March 2014                                                                                     eNewsletter   Issue No. 13

 

Happy Spring from all your friends at YES! The sun is shining and the days are getting longer which means it's time to get outside. The outdoor fun begins this month with YES' 2nd Annual Walk to Nature event, followed by the launch of our annual Summer and Family Camp programming. Whether you're a participant, volunteer, supporter, or community partner, we hope to see you as we celebrate our 15th anniversary of bringing nature to Richmond neighborhoods.

Eric Aaholm, Executive Director 

Learning to Swim
YES Wellness Navigators taking swim lessons in Richmond at "The Plunge".

 "I was so scared to even get into the water on the first day, but now after each class I feel more confident." - Maria, YES Wellness Navigator. 

 

With summer fast approaching and drowning rates higher among communities of color, YES partnered with Richmond Swims, a community group run in cooperation with Richmond Friends of Recreation, to provide YES' adult ambassadors, known as Wellness Navigators, the opportunity to gain this life saving skill. 

 

The swim lessons, led by swim coach, Benicia Rivera, started on January 3rd and are held at the Richmond Municipal Natatorium, aka "The Plunge". For three of the Wellness Navigators, many of whom are grandparents, this was their first swim experience ever.

 

"There was a lot of fear and anxiety at first," stated Tana Monteiro, YES' Community Wellness Coordinator. "It took a lot of support and encouragement from their coach and one another to keep them coming back."

 

Now in their third month of lessons, the Wellness Navigators are celebrating with smiles and peace of mind that they have a new found life skill. Most importantly, they are looking forward to teaching their children and grandchildren how to swim so they can enjoy the water and stay safe this summer. They are proud of their individual accomplishments and are eager to sign up for the next round of classes.

Walk to Nature

It's time to get your walk on! Discover one of Richmond's best kept secrets by joining YES and 25 other community and public agencies across the City of Richmond for the second annual "Walk to Nature" event on Saturday, March 29th. 

 

Community residents, partners, volunteers, and supporters are invited to join the walk by arriving at one of two different starting points - the Richmond Civic Center at 450 Civic Center Plaza at 9am and the Richmond Greenway at 6th and Ohio starting at 9:30am. 

 

Upon arriving, participants will register with volunteers and receive a free t-shirt, water bottle, wristband, and snacks. En masse, we will then walk together exploring Richmond's Greenway while celebrating community and healthy living.

 

Our walk will lead us to the beautiful Miller Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond where a free lunch catered by Chipotle, games, Zumba, health information, summertime activity providers, and raffle prizes await. Starting at 1:30pm, busses will transport participants back to their starting points.

 

For more information about the event, please contact YES at (510) 232-3030 or visit facebook.com/walk2nature 

YES Annual Sunset Dinner & Silent Auction

 

Mark your calendars and save the date for YES' 15th Anniversary Celebration! This year's annual dinner will be held on Thursday June 12th from 6-9pm at Hs Lordships Restaurant in the Berkeley Marina. 

 

In addition to a one of the best silent auction's overlooking the Bay, YES will honor founder, Diane Mintz, and other YES alumni and supporters who have become change agents in their community.

 

All proceeds from our annual fundraiser go directly to camperships for more than 300 Richmond and West County youth in 2014. 

YES Summer Camp

Do you know a child, ages 8-16, who is ready for an eye-opening experience outdoors this summer? YES' Summer Camp program enters its 15th year having provided over 4,500 camperships to low-income Richmond and West Contra Costa County youth. Summer Camp provides a safe and exciting experience for youth to connect to nature, build their self-confidence and leadership skills, make life-long friendships, and open their mind to life's possibilities. 

 

Priority registration for former YES campers will begin on April 1st and general registration for new and eligible youth will begin on April 15th. 

 

To find out more about YES Summer Camp qualifications and requirements or to support YES' Summer Camp program, please email Lei'Jeaux Blanton at lei'jeaux@yesfamilies.org or call us at (510) 232-3 032.


"When I grew up in Richmond there was no program for us like YES. I didn't experience hiking, swimming, meeting and making new friends from other cities. I am so thankful that my two youngest kids can go to camp and also other children. Thank you so much for giving this gift to my boys."  

 

- Nina Hill, mother of YES summer campers


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