Gale Lewis with Riley and Caroline

The Lake Highlands YMCA is kicking off their Annual Campaign, and Advance Giving Chair Jody Zorn says there’s no better time to invest in the Y’s programs. The next two weeks will be busy as the Y hosts Cookies with Santa, Parent’s Day Out, Frozen Camp and Basketball Clinics. From the Y’s Make-A-Splash program, which gives swim lessons to kids living near apartment pools, to child abuse awareness education to after school programs to sports and fitness, Jody says, families in LH are growing stronger at the Y.

Board member Gale Lewis agrees.

“My involvement at the LH YMCA began several years ago, like so many others, when Caroline and I started in the Adventure Princess program. The friendships and memories created through our experiences with the Mohicans (and then the Guadalupes with Riley) will always have a special place in our family.”

“Personally,” continues Lewis, “my strongest motivation for supporting the LH YMCA Annual Campaign is to make sure that any dad who wants to participate in the Adventure Princess or Guides program has the same opportunity I had with my daughters. I think it is particularly important to make sure a dad and his son or daughter are able to maintain these connections even if the family is suffering financially due to health issues or a lost job.”

“I remain involved at the Y because, simply put, it is good for me and good for others, and always has been,” says Greg Duval, another member of the board. “I grew up playing sports at the Garland YMCA many years ago, and when I say ‘many,’ it’s true. I actually played full contact tackle football as a 2nd grader with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Can you imagine that now?”

“With my dad, I was in the Guides program and have great memories of those years. Years went by and life goes on, and as a father with a soon-to-be Moss Haven kindergartener, I signed us up for the Princess program at the Lake Highlands Y with is ‘just what everyone does.’ Fast forward seven years, and my 7th grade daughter’s closest friends today are those that were in that Princess group and, even though we are not still an official group, the dads from that large group have remained connected in friendship and service across LH.

“As a middle age guy who sits in front of a compute a lot each day, I personally enjoy the Y for the many options I have to get in an hour of exercise four or five days a week. Admittedly, I am inconsistent, but I have learned that some exercise is better than none. I feel welcome and “worthy” of being on the Y fitness floor even though I am not in perfect shape and not wearing the latest style of exercise gear. Working out at the Y is good for me.”

“I have served on the Board of Management for many years because a couple of friends I know and respect asked if I would serve,” continues Duval. “It has been good to have an opportunity to work collaboratively with others to try to create a thriving Y that gives families in LH a place that offers access to fitness – both for the body and the soul. The Y is a place for all of our community – those that can partner to enhance and grow the Y and those that contribute by their presence and participation in programs with others who seek the same well-being for their spirit, mind and body. That is good for everyone.”

The LH YMCA is located at 8920 Stults Road at Greenville Avenue. Cookies with Santa is free and will be held at 7:30 p.m on Dec. 16. Parent’s Day Out on Dec. 19 from 12-2 and 2-4 is $10 for members per session and $20 for nonmembers. Frozen Camp on Dec. 22 and 23 from 12-2 is for ages 3-4 and from 2-4 is for ages 5 and up; members pay $35 and nonmembers pay $50. The Basketball Clinic on Dec. 29 and 30 is from 12-3 for ages 6-12; members pay $35 and nonmembers pay $50.

If you’d like to make a donation, you can call Jody Zorn at 214-213-6214 or email Clint Elliott, the LH YMCA Executive Director, at celliott@ymcadallas.org.