Hello March, the third month of the year, and home to the Spring Equinox. Did you know that President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, which was a program patterned directly from the YMCA’s World Service Workers which started in the 1880s? We have so much to celebrate this month, spring blooms, warming weather, the return baseball…but most importantly we get to dedicate a month to celebrate all women.
Since 1987, the United States has officially recognized March as National Women’s History Month. Over the course of our Y’s now 62 years of existence, women have made and continue to make, major contributions in leadership, volunteerism, philanthropic support, and program design to name a few areas. This year, I wanted to focus a spotlight on our Y’s women who have continued to live out the mission as professional staff members or as volunteer leaders.
To kick off this month-long celebration we wanted to recognize Heather Sturt Haaga (photo compliments of Susan Smith) for her decade’s long commitment of leadership and support to our Y. Heather was the first female board chair in the history of our Y and was one of the first in the entire state of California when she served from 1990-1992. A true trailblazer in many respects. Heather’s servant-leader demeanor makes her approachable and relatable to aspiring leaders everywhere. Heather, and her husband Paul, have been instrumental in their advocacy and philanthropic support of our Y’s mission. Heather says her greatest accomplishment was leading the board to agree on a Capital Campaign which lead to the building of our Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA Swimming pool, and our Verdugo Hills Family YMCA Gymnasium. Thank you Heather for all you have done and continue to do for our Y and Foothill community!
I invite you to join us in celebrating “the Women of the Y” all through March, as we get the honor and privilege to share these inspirational stories of leadership and service. Follow us on our social media to read the stories!
Onward and Upward!