June 2022
Connect. Travel. Serve.

Welcome to summer! Like the rest of you, Judy and I are beginning to feel as if life is getting back to something resembling normal, now that the threat of COVID seems to be receding, at least for the moment.

We have heard many of you have been either traveling or planning to travel, catching up on deferred visits with family and friends. Good news!
I’m extremely happy to share some other good news with you. The National Service Project Fundraising Campaign well exceeded the original goal of $120,000. The campaign has reported the actual amount raised to date at over $525,000!

Thank you to donors, campaigners, and especially to our local chapter campaign leaders: Jeanne Schmelzer, Cheri Choy, Steve Rowe, Debby Lenz, Bea Halk, and Sam Wurtzbacher. We campaigners met this past month to celebrate the successful end of the campaign with a festive lunch at Miguel’s Restaurant in 4S Ranch (above photo). Good job, team!
Victor Botello, Chair
YMCA Alumni 2022 Donor Campaign underway now
"I believe in what YMCA Alumni is doing. I hope you do as well and will support our administrative financial needs. Our goal in this annual campaign is $32,000. Click the button to donate now. Thank you."
--Dale Packer, past president
Groundbreaking, start of construction in Dupree
By Steve Rowe
After a year of extremely successful fundraising from our members and friends, the first of six waves of volunteers traveled to the Sioux YMCA in Dupree, S.D. and officially kicked off the construction of the Tiny Home village with a Smudging and Groundbreaking ceremony.

"Smudging" is a sacred Native American ritual to rid places of negative energy and bless the site. Native American dancers and a drum circle added to the excitement of the ceremony.
Volunteers are still needed for one of two weeks in July and October.  If you are interested in a life-changing and cultural experience, click HERE.
Pila’ Mayaye. Thank you Marston members for your support! 
Sioux YMCA Board Chair Alli Moran speaks at the Smudging and Groundbreaking ceremony.
George Painter, who is the volunteer construction manager for the project, describes the building plans during the six waves of volunteer builders this summer and fall. Nearly 600 YMCA Alumni members and friends tuned in to the ceremony via Facebook Life!
Sippin' time: Wine tasting July 1
at Vineyard Grant James in Ramona
It's back for 2022. Wine tasting with Marston Chapter Friends is set for Friday, July 1 at noon at the Vineyard Grant James in Ramona.

Click the button below for details and a registration form to return by June 16.
Travel with us to Costa Rica next winter
Take a mid-winter break and join the YMCA Travel Club to tour tropical, beautiful Costa Rica Feb. 25-March 3, 2023. This affordable adventure to a natural paradise is priced at $980 pp.

From heart-stirring suspension bridges through rainforest canopies to the lava trails emerging from the depths of the earth. See Arenal Volcano and explore the wild places where pumas and jaguars prowl.
We heard it on the grapevine...
Bea Halk attended a reunion of YMCA Retired Urban group VP/HR Officers in Savannah, Ga. It was great fun seeing many of my former HR colleagues in an interesting city (photo below).

We visited museums, haunted houses, took a cruise on the Savannah River, enjoyed Tybee Island, ate southern food and participated in daily hotel-sponsored afternoon activities over a glass (or two) of wine. 

Our team was the winner of Jeopardy played one afternoon. In addition, I enjoyed a short weekend trip to Las Vegas to attend a family baby shower. I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Bellagio’s flower exhibit and a couple of other casinos. Local outings included visits to SDMA annual “Art Alive”, new House of Mexico in Balboa Park and Lambs Theatre's outstanding “Million Dollar Quartet.”
Esther Wellington has been busy with major projects around the house. It was built in 1950 so there’s always something to fix, upgrade or just remodel. In fact, she is having laminate flooring installed throughout the house as I write this.

"I currently have my grandson living with me, which is really nice to have (whenever he’s home).  He’s in the Merchant Marines and is out to sea for months at a time. Right now he’s on a  ship delivering weapons to the Ukraine, so scary!

"We’re hoping he’ll be home safe by the Fall/Winter. My family has been blessed with two more additions, twins, Ezekiel ‘Duke” & Hendrix ‘Ray” - yes, I am officially a great grandmother (Nana Grande). I cannot express the joy and love these 2 boys bring to my life!  Both turned 1-year-old in March.

"My granddaughter and family moved into a nice home down the street from me so I’m fortunate I can see them all the time. Bea and I are still planning future trips, hoping before the year is out."
Gerry Martin and Kasia, her seven-year-old female Silken Windhound, enjoy a neighborly cup of tea on Bea's cozy patio while she is relaxing from walking Kasia and recovering from a total knee replacement in April.
Steve Mott and Karen Kohl headed out this past month for their annual volunteer duties at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. 

They were there for a week, volunteering with the dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, and in an area they call "Wild Friends" (wild critters like owls, hawks, and other animals that are in rehab after being hit by cars, shot at, or hurt by traps). This is their 5th year helping at the sanctuary. Check it out by clicking HERE.
Steve and Valerie Totten's son Jonathan, and his wife Jae, will have a major wedding ceremony at Lake Tahoe June 26. They were married a couple of years ago via Zoom.

"So, this will be the kind of ceremony they would have had if they could. The wedding will be at a high-end hotel. Valerie and I will be staying with our daughter Kristi and her husband Kenny and granddaughters Charlotte and Olivia in a home they are renting."
Victor and Judy Botello came for the family and stayed for the cherry trees.

"This might have been the slogan of our recent trip to Brooklyn, N.Y. at the end of April. We hadn’t seen our son and his family for six months, and we were eager to see our two granddaughters.

As kids do, they had grown like weeds since we last saw them. But they weren’t the only creatures blossoming! Brooklyn was ablaze with spring flowers. In the parks, along the sidewalks, in front yards, there were multi-colored tulips, and daffodils; lilac bushes gave off their sweet perfume and the cherry trees were in full bloom.

After several years of pandemic suffering, New Yorkers were crowding into sidewalk restaurants and enjoying life again.

It was renewing for us to see our son and his family thriving, along with the miraculous renewal of nature. The photo is from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Clearly, we timed it right for the cherry trees!
Rick and Lorraine Riehman share the doors have been re-opened! Once again, the opportunity to share the love of God and visit with the elderly has become available as the doors of Boulder Creek Nursing Home in Poway have been opened to our weekly church activity and visitations. The restrictions of COVID have been lifted and the invitation to come and minister to the residents is at hand. (Photo: Our worship team)

The residents are delighted to have our worship team back and very responsive to the gospel and our personal visitations. It's my great joy to come alongside these precious people who have so little and seek companionship.

One resident remarked, “We have missed you, your tender loving touch and the wonderful stories of Jesus.” Each resident is filled with gratitude and treasures the moments we are able to spend together. If you have a desire to serve the elderly, please feel free to contact me. We would appreciate your prayers and support.
Marston Chapter Leaders

President: Victor Botello
Vice President/Membership: Jeanne Schmelzer
Vice President/Programs: Steve Rowe
Secretary: Steve Totten
TreasurerSam Wurtzbacher
EAF Chair: Bill Parkhurst
World Service Chair: Rick Riehman
Newsletter Coordinator: Pattie Griffin
Friendship:  Barbara Parkhurst
Past President: Sam Wurtzbacher
Honorary Member: Bea Halk YMCA Hall of Fame

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