Employees help make YMCA special

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Imagine going to work each day, knowing that what you do is so much more than a job-it is about making a difference in the lives of those around you. Each and every day at the YMCA, folks work side-by-side with neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and improve their quality of life. YES, our cause defines us and we know that lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together.

The Y is a nonprofit like no other. That’s because in 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation, we have the presence and partnerships to not just promise, but deliver, positive changes. At the YMCA, we bring people together of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the differences.

Our impact is felt every day with a mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.

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25th Anniversary featured staff at the YMCA have served a decade or more and come from varied backgrounds:

Frank Godwin is a lifetime resident of the Bainbridge community, along with his lovely wife of 38 years, Ms. Betty, two children and five grandchildren. A former industrial mechanic, Frank knew little about the YMCA or its mission of “Helping Others Help Themselves” and has now found a home at the Bainbridge Y. He quickly learned that the Y serves a very diverse population and that members and guest of all ages, truly appreciate even the little things you can do for them.

“It makes my heart feel good knowing that I help make a difference in the hundreds of lives we serve each day,” Frank said. In addition, he stated that, “I have heard countless stories how the Y not only provides wonderful opportunities for young and old, but a place for people to feel good about themselves.”

Those that have not had a chance to meet Frank should simply find him in or around our facility and ask him about his most recent fishing trip or those grandchildren if you have some extra time.

Brenda Reynolds has not always been such an open book with support and trust for all those that seek her encouragement. In fact, Brenda arrived at the YMCA over a decade ago as well and at the time she had negative experiences in a previous business partnership in the private sector. It did not take long for Brenda to again trust others as she experienced a major change in outlook on life and developed an “Attitude with Gratitude” at the YMCA. Now she enjoys two talented sons, grandchildren and a wonderful husband, along with everyone that comes thru the doors at the Bainbridge YMCA. Stories like the recent column on the Davis family and those four children, helped her have even more life-changing moments as she reached out to help others by serving as Director of Membership Services and afterschool Child Care. Ms. Brenda could almost be a full time counselor with her caring, sharing personality and she truly loves the Y and our members.

Liv Warren grew up in Bainbridge, before moving to Athens so that she could graduate from the University of Georgia. Atlanta was then calling, so she went to work at EF Hutton for eight years before taking a management position with Australian Body Works (ABW). After the birth of her daughter, Frankie (now a junior at UG), she and her husband returned to her childhood home in Bainbridge. She first took a position with the YMCA in 1992 as a part-time aerobics instructor and then became Fitness Director in 2000. In the past decade, Liv has added the Aquatics Director post to her job description and in recent years became the Associate Executive Director. Liv has enjoyed the “one-on-one” time serving as a Personal Trainer and had many heroic moments in her job as a result of community, facility and pool related emergencies as a result of member heart issues and a near drowning of a child. It goes without saying that Liv inspires and motivates others to realize their potential daily.

“It’s Your Y — So Tell Us Your Story!” Members like you inspire us with the remarkable things and we want the rest of the world to know about it as well. Maybe you were inspired by a YMCA staff person in some way or have a favorite group fitness class you enjoy; maybe you witnessed your child or grandchild gain new confidence after participating in a YMCA sports event where everyone plays. Maybe there was achievement you felt impossible before joining the Y, or running that first 5K or even a marathon … simply tell us and we may use it in our 25th Anniversary Newsletter. Send your story to interim CEO Mike Haynes at Mike.BainbridgeY@gmail.com.

Mike Haynes is the interim CEO of the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA. He can be reached at (229) 243-0508.