMCA Europe; Viktor Serbulov, YMCA Ukraine)

Plan to attend the first-ever virtual meeting of the World Fellowship of YMCA Retirees (WFYR) via Zoom video. All YMCA retirees around the world will be able to join in May 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. It's free, easy to register, and you will have the fun of connecting with retirees around the world. 


The World Fellowship of YMCA Retirees (WFYR) is working at ways to strengthen the bonds between its members worldwide. As only a few of us can attend world meetings in person, the WFYR leadership is looking for other ways to help retirees make new friends and keep the old. It has planned two worldwide Zoom gatherings in 2023, in May and October. The first, on May 24, will focus on the YMCAs in Europe. Juan Simoes, YMCA Europe’s executive, is the featured speaker. Viktor Serbulov, YMCA Ukraine, will discuss the current situation in his YMCA. There will be time for questions and answers. The Zoom format means you will see and hear from retirees in real time, the next best thing to meeting in person.


The idea for these Zooms came from WFYR leadership. The planning committee is very excited about bringing Y retirees together via Zoom. Members are Franco Savoia/Canada, Guenther Ozdyk/Germany, Alicia Sanjurjo/Argentina and Bonnie Mairs/USA. We promise you an hour you will enjoy. Put May 24 on your calendar NOW. You may want to get together with friends to participate as a group.

Zoom Invite

New England Chapter Donors to National Service Project: Thank you

Susan Albano * Terri J. Anderson * Barbara Anderson * Nancy LaRue Bonell

Jim and Marsha Bowman * Joanne Britton * Bob and Linda Brockway

Richard Bucchi * Halina Chodziutko * John Coduri * Bruce Daube

Elizabeth Dean * Norm and Patty DeRobertis * Lisa Drouin * Brent Duffy

Phil Dwyer * East Hampton Rotary Club * Shayna Ellovich * Lou Falk

Risa and Roy Filkoff * Richard Foot * Sharon Friedman * Carl Gaites

Thomas and Linda Garcia * Duane German * Charles and Nancy Goding

Whitney Griffith * Carole Guttman * A.J. Hill * Robert and Nancy Hoffman

Alan Hurst * Hope Hutchinson * Janet Thompson and Lorraine Ilsley

Rick and Patty Kellerman * Mary Ellen Kucia * Carole La Fountaine

Artie Lang * Karen Leslie * Ron Lewis * Bruce Macdonald * Michael McManus

Nancy and John Meyers * New England YMCA Alumni * Luis Nunes

Evan and Marti Page * Dr. Robert Pascucci * William and Barbara Petit Sr.

Marilyn Petrini * Peter Post * John and Susan Preis * Skip Raymond

Susan Rittscher * Sandra Roberts * Harry Rock * Tim Rollings * Steve Russell

Gary and Donna Schuyler * Mike and Susan Sherman

Mahlon and Consuelo Stacy * Judith Stearns * Thomas Steens * Joyce Sypher

Debra Valentine * Patti Anne Vassia * Sandy Walker * Tom and Jane Warren

Foster White

Did you know…the YMCA Emergency Assistance Fund provides financial aid to YMCA staff and YMCA Alumni members when an accident, illness, death of a loved one, disaster, or other crisis strikes and the means of needed help are limited or have been exhausted? Yes, as a member of New England YMCA Alumni you are eligible to apply for a grant if needed! Our chapter’s point of contact is Bob Hoffman, and he can be reached at (860) 561-1970.


Some facts about EAF…

    …..The Fund has a strong foundation. At the end of 2022, EAF was holding $1,584,655 in investments and other accounts.

    …..Like everyone else, the EAF lost money on their investments in 2022


   …..In 2022 retirees like us contributed $43,573 while active staff put in $16,745.

  ….. “Other” donations from corporate Ys, etc. came to $37,010.        

  …..The total amount of grants awarded in 2022 was $237,519.

You can do the math and see that the grants far outpaced donations in 2022. Let’s all make sure EAF is here for us if we ever need it. To securely make an online donation, click the button below and then scroll down the page.


YMCA Alumni Travel Club

Adventures at a Glance

Sept. 20-28, 2023 Mackinac Island & Grand Hotel

Oct. 15-25, 2023: Gems of the Danube & Prague

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

April 21-May 3, 2024: Atlantic Crossing

May 6-12, 2024: Italy by Rail

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

Jan. 27-Feb. 2: 2025: Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

Travel Club

New England Chapter Leaders

Chapter President: Karen Leslie

Program Chair: Nancy Bonell

Membership Chair: Lisa Drouin

Treasurer: Alan Hurst

Secretary: Laurie Garbacz

Past President: Lou Falk


Harry Rock * Gary Schuyler * Martha Machnik

Duffy Brent * Shayna Ellovich

Chapters * Travel * BENEFIT HUB